Have You Tried The TrussFab Plugin Yet?


During your next SketchUp course, make sure you mention the TrussFab plugin to your teacher and see what they have to say about it. It’s definitely one that’s worth playing around with, because you don’t need any specialist equipment or specific knowledge of engineering as such to 3D print and build large-scale structures that can actually support human weight.

It was created by researcher Robert Kovacs and a team of scientists at the Human Computer Interaction Lab, part of the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam in Germany. The aim was to allow people to create huge sturdy structures using 3D printed connections and plastic bottles – both quick and easy to construct.

The plastic bottles are treated like beams that then join together to make trusses, which are the basic building blocks of any structure created using the plugin. You can also use it to convert your existing 3D models automatically into a TrussFab structure, as well as building and manipulating something completely fresh and new.

Speaking to Digital Trends recently, Mr Kovacs said: “Our original motivation came from a desire to increase the capabilities of desktop 3D printers. In particular, we wanted to work out how to create large objects using these machines that normally print much smaller objects. We thought we could do this by creating connectors for joining larger pre-existing objects – and soda bottles seemed to be the perfect choice for that.”

It now couldn’t be easier for anyone – literally, anyone – to design and build a large-scale structure that can support someone’s body weight, just by using the TrussFab SketchUp editor. You can also play around with it and add your own design elements if you so choose.

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