3 Super Simple 3D Prints for YouTubers – A Sketchup Tutorial for beginners

When I tell people that I have a 3D printer, many of them ask something like „what on earth could you possibly want to print with that?“. The best answer would be: a lot! I have only recently startet this YouTube channel. To help me with that, I have already printed a number of things, three of which I would like to show you now.

Here are the files: sketchup-tutorial.zip

This is the 3D-printer that I use:

CTC 3D printer at ebay.com*
or at Amazon.com*
or at Aliexpress.com*

SD Card box

3d printed SD Card Box

If you work a lot with cameras, you usually also have lots of SD cards. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a little box where you can put them in? I’ll show you how I design such things with Sketchup, but of course you can also download the files on Fluxing.de.

First I need to know the dimensions of the SD card. Then I open the CAD program Sketchup. The free version will do. It is important that the unit of the model is set to millimeters.

First I draw a rectangle. I click into one corner and draw the rectangle. However, I do not click for the other corner, but I simply enter the desired edge lengths in millimeters and confirm this with the return key.

I think we can get rid of the Makerbot build volume now. This should only give an impression of the size of our model. Simply click with the selection tool and then press “delete”.

Now I activate the push-pull tool. I use it to pull on the surface of the rectangle, turning the two-dimensional rectangle into a three-dimensional cuboid. Again, I can simply enter the height, in this case 2mm. This will be the bottom of the box.
Now I draw another rectangle. This will later be a card slot. I make it a little bigger in each direction so that the SD card has some room to move. Select the surface with the selection tool, then move it onto the box with the move tool. With the line tool I draw an guide line. The tool now wants to draw more lines, you get out with the escape key.

The rectangle has remained selected the whole time, now use the selection tool with the Shift key pressed to add the guide line to the selection.

Now I hover the mouse pointer over the lower left corner and copy with Cmd-C or Control-C. When I then paste it, the copy hangs with this corner from my mouse pointer until I place it somewhere. In this case, at the end of my guide line. I do this a few more times. I delete the last guideline.

Now I use the push-pull tool to pull everything around the rectangles upwards, that’s one continuous face. Again, you can simply type in a value. Now the end is shortened a bit with the push-pull tool, and the card holder is already finished.

The model is exported as an STL file. For this you have to install a free plugin.

In the software of the 3d printer, in my case MakerBot, the STL file is imported and can be printed without any modifications. I do this by exporting the file for the printer to an SD card, which I then insert into the printer and print from there.  Done.

Tripod to Flash Shoe Adapter

hot shoe adapter to mount flash mount accessories on a tripod - Screenshot from sketchup
hot shoe adapter to mount flash mount accessories on a tripod

I’ve got that great Takstar microphone*. But I want to have it as close to me as possible, so I’d like to put it on one of my tripods. But it doesn’t fit. So we need an adapter.

That’s what it should look like. I’ve already finished it, but I’ll repeat it here to show you how I designed it.

Again, I start with a rectangle. With the push-pull tool the surface is pulled upwards, I enter 2mm as distance. Now I pull again with the push-pull tool, but this time I press the Alt key. This creates a new segment.

This part is supposed to be pyramid-shaped. So the upper surface should de smaller. For this I use the scale tool. This allows me to shrink the area, if I press Alt, this can also be done symmetrically. I type in the factor 0.7.

Now we need the cutout for the foot of the microphone. I think I’ll make some guidelines for that. The tools in Sketchup will snap to the middle of a line. This appers as a light blue dot. From there I draw a 10cm long lines to the left and right. Oh, one line would have been enough, actually. With the rectangle tool I click on the end of my guide line. The tool will snap to it, it’s a green dot. Then I draw a 20 x 20 mm rectangle. Use the push-pull tool to raise the edge by 3.5mm, and then press the Alt key to raise it again by 2mm. The upper inner surfaces are pulled inwards with the push-pull tool.

Now all unnecessary lines could be erased. But basically, we’re done.

Flash Shoe Extension

flash shoe extension - screenshot from ScetchUp

The third part is about the microphone again. This came with a dead cat. However, with a very wide-angle lens the fur gets into the top of the image. So now we’re building a hot shoe extension. I’ll start again with a rectangle. This will be the foot that goes into the hot shoe. But it will gets small ears so that it sits firmly in the flash shoe. I draw guidelines, you can’t see them, but the tools snap to their endpoints.

I’m going to start with a rectangle again. This will be the foot that goes in the hot shoe. I draw a few guides, the first 3mm from the edge, the second 2mm from the first. From the endpoints I draw 10mm long lines inwards.  The line pairs are connected on the inside with lines to form rectangles. when I delete the front edge, these rectangles are removed. At the outer edge at the front, I also draw two lines, each 2mm long. This divides the edges into several segments, even if you can’t see that now. With the selection tool I first select the one front line, then with the Shift key I add the second line. Now I can widen this pair with the Scale tool. Press the Alt key again to make it symmetrical. That was actually correct, it just looked funny. The idea is that the plate locks itself in the hot shoe  with those ears.

Now the push-pull tool is used again. I think 1.5mm is right here. This area is to become the trunk upwards. To make it easier to insert, I chamfer the front edge. I draw a line that I can then bend along, so to speak. Use the Move tool to drag the edge down. To get it where I want it, I can limit the movement with the arrow keys to certain directions. If I press the up arrow key, the line can only be moved vertically.

The upper part is simply stolen from the last model. I can select a wide area, but now there are a few edges and surfaces too many selected. I take them out of the selection while holding down the Shift key.

The part is copied and pasted into the new model. However, it is now open at the bottom. When I draw along any line, the corresponding area closes. Now I’ll add some more material downward. The blue surfaces are inside surfaces, they need to be reversed.

Now the shoe is the wrong way around. I could rotate it, but I’d rather mirror it. I select it and activate the Scale tool. When I push one of the buttons in the middle of the surface, my object is compressed. And when I push over the opposite side, it’s mirrored. As the scaling factor, I enter -1.

But this is difficult to print because of the large overhangs. So I move the shoe and put the model on its side. Now the only thing that’s not on the ground is the stem. And because of the bevel, it can also be printed without support.


You see, It isn’t all that difficult to design things in Sketchup and to print the with a 3D printer. If you liked it, I would be very happy if you press the like button or subscribe to this channel. That would help me get this channel rolling, and you won’t miss all the other great videos that are coming up. For example next week I will turn my camera into a foto trap. See you then!