3D Printing using SketchUp: tutorial

The easy way is not to upload your model to the 3D Warehouse in the first place. Is there something that makes you think you are required to upload your models to the Warehouse?

There is an option to make your files private when you do upload them if you really want to have them in the Warehouse but not publicly available. I don’t use the Warehouse very often but I have a few components and models uploaded there. None of them are available publicly, though.

I was just reading the feed about 3D printing and It happened to say to upload the model so on and so forth. Can we still do that with keeping it private?

Is there any magic to working with SketchUp and the new Makerbot 3D printers that you know of? Will I have to save and transfer the files to some other software to get everything to work right?

Are there any books you can recommend for 3D Printing?


Generally you need to export a .stl file of the SketchUp model as that is the sort of file the slicer software is expecting. There’s no need to upload it to the Warehouse though. All recent versions of SketchUp can export .stl files natively. The key is to make sure you have created “solid” components or groups.

By the way, there are extensions like TIG’s Solid Solver and ThomThom’s Solid Inspector2 that are useful for 3D printing.

There are thousands of fabulous drawings on the SU Warehouse and I’m happy to hear about then Printability feature. The most challenging thing that I find needs to be worked is the models that have surfaces with no thickness. To make a pleasing and accurate drawing your eye doesn’t care if the surface you’re viewing has any thickness. But the minute you desire to turn that drawing into a real-world solid object, surfaces without thickness cannot exist. Making these changes on an existing SU drawing can be painstaking and take hours. I wanted to make a fork lift truck for my model railroad and found a great one. But all the sheet metal surfaces were two dimensional. All of the surfaces had to be extruded to make them with substance and then there’s the real-world requirement that they must be thick enough to exist once printed. The printer I have (an Elegoo Mars 3 hi-res LCD UV printer) will print a surface as thin as tissue paper, but you couldn’t get it off the machine, supports removed and cleaned without it disappearing into nothing. In my scale (usually 1:48), anything thinner than 1/32" (1mm) is too thin to hold up unless it’s well supported on all sides.

Once you fix all the 2 dimensional surfaces, then you have to go back and analyze for all reversed surfaces. STL file interpreters do not recognize reversed surfaces as real. I change the reversed surfaces on the Styles edit menu to be a bright red or green so they immediately show themselves. After ensuring all outer facing surfaces are ‘normal’ I then use Solid Inspector 2 and Cleanup 3 to evaluate for any breaks in the object rendering it NOT SOLID. Even then I’ll view the STL when it gets in the slicer and find an errant face that shows up as a black hole indicating that something’s not right with it. Sometimes in SU that face may look normal. I’ll reverse it then revert it back and that fixes it. Other times I actually erase it and redraw and that sometimes solves the problem.

The original post on this thread is from 2015. As far as I know there is currently not any kind of printability feature on the 3D warehouse. You can search using the tag “is:printable” which yields some results but no guarantees and there is not a way to download .stl files directly.

It’s worth noting too that ‘in computing terms’ the 3d warehouse existed eons before 3d printing became a thing that the average user had access to.