How well does Sketchup work for 3d printing?

Hi guys,

I want to get into 3d modelling, and I have access to a 3d printer. I don’t want to forkout a heap on SolidWorks, so i’m looking for some freeware. I’ve heard Sketchup is very popular for modelling but I haven’t seen much discussion regarding its usefulness for 3d printing. Has anyone used it to create models you would go onto 3d print? If so, how did it go?


It works great for me.

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SketchUp works very well to create objects for 3D printing. Here is a simple example:


I use only SketchUp for drawing 3D prints.
It works very well!

SketchUp does very well at my house for my 3D printing needs.

I have had very good results printing (outsource) Nylon PA12 SLS.
And even printed a piece of jewelry in Silver (ring)

You did not mention what you will be printing, but you should expect to adjust your “resolution” of circles/arcs to best match the (limits) of the 3D printers resolution. (As relates to size/scale/etc. of course)

I’m also happy using Sketchup for 3d printing, but did consider something else, in my case that was Fusion 360 as it has a Free option for hobbyists but still I prefer Sketchup for simplicity/speed.

The only downside for me is, Sketchup doesn’t have a “History” where you can return to old iterations/versions of your model; you need to manually create those before you make major changes. (at least that’s how it works on the Desktop version, don’t know if it works differently on the Web version)

How are you getting on with this?

Just saw this now thanks to Phil. If you publish your models to your Trimble Connect storage you’ll automatically get a history. Manually using Save as… to save locally is trivial. You jut have to remember to use Save as… instead of Save.


Thanks for the input. I haven’t explored Trimble Connect much, good to know it creates a history every time you publish your model.

Don’t forget to (use a plugin to) determine if SketchUp thinks your model in fact is a solid. Even if that is the case my slicer will sometimes announce that the model must be repaired before it will slice.

I know its an old post but some one else might read this.
You will need to download the “Export STL” plug in.

Only with SU2017 and earlier. After that it is built in as an export option.

Thanks. Did not know that. My skill leval on the free sketchup is not good enough to warrent getting the paid version just yet.
Even though i have seen some good extras if i did.