How to make layers of 2D image (.psd) into 3D


I want to take an image from a .psd file format and add it to 3d object in relief. Specifically, I want to add my image to the surface of a 3d printed object in “relief,” or the sculptural technique to raising a 2d image into 3d.

More specifically, adafruit has .stl format for 3d printing a gameboy top and bottom that can be put together to house a raspberry pi inside, thus making a homemade gameboy. I am trying to add my favorite logo to the outside of the gameboy by taking my logo image, and i want to make it stick out on the front of the gameboy just a little bit. cool, huh?


Hi Dustin,

Import the image into SketchUp and trace it; thereby making closed loops of edges to create faces.
Push/Pull the faces into 3D and then make the logo a Group you can position on the larger model.
Explode the logo Group within the editing context of the larger model.
Then triple click on it to Select All > Right context click > Intersect Faces > With Selection
Erase what you don’t need.

You didn’t mention if the location of the logo is flat or contoured.
I presumed it has contours and so used a copy of the larger model as a cutting plane.
The end result being the height of the logo remains constant
See this model for ideas.




Thank you for the response! My image (see below) has lots of edges and curves, so tracing is a little work. I thought there could be an easier way since it is only black and white. Also, in .psd format the white is really not a layer at all.

Tracing is still the best option? Perhaps other who have 3D printing projects would like to be able to import images like this. Thanks again for your response!



I normally would rather teach folks to fish rather than provide the catch and I encourage Geo’s suggestion to trace your image especially if you are wanting to keep the polygon/edge count manageable … but there are services that will convert a raster image to a vector dxf file. I have tested these in the past and they usually provide pretty poor quality vector drawings but since you are dealing with a crisp simple b&w image, the result from your image was pretty nice. After getting the dxf, I just imported it into SketchUp Pro

Here are a few of the aforementioned services:

Be aware that the resulting vector drawing may consist of a large number of edges.




I did a quick trace vs dxf import test.

The resulting trace method is appox 8x SMALLER than the dxf import


That would be my choice.

I brought the image in, traced the tree and drew the ring in < 15 minutes.
Top View • Profiles On • X-Ray Mode …works well for tracing images.
Zoom in close(er) if the inference engine insists on having its way for lines that are near, but not on, the axes.

The 3D Text tool makes the text the easy part.
My first guess was Century font. It’s close but not quiet perfect.



Here is an option you can do IF you happen to have both Illustrator and SketchUp Pro: You can use Illustrator’s Image Trace feature to create a vector shape. Then you can export and import into SketchUp via .dwg. I went off in on a tangent in one of my Match Photo videos showing you how to do this:

Check out the 29:39 mark if that link doesn’t work.



Just for grins, I doctored up (removed the black/white reversal) and fed an image of the font to a web site called WhatTheFont, which tries to identify fonts. The ligature between the f and i in Mayfield was freaking out the web site, so I doctored the image a bit more to separate the characters. Here are the results:

Garamond Bold looks like a close match, but apparently some graphic designer fiddled with it to justify his fee.