How to work with imported stl files in sketchup web

I’m working with sketchup web and stl files. I can’t get anything done on most stl models.
I paid for the sketchup version instead of the free version because I thought it would be easier to work with. I find the paid version is almost no different than the free version. The “training” offered by sketchup is useless for the issues and questions I have.

After searching the community, web and youtube I can’t find answers to any of the issues I’m having.
If I do find something similar, it rarely fixes the issues I’m having.
I work with imported stl files in almost all cases.

Why doesn’t sketchup web have an option for Merge Coplanar Faces or Preserve Drawing Origin when importing files.

When I import a stl file how can I make the drawing scale relative to the scale of the model?
Not the size of a human.
For instance, if the model is 4"x4" how can I make the drawing area scale similar to that.
When I import a stl file can it be placed at the origin automatically? If not, can the model be moved to the origin with one of the tools.

After importing the stl most of the tools don’t work. I can’t push pull, creating components, joining, etc. doesn’t work on the model. What am I doing wrong?

For stl files many surfaces are triangle shape and considered multi surface plane. How can I combine /group/split or whatever those surfaces so I use the push/pull and other tools.

Can I convert stl files to a different format before importing them so they’ll be easier to work with in sketchup web.

By their nature .stl files are triangulated. After importing the .stl file you can select the geometry and soften the edges.

Zoom in on the model. It would be the same for any size of object you might bring in or create.

When you import the .stl you have hold of it with the Move tool. Click to drop it at the origin. Or if you didn’t do that, select the component and use the Move tool to move it there.

If the faces are coplanar you can erase the edges in between to make a larger single face.

What is it you are working on that requires you to import a .stl file in the first place? Maybe there’s a better option.

By the way, your profile says you have a SketchUp Pro license. That would imply you have access to SketchUp Pro. You could be working in that instead of SketchUp Go and have many more options for dealing with the excess geometry in .stl files.

I don’t know where you see the pro license. My trimble account page only lists GO.
I’m sure that is what I paid for.

Frequently when I try to move to the origin or place it there on import the model is no longer visible.
I rotate the drawing area, but I don’t see it anywhere.
Is there a way to center on the model regardless of where it is?

So there is no way to start with a different scale based on the object instead of the human size scale?
Maybe I’m saying this wrong. Can I import the file and start with a view of the object that is zoomed in. Placing a very small object on that initial scale doesn’t make sense to me. They are frequently so small compared to human size that I can barely see it. Zooming and rotating to the size of the small object is excruciating. I must be doing it wrong.

When I can move it close to the origin it is never aligned. It is off center on one or more of the axis.
I prefer to have the model in one place because it is easier to locate and manipulate.

When I click on the eraser and then the model the entire model is erased.
How do I erase just the area you mentioned?

I am importing models created for 3d printing. They are almost always stl files.
I’ll make some small change to the part are all of the model. Most often just to change dimensions.

You put SketchUp Pro in your forum profile.
Screenshot - 6_23_2023 , 9_22_26 AM

Perhaps the original model from which the .stl file was created has the origin at a great distance.

Use Zoom Selection. Select the component in Outliner, right click on it, choose Zoom Selection.

You’re working with real world dimensions in SketchUp, not a scale. You can zoom in closer to the origin before importing the file if you want. If this thing you are importing was a real object sitting on your bench and you wanted to see it more closely you wouldn’t stand across the room. You’d move in closer to it.

As above, use Zoom Selection after importing.
zoom selection

The thing will come in with its alignment set as it was when the .stl file was created. Go back to whomever created the file in the first place and ask them to set it up correctly and generate a new .stl file for you.

You first need to open the component for editing before you can work on the geometry inside.

Maybe you should just learn to create your own models for 3D printing.

All of your questions make it clear you haven’t taken the time to learn the fundameentals of using SketchUp. Before you do anything else to to and go through the tutorials.

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Thanks for your help. I’ve learned alot. Will continue working with it.

I work with a lot of STL files and most of the tools that make that process manageable are extensions (which can only run in SketchUp for Desktop). I am not trying to upsell, just pointing out my process. If I need to import an STL to edit it, I usually use Skimp (paid extension) so that I can reduce the geometry as needed. From there, I use CleanUp3 to merge faces and reduce geometry that I have to deal with. As I manipulate geometry, I rely on Solid Inspector (available in SketchUp for Web) to assure me that the geometry is still manifold. You CAN do quite a bit in SketchUp for Web, but editing imported files is something that can be a little difficult given access to only the stock web tools.