View Full Version : SketchUp question

Dave Zellers
04-15-2018, 8:19 PM
If you want to 3-D print an object drawn in SketchUp do you export the 3-D model and take that .dae file to the 3-D printer?

This is a very simple project for a 7 year old whose dad has access to a 3-D printer at work. I drew the model which is his initials.

Dave Richards
04-15-2018, 9:25 PM
First, you need SketchUp to report the object as a solid group or component. That means it is watertight. All faces must be correctly oriented with front faces out as well. Generally export as an STL file which then needs to go to the slicer application that the 3D printer works from.

Did you use 3D Text to create the initials?

Dave Zellers
04-15-2018, 9:34 PM
I did explode the text and then selected all and made it a group.

But when I export as a 3D model I don't have .stl as an option- only .dae or .kmz. Is the pro version required for this?

Dave Richards
04-15-2018, 9:37 PM
Does the group show as solid in Entity Info?

What version of SketchUp are you using? There's an STL exporter extension (https://extensions.sketchup.com/en/content/sketchup-stl) available in the Extension Warehouse. Install that so you can make the STL exports.

Dave Zellers
04-15-2018, 9:45 PM
Excellent. Pretty sure I'm using the latest version, if not I'll update. Thanks!

Dave Richards
04-15-2018, 9:49 PM
If you're using Make, the most recent version is 2017 Make. If you're using Pro, it's 2018. Both are here (https://www.sketchup.com/download/all).

Dave Zellers
04-15-2018, 10:05 PM
Using Make and it says I'm up to date- v17.3.116

But I don't see in entity info where it would say it's solid. I am able to fill the whole thing with a color with one click- does that mean anything?

I'm waiting to validate my new account to be able to download the extension. Waiting on my email.

Dave Richards
04-15-2018, 10:10 PM
If it's a solid group it'll say "Solid Group" at the top of the Entity Info window instead of just "Group" and you should see a volume indicate if it's solid. Being able to paint it with a color doesn't really mean anything. If you want to send me the file, I'll take a look at it. I'll send you my e-mail address in a PM.

Dave Zellers
04-15-2018, 10:14 PM
That would be awesome.

While we're on the subject, I can't figure out how to remove the paint.

Dave Richards
04-15-2018, 10:23 PM
Paint remover? :D

What operating system?

In the Materials window you should see a square divided diagonally with most like blue and white. Sort of looks like a dive flag. That's the default material. You can use it to repaint the model.

Dave Zellers
04-15-2018, 10:33 PM
:) Mac. I thought I tried that- I'll try it again.

Dave Zellers
04-15-2018, 11:10 PM
Dave- My slow email finally woke up and I just got your file. I totally get what you did to fix it. I thought those would go away when I exploded everything and then made a single group since they share the same plane as the base.

Thanks! That was wonderful help.


Dave Richards
04-15-2018, 11:25 PM
Excellent! I'm glad it got through.

Yeah, those faces don't get removed automatically. There are some tools that can help if you are going to be doing a lot of 3D printing. I can pass those on if you are interested. Actually, it's best if you shoot for making all components and groups solid even if you aren't 3D printing from the models.

Dave Zellers
04-15-2018, 11:50 PM
OK I think this is starting to sink in. Can a 3D file be a group of other solid groups? So there was no need to try to make a single solid group for exporting a 3D file?

I've got the STL extension installed!

Dave Richards
04-16-2018, 7:46 AM
Some slicer software will handle multiple solid groups but I believe you'd want to avoid nesting them.