Help to Merge organic solids


I use Sketchup in Architecture with Pro 2018, but I play in Sketchup to do some fun things and 3D print them. One of the things that has challenged me is that I create organic shapes/solids in Sketchup, but when I try to merge them Sketchup can’t keep then as solid. Yes, I have Solid Inspector 2 and it may help but typically it can’t. I think it has to do with Sketchup making curves out of straight segments and when it tries to join things it can’t do it and segments are left open because line/edges don’t meet other line/edges. Is there an Extension that does this better? Really appreciate everyone’s help in the past. You guys help take the frustration out of this old guy’s attempt to have fun. Cheers.


I imagine its an issue related to size. You’ll get more responses if you can upload your model or one that illustrates your difficulty.


As @mics_54 noted, you might be running into the “tiny edge problem” (search the forums for “The Dave Method” for a work-around). However, depending on what you’re trying to “merge”, you can save yourself a lot of grief by not merging the geometry. For example, I have three organic shapes I created for a lava lamp model:

If I wanted them to be merged, I can simply position them where I want them and let the slicer sort things out:


In MakerBot:

In Slic3r:


I’ve used this approach for a number of models that would have been nearly impossible to ever get merged properly. All of them have been printed successfully. An additional benefit is when you want to move a detail later, you just simply move the component (or group) and export the STL again.


Often you don’t need to have a monosolid to print. Having a bunch of different solids can be enough. The printer software slices the model up to 2D layers, and often can handle overlapping shapes quite well when printing.


“Bool Tools” is an alternative plugin for merging solids, I have found that it can be more successful than the native solid tools some of the time.


The issue is having the printer doing work inside the objects that are overlapping. I prefer a clean hollow single object when printing for all the reasons of time and material. Maybe I am not understanding what you are trying to say.