Creating Sliceforms with Google SketchUp

The following posts describe how to use a Google SketchUp plugin to create Sliceforms.

As an example, I will use the Sliceform Torus that you can see as a YouTube Video:

The plugin was created by Harm Vereek.

The steps of the construction are also available as a YouTube video here.

IMPORTANT
This is quite a complex Sliceform and you should be familiar with the methods for assembling Sliceforms and cutting the slots (not slits). You should follow the earlier posts. You should also make at least some of the template models given also.

There are many ways to create Sliceforms, for example cutting out with scissors, using a laser cutter or a machine like a CraftRobo. I will only describe the simplest way, for printing on card, and make lines to cut either side of as in the templates on this post. If you want to do more, you need to change the parameters for your requirement. I will mention how to do this in the description of its use.

Items needed:
1.    Google SketchUp loaded on your computer and a basic working knowledge of how to use it. You can get it here.
2.    The Sliceforms Plugin available here and here. In Windows you need to install it to the Plugins directory in the Google SketchUp folder in Program Files
3.    You will also need to export the slices to a program which allows you to scale and adjust the position of the slices to fit. I suggest using the SVG exporter  from FlightofIdeas, available as a plugin here. This is version 0.92. We have found that there are problems with version 0.99. If you do not have a program that handles the SVG vector graphics, then I use Inkscape, available here.

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10 responses to “Creating Sliceforms with Google SketchUp

  1. So glad to see this information back online!

  2. An amazing tutorial indeed. I greatly benefited from it. Can you please tell me why I’m unable to get the flattened slices for some of the models? The XY slices come out OK but there’s no pop-up for flattening the slices at the end. I’m using Slicemodeler 1.3.

    • John Sharp (Sliceforms)

      I have had this happen very rarely and, since I did not write the software, I have no idea.

      But all is not lost. If you use the Flight of Ideas SVG exporter then it will print the faces no differently than if you were printing the flattened faces. Select the sliced model and tick the options in the dialog box. Make sure you get both groups.

      Try it and let me know how you get on. Also let me know if I should post a method or if this is enough information.

  3. I’m using Sketchup 8 and unfortunately, the Flights of Ideas plugin doesn’t seem to work either. Let me download version 7 and see if this works. If not, I’ll let you know.

    Thank you!

    • John Sharp (Sliceforms)

      I don’t know what you are doing wrong, but I got the output from Flight of Ideas SVG exporter with Sketchup 8.
      Make sure you select all objects and make sure you tick the boxes for the SVG export. I didn’t do this the first time and nothing happened.

  4. In the meantime, I dedicate this post to you. Thank you for teaching me.

    http://yousufbawany.wordpress.com/2011/08/22/kirigami-mania/

  5. Maybe that’s the problem. Let me check and get back to you.

    Cheers!

  6. Hi John! Hope you are doing good. Can you give me some ideas as to how I can keep the model together and prevent the pieces from falling off?

    I have used transparent tape but the effect isn’t too good as the tape is still visible. I’d really appreciate your help.

    • John Sharp (Sliceforms)

      Sounds like you are making the slots too wide. If you get the slots right, you will be slightly inaccurate in being perfectly central and this helps. It means that friction will hold the slices in and you don’t need any tape.

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