Drawings from Sketchup appear broken in other apps

Hello. I feel like there is something basic I’m missing when I’m doing drawings, but I can’t figure it out. I can’t seem to find an answer anywhere.

I do some basic drawings in Sketchup that I 3D print. Sometimes they come out fine, sometimes not. Recently, I did a drawing, exported the STL and imported it into PRUSA slicer. I sliced it and printed it - no problem.

I sent the same thing to a buddy and asked him to print some for me on his printer. He uses a different slicer, and he said it was all broken. I imported the STL into TinkerCAD to see what it saw next to what Sketchup shows me:

I had this problem before when I was making a halloween mask for the boy. I would draw it in Sketchup and it woudl look fine. I would export it and import it into a slicer or another CAD app - and it might be OK - or it might have a bunch of phantom junk in it.

Is there something I’m doing or not doing thats causing this? Thanks in advance.

I can attach the file somewhere if anyone is willing to peek at it.

Without that file we can only guess what’s the problem…
Just drag it in the reply window or use the 8th icon from the left…

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Orient the faces of your model correctly. A printable solid should only show white faces. Your model has blue back faces showing.


Box got it in one.

Your modeling process isn’t correct and you are leaving exposed back faces. This creates the problem.

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You should download the plugin Solid inspector, it’s one of the most useful plug-ins if you do 3D printing.

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Thank you for all the replies! Sorry for my slow reply. Stupid work…

I’ve attached the file, but you are right about the faces - some are white and some are blue. I never knew what that meant. Let me google!

I’ve attached the file if you want to see it - but I’ll research faces and download that inspector!
keychain2.skp (116.8 KB)

Right click on the top face and choose Orient Faces. That’ll sort out the reversed faces.

The faces in SketchUp have no thickness but they have fronts and backs. As far as 3D printing is concerned, the back sides of the faces is toward the print media and the front faces are toward air.

It looks to me as if you drew the outlines for the piercings and then extruded the face with Push/Pull before deleting the faces in the pierced areas. Instead, delete the faces and then extrude the shape to 3D.

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All - that did the trick, thank you. My faces were all wrong. I just oriented the faces and it worked great.

Thank you all for the quick / easy fix. That was perfect!

I also downloaded that Solid Inspector. I’ll learn how to use that too.

Thanks again!!!