Can we convert a sketch up model to a 3d printing model?


I draw my products in sketch up and print these to a brochure. We are now considering using a 3d printer to make models of our products for our sales team.
How do I get the drawing from Sketch up8 Free to a 3d printer please?
Thank you

Model looses most information when sliced for 3D printing (not manifold?)

Use the STL exporter available from the Extensions Warehouse.
That file format is usable on pretty much all 3d-printers.

However, you do need to ensure you model is a ‘Solid’.
If you group it its Entity Info should include that word in the top bar.
Try it with a simple solid cube group to see it.
Then delete a face in the group and it is no longer ‘solid’ !

There are many posts on ‘Solids’… search.
BUT here are a few rules.
A manifold ‘Solid’ is a group or component which contains only geometry - so no text, dimensions or nested groups etc within it.
Guides are allowed but they are best avoided too.
The ‘geometry’ must be only faces and their edges.
Every edge must have TWO faces: no fewer and no more.
So that means:
No faceless edges.
No edges with only one face - e.g. around a hole or a flap/shelf.
No edges with three or more faces - e.g. an internal partition face - which then has three or more faces for some of its perimeter edges, or two otherwise seemingly solid boxes sharing an edge, so in fact that edge has four faces rather than two !

You can use Section-cuts and Xray mode to get inside the form to tidy up…

Thomthom has made a Solid Inspector tool which highlights issues causing non-solidity…
You can then manually fix problem areas…
There are also some other tools available which attempt to auto-fix issues, but it is possible to make an object so convoluted they can’t cope - see SolidSolver and SUsolid…

Incidentally recently it has been realized that a seemingly ‘solid’ object can be made that is still not printable - e.g. one that is like a Klein Bottle which reenters itself, but ‘intersecting’ the group’s geometry with create the missing edges where it penetrates itself and make it non-solid. SO it’s a good tip to try an intersection after it says it’s a solid anyway !


Just think of it like a ballon, all the faces in your model is the rubber. There can’t be any holes or leftover faces/edges anywhere. If it can’t hold air/water, it’s not a solid.
So since one of these balloons have a hole and therefore can’t hold air, it’s not a solid, whereas the other one is a solid.

*Oh yea, and on a side note, 3D printing will have another factors how overhangs are difficult to print, general physics apply. See Google for details.