Design fills in all the holes I need? HELP


Continuing the discussion from 3D Print Failing:

I am having the same problem, and in trying to solve it made it worse. I am using a Lulzbot Taz 5 and virtually every time I see daylight through a hole in the design it prints as a solid. I run designs through Solidworks 2 hoping it will make something 3D printable but no luck yet. Here is a play on some Christmas ornaments that some other people were doing except since I had red filament I was doing the Imperial Guard. I started with a rectangle and just drew it out with arcs and lines then extruded to 3mm high in the center with some other parts being 2mm and 1mm thick. The first time I tried to print it the outer characters were not connected to the center so redesigned how they connect to the center. After that one of the characters just disappeared then after that I noticed the back wasn’t filled solid so I fixed that then everyone showed up but nothing above 2mm printed so I tried to back up to where the back wasn’t solid it printed all the holes solid. Here is the file


Your model is far away from being ready for 3D printing for the reason that it is not a solid.
To be solid/watertight a shape must be closed all around.
Your model is missing the face from bellow and also has plenty of faces that are left from the previous operations. No faces should exist inside this solid volume.
I have fixed this for you and please, go ahead and see the differences between the two models to learn.
From your model I assume that you never looked under your part at all. Just press and keep the scroll wheel down and push the mouse forward to orbit under the part to see the faults.
Imperial Guard Ornament fixed.skp
(483.5 KB)


There are a lot of problems with your model that prevent it from being properly recognized as a solid (a requisite for 3D printing), including many instances of reversed faces, missing faces, and extraneous edges.

There are a few basic requirements for constructing a model in SU that will 3D print satisfactorily. Before you spin your wheels any more, I suggest you familiarize yourself with these requirements. See the following article, at a minimum:

3D Printing a Model



I have a workflow to get from screen to printed object. Model, check with solid inspector, clean-up with Clean-up3, export as stl. Load into netfabb, recheck and repair if required, re-export to overwrite the original stl. Load into slic3r, orientated if required (my printer does a better and more reliable print if the longest side is in the Y axis), slice, then print.

Everyone who prints their models should have a tried and tested workflow, which will highlight errors before you chew through filament and discover your holes are not holes and you are attempting to print the unprintable.


As always you have been so helpful, I REALLY APPRECIATE your time and knowledge.

I wonder if it is okay to leave the rectangle I start with. When I deleted the extraneous parts of the rectangle everything lost the back of the design. I filled all that back in and the print was crazy, everything was perfect instead of six guys there were only five yet the skirt outline by the printer showed that there should have been six, and it all went downhill from there. Another thing I can’t figure out is reversed faces, I have a face that is light gray, I want it to look white. Right click on the face and choose reverse face and nothing happens. It is still light gray, so I was letting Solidworks figure it out. So I will read the article you suggested and I’ll look into Cleanup3 and netfabb.
Thanks again.


For the future you should try to create clean solid models from the beginning instead of searching for good repairing tools. You will get better models this way…


Agree…I only use them as a sanity check. Build correctly to begin with and don’t rely on tools to fix bad design errors.


Sanity left a long time ago, the only difference between the print on the left and the right is a single rectangle that I have recreated over and over again in different ways trying to make a difference. I can find no logical reason for the disconnect so yeah I hope the extensions figure it out.


Attach he file. It’s probably very simple. Reversed faces for example.
But without seeing the model we can’t help.


Hello Miles,

I hope this post finds you well.

TL;DR - I exported it into a .stl instead of a .obj and it kept the hole in the model.

I was having the same problem. I was building a model on Sketchup Make
which had a hole in the middle. I would check if I built it properly, going
so far as to try many different methods of doing the same thing over and over.
I installed a Solid Inspector which told me that my model had no problems.
However when I opened it up in MakerBot Desktop, the preview of the model
always had the hole filled in. I felt like I would go insane.

Out of complete desperation, I decided to try using a .stl file instead of a .obj
file, and guess what? It actually worked. Honestly, I felt like most of my effort was
all wasted until that point.

