How to Use the Slicer Plugin for Sketchup to Create 3D Models from 2D Shapes
If you are looking for a way to turn your 2D sketches into 3D models, you might want to try the Slicer plugin for Sketchup. This plugin allows you to slice any 2D shape into multiple pieces and then assemble them into a 3D model. You can also adjust the thickness, angle, and spacing of the slices to create different effects.
In this article, we will show you how to download and install the Slicer plugin for Sketchup, and how to use it to create a 3D model of a star from a 2D shape. You will need Sketchup version 16 or later to use this plugin.
Step 1: Download and Install the Slicer Plugin
The Slicer plugin is available for free from the Sketchup Extension Warehouse. To download and install it, follow these steps:
Open Sketchup and go to Window > Extension Warehouse.
Search for \"Slicer\" and click on the plugin by TIG.
Click on the Install button and accept the terms and conditions.
Restart Sketchup to activate the plugin.
Step 2: Draw a 2D Shape
Next, you need to draw a 2D shape that you want to slice and turn into a 3D model. For this example, we will use a star shape. To draw a star shape, follow these steps:
Select the Polygon tool from the toolbar or press P on your keyboard.
Click on the ground plane and drag your mouse to draw a circle.
Type in \"10s\" in the Measurements box and press Enter. This will change the circle into a 10-sided polygon.
Select the Rotate tool from the toolbar or press Q on your keyboard.
Click on the center of the polygon and drag your mouse to rotate it by 18 degrees. Type in \"18\" in the Measurements box and press Enter.
Select the Scale tool from the toolbar or press S on your keyboard.
Click on one of the corners of the polygon and drag your mouse inward to scale it down by 50%. Type in \"0.5\" in the Measurements box and press Enter.
Select all the edges of the polygon by double-clicking on it with the Select tool or pressing Space on your keyboard.
Right-click on the selection and choose Make Face from the context menu. This will fill in the polygon with a face.
Step 3: Slice the 2D Shape
Now that you have a 2D shape, you can use the Slicer plugin to slice it into multiple pieces. To do this, follow these steps:
Select the face of the polygon by clicking on it with the Select tool or pressing Space on your keyboard.
Go to Extensions > Slicer > Slice It from the menu bar.
A dialog box will appear with some options for slicing. You can adjust the number of slices, the thickness of each slice, the angle of slicing, and the spacing between slices. For this example, we will use these settings:
Angle: 0 degrees
Click on OK to start slicing. The plugin will create a group of slices that form a 3D model of your shape.
Step 4: Edit and Export Your 3D Model
The final step is to edit and export your 3D model as you wish. You can move, rotate, scale, color, or texture your slices as you would with any other Sketchup object. You can also explode or ungroup your slices if you want to edit them individually. To export your model as an STL file for printing or sharing, follow these steps:
Select your model by clicking on it with the Select tool or pressing Space on your keyboard.