3d printing from vector image



I’m toying with an idea to design a pendant in SketchUp for 3d printing. I am aware that SketchUp is not necessarily designed for creating 3d jewellery, but since it’s the only 3d program I’m vaguely familiar with, I’d like to give it a go.

Any ideas how would I go around it? I don’t want to stick to just push/pull tool, because I don’t want sharp edges, it needs to be quite smooth. I can easily create the base round medallion with smooth oblique edge around it, but when it comes to getting the central piece to look nice, I’m lost.

Let’s say I want to create a small relief based on a design like this:

(borrowed from https://www.behance.net/gallery/11707675/Lion-Head-Logo-Template page)

One idea I had was to create some extra contour lines inside, elevate them and use the sandbox option, but I either lack the skill to do it, or it’s a lost case. I know the Artisan plugin has some sculpting options which would probably work, but before I consider spending money on it, do you think I have any other options?


There are a few methods…
Import the image and trace over it etc.
Or my ImageTrimmer with a PNG version with transparency etc, with pushpulling to give a thickness [you’d probably want to give it a single solid ‘base’, otherwise it’ll be in bits, but you can work out that part]…

Lion.skp (556.5 KB)



Many thanks. I got that far by outlining the contours manually, but push/pull is exactly what I was trying to avoid - it has sharp edges and no depth to it. I was trying to raise it gradually using sandbox, but the result is tragic:

Thanks for the tip with ImageTrimmer though - it will definitely come in handy!


Maybe Soap Skin & Bubble extension (in the EW) after TIG’s Image Trimmer?


Looks like a nice extension, but I’m not sure whether it would help. If I get it right it simulates a fabric attached to arches, creating a centre of gravity in the middle, while I need the middle to be curved up, not down. Even if I it allows to reverse it I guess I lack the imagination how to apply it in my case.

The Artisan tool seems to have a trial period, I’ll check it out, but I don’t feel too eager to spend $40 on an extension even if id does the job…


I just had a thought - is there a way (an extension?) to convert a surface into a mesh? Once that’s done I should be able to use the ‘smoove’ tool to model it?


Ok, I’ve managed to sort of manually add the mesh and use the ‘smoove’ to sculpt it. The only problem is that ‘smoove’ doesn’t lock the bounding contours and shifts them up as well… It seems like every new idea backfires on me…