I sincerely hope this works for you. I’m honestly not sure why this worked at all.


Question there . . Did you make the hole go all the way through the part ? . . Maybe in the Makebot program check if it has a build support for box ! . . I had the exact opposite bottom was not there until I added text to it . . I have a Geeetech Pro C Dual Extruder 3 D printer to make things with . . And found a problem they did not figure on in the Control Board GT2560 . .Waiting on their fix for it now ! ! Seems pin on board will not handle both Extruder’s and heated bed at the same time to much current . . Made letter “L” with glow in the dark infill . . Fried the pin and board . .

I use Repetier-Host to print with and Slic3r to make layers with . .


I learned that I needed to be much more methodical and to check the design with solid works every time I added a polygon, I tried waiting until the end and by that time there are so many problems on problems solid works or any extension can’t fix them all. In the end sometimes what this program does is just a mystery.




Hello Lynne,

I am still very new to 3D printing so the jargon isn’t as familiar to me, but answer your question:
Yes, the hole goes all the way through the middle on my design.
Hopefully, you can see this (I’m new so I can only attach one picture).

Picture 1: The green model was what I wanted to create, and I did manage to do it after many, many, many times redesigning it. The white model was what it initially came out looking like, when I printed despite the preview looking like this.

After finally managing to print the green model, I thought I would like to reduce the amount of time and material the model required took to print it so I redesigned it to look like Picture 2.

And it looks the same on MakerBot when I initially open it up, as you can see from Picture 3.

However, if I look at the print preview, Picture 4 is what it looks like (and ultimately, how it will print out).

Sorry for the extremely long post, there’s just a lot to show since this is a project I’ve been working on for a very long time. Mostly because the printer I use is a printer available for public use, and not my own.

EDIT: But as I said in my previous post, I managed to fix this problem when I used a .stl file, instead of a .obj file. I’m lead to believe that this has something to do with how the MakerBot program interprets different files.


I would recommend sticking with a .STL file for 3d printing. To be honest, I did not even know that you could import a .OBJ file into MakerWare!


@TheOnlyAaron has it right … STL files work great with MaketBot.

MakerBot has this to say about file types:

An STL is a widely-used type of 3D model file. It consists of surfaces made up of triangles. Each triangle has an inner side and an outer side. The outer side is called the “normal.” In a well-formed STL, all the normals face outward and the surface is continuous, with no holes. When a model meets these standards, it is referred to as “manifold.” STLs with normals that face inwards (inverted normals) may be printable, but manifold models are typically considered mandatory for 3D printing.

STLs are compatible with many different 3D modeling programs and have become the standard file type for 3D printable models. SolidWorks®, Rhinoceros®, and most Autodesk® programs will export STL files, and there are free plugins available that will allow you to export STLs from SketchUp®.

An OBJ is another type of 3D model file. It is also used by a number of 3D modeling programs, but is used for 3D printing less often than STL. Unlike STLs, where every facet of your 3D model is a triangle, an OBJ can contain both triangles and other polygons. Rhinoceros and some Autodesk programs will export OBJ files, but other programs, including SketchUp and SolidWorks, will require a plugin to export as OBJ.

As a side note, SketchUp DAE files work great for 3D color printing with textures.


@TheOnlyAaron @jimhami42

Thank you very much, both! That was interesting information on the different file types. I didn’t know there was a preferred file type for MakerBot, but ya live and ya learn.
I guess I know which file format I’ll be sticking to from now on!


Looks like a good part to me . . So what do you have for printer . . Still looking for printer to maybe replace this one with . . Did you use the Export to STL addition to Sketchup ? . . I am also new and learning the stuff I can make with it, made 2 parts bring used now ! ! both have Made by Lynne on inside LOL Please write back !
I have about a 6.5 inch cube of space to make things in . .



Ii was wondering… How can I do that in nettfab basic: remove all faces inside a solid shape???
I’m trying to make 3d papershapes and everytime there are shapes inside that I do not want…