3d text not printing the number 4


Odd issue, but for some reason, my printer or sketchup can not handle the number 4 for 3d text. In sketchup, the number are perfect, no extra faces, they are a solid. I use export stl from extension warehouse. My 3d printer software opens it with no issues. it looks just fine in the software. i hit print, it can print any number but the number 4. It makes a single layer and then does not add upon it. so strange.
here are some pics of it. I have also attached the SU file. When i sliced it, i noticed that the number 4 had only 2 layers while the others had 4.

5_8in 3_4in.skp (194.9 KB)

The above is in my printing software. so it shows up nice.



I think I would be looking at the slicer software.

Can you don anything with this?
5_8in 3_4in.skp (213.5 KB)


Ok, i just exported as an stl from skechup and in the stl, the number 8 doesnt show up. That was before slicing. My stl of the extruded numbers shows all numbers fine but the slicer software doesnt like number 4 haha. I tried 2 differnt stl viewers and number 8 is a no show haha



I agree with @DaveR that your slicer is suspect. I notice in your images that the ‘/’ also gets half the layers and appears to have slight hooks at the ends. The ‘3’ is the only other number visible in your image, but one characteristic that separates it from ‘/’ and ‘4’ is that it contains some curved sides. Maybe that affects the slicer?


that could. Number 5, 3 and 8 are just fine in the full image, but i only grabbed the ones affected haha. yes, the slash is affected as well. hmm. this is interesting. Whats going to be difficult, this is a propriatery slicer. it saves in a .3w file which requires a special header format that the printer requires.



I changed the units in your model to millimeters and then exported it as an STL file.

In Slic3r it looks like this:


In MakerBot it looks like this:

I’ve sometimes had odd things happen if my model isn’t in millimeters.


Hmm, thats interesting. I do export it as mm in the export stl optiins window. Did you select mm or model units?

Also, when you say convert from inches to mm in sketchup, are you referring to window-model info-units-change to mm?

Thanks for the pics. Ill see what slic3r shows for me. Wish i could use slic3r for my software but my printer can not read any files except a propritery encoded file haha


I left everything alone and changed the model units to mm in “Model Info”:


When I exported the STL file, I used:


However, when I upload it to Shapeways, it warns me that the highlighted areas are a bit thin for their printer. Note the issues with the fours and eights:


My guess is that your printer resolution (and its slicer) can’t deal with the thin areas. I would recommend a larger (or heavier) font. My personal favorite for 3D printing is “Arial Rounded MT Bold” which has a relatively even stroke width that prints well:


Whats this shapeways? I like that. Ok, i will try a heavier font and see what happens. These are a fathers day gift for my dads wood working projects. They are radius gauges haha. I have uploaded the files to thingverse for any and all. I can share the link if people want them


Shapeways is a 3D printing vendor that I’ve used for about five years now for all of my 3D printing needs. While I’ve considered buying my own printer, I don’t really do enough printing to justify it. There are many other quality vendors available, but as long as Shapeways has satisfied my needs, I haven’t had a reason to try another. Over the years, I’ve had things printed in plastic (laser-sintered nylon), brass, steel, silver, gold, full-color sandstone (gypsum), and ceramics. This would be incredibly costly to do with my own printer(s).

There’s no charge to create an account and upload your models. When you’re ready to print, you just place an order and wait a few days (usually 5-10) for delivery. They also provide the ability for you to mark a model as “For Sale” and they will take care of all of the issues / problems associated with printing your model and selling it to the end customer for you.


Thats a nice service to have available. I will have to try them out and see how it goes. I am redoing the radius gauges. I discoverd that my arcs were correct radii, but i disnt have enough of an arc to meassure as accuratly as i would like haha


This topic was automatically closed 91 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.