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Using Sketchup to create printable tube joins

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Posted (edited)

Hey folks,


I'm currently working on cutting the engine mount pieces. I was using TubeJoin to print templates for the pipe ends - but it has limitations. It can only do the joint at one end of the pipe, so you don't know how long the pipe has to be and what the join on the other end is like - and how the two relate in terms of where they are on the pipe's diameter.


Anyways I'd drawn the engine mount up in Sketchup so went looking to see if that had the capability to do it. Turns out it has. There's an extension you can get called "Unwrap and flatten faces".


Bearing in mind that a picture tells a thousand words...


Below is the engine mount. I need to create a template of the tube which runs from top centre to the port mount.




By isolating that pipe (further details below) and copying it, I can use the "unwrap and flatten faces" tool to do this:




Now there's a flat 2D template of the pipe's cut ends. All I need to do is align the camera, print the view to scale and tape it to the pipe to get the exact cut lines.


If you use Sketchup, this is how you do it:


  1. select the tube you want and choose Edit - Make Group
  2. select the items at each end that it intersects with (individually) and Edit - Make Group
  3. select all three (or in this case, 4) groups that you've created, then choose Edit - Intersect Faces - With Selection
  4. select the tube group and choose Edit - Group - Explode
  5. select the tube group and copy / paste away from the main part of the drawing
  6. realign the axes to the tube
  7. select the tube and choose Tools - Unwrap and Flatten faces (this assumes that you have installed the extension from the Selection Warehouse). Have fun!

Edited by Guest
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