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3D printing is an excellent technology for creating prototypes. In this article, I’ll share my tips for creating a 3D printed clip for my audio recorder. These tips will help you design your own objects that interact with your phone, remote, camera, or any other object you’d like to design an accessory for.
Designing 3D printed Clip

When you own a 3D printer, you start thinking about all the awesome things you can design for the various gadgets you own. In my most recent project, I wanted to design a clip that would allow me to mount my audio recorder to my belt, or to a tripod.

As I finished up the model, I thought it would be helpful to share a list of tips I use in my workflow that you can apply to your own 3D printing project. Most of these tips can be used with any 3D modeling software, not just SketchUp. They will help you save time, model more accurately, create a stronger model, and reduce warping. Let me know if you have any additional tips in the comments below.

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There is a misconception among some people that SketchUp isn’t “accurate enough” for their needs. That is a completely inaccurate statement, and it drives me crazy. In this article, I’m going to debunk this myth, by showing you many ways …

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If you ever present your SketchUp models live, in front of your client, one thing you can do to reinforce your brand is to place your logo over the workspace as a watermark. This is also great if you send your SketchUp models to other subcontractors, it’s a quick way for them to see who created the model. This tutorial will show you how.

One of my readers, Chris Graham from Staircraft, recently sent me a SketchUp model and I noticed he had his logo watermarked over the SketchUp workspace. It was a simple, but impressive way to brand his models. I liked it so much, I wanted to share how to do it with you. Adding a watermark to your SketchUp models is easy using the watermark setting in the Styles window in SketchUp. It’s great for adding a logo or contact info.

Prepping your logo

Before you begin, you should have a PNG image of your logo, that has a transparent background. You can use something like Photoshop, Gimp, Inkscape, or even LayOut to create this image.

SketchUp will allow you to position the logo in any corner of the screen, but make sure there is some whitespace around the image in order to pad it away from the edges of the workspace. Otherwise, the image will be shoved into the corner.add whitespace

As far as image size, you’ll be able to scale the image when you set up the watermark, but you don’t get precise control over the scale of the image in terms of pixels. So just export your logo in the size you want it to appear as when you bring it into SketchUp.

Add logo to Sketchup

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Have you ever inserted a bunch of section cuts in your model and saved scenes for an aligned view of each section cut? Do the section cuts seem to change after you’ve saved a scene? Do the section plane objects appear over your model even though you’ve turned them off? This article will show you how to properly save section cuts in scenes for SketchUp so you can assign those scenes to viewports in LayOut, (Or simply view the scenes in SketchUp.) Section cuts allow you to “slice” through your model in order to hide parts of your model, or to create a cross section view. To insert a section cut, you use the Section tool. Holding SHIFT will lock orientation as you place your section plane. Once it’s placed, you can use the Move tool to change its position.

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How can you become faster at modeling? In this article, I highlight the keyboard shortcuts I use most often, and demonstrate how helpful they are in saving time while modeling. You can also download my custom keyboard shortcuts at the bottom of this article, and import them into your SketchUp.

I have always been a strong advocate for using keyboard shortcuts. They are a tremendous time saver, enabling you to get your ideas modeled more quickly. They reduce the friction between the design and the software. Modeling becomes more fluid and natural.

Many people are intimidated with the idea of having to remember a ton of keyboard shortcuts, but I assure you, the majority of them are obvious and easy to remember. Start out with a few simple ones, like Spacebar, P, and R. Then build on from there.

Default Keyboard Shortcuts

SketchUp has a number of keyboard shortcuts configured by default. You can also add your own, custom keyboard shortcuts by going to Window -> Preferences -> Shortcuts. Below are some of my most frequently used keyboard shortcuts. By tapping the designated key, you’ll activate that tool without having to select it from a menu or toolbar.

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