Imported Thingverse STL design for remix hits a wall


Using Sketchup 2016/PC/Win 10/8Gb memory.

I took a bracelet design (Creative Commons License, Thingverse) that was created with OpenScad and wanted to remix it into my design for a ceiling light. This pic of my test shows how far I got:

The next step is deleting everything behind the face. HERE’s the problem:
When I click on the bracelet it displays inside a Group box and when I select edit group the bracelet appears but the tube it’s intersecting with disappears. If I right click again and select Explode Sketchup crashes.

The bracelet is composed of a zillion individual lines (I’m guessing that’s owing to it’s OpenScad origin of programming code creation) and may be because of that some kind of conversion is necessary. Maybe it’s just plain impossible to do inside Sketchup. Thanks for your attention.


You can prevent the rest of the model from disappearing by unticking Hide rest of model in Window>Model Info>Components.

As for the crash, try scaling the model up by a factor of 100 or so and see if that works better. You might also find it easier to work with if you soften the edges of the twisted shape first.


@DaveR is right that the crash could easily be due to very short edges either originally present or being created as you edit the model.

Another thing to consider is whether you will be viewing the ceiling light in your model from a distance and angle that will make all that detail necessary. We frequently see architectural models in which a few decorative items that are almost too small to see in the view contribute a major fraction of the edges and faces in the entire model. This happens most often when the item (as here) was modeled standalone to a high degree of detail and then imported into a model of which they are an almost insignificant part.

It will take a bit of work, but you might consider redrawing the item in SketchUp using fewer edges and faces. Applying a texture can make it look very much like the original without needing so many tiny edges.


A link to the specific thingiverse file would help too.


Dave R - Thanks for that!
Slbaumgartner - redrawing that complex geometry would provoke a cranial explosion:slight_smile:
Box - thingverse file:
(it’s the 16 twist model)

Still am nudging measurements, when that’s locked I will upwardly rescale for next steps.
Thank you for checking in, I’ll report back on this.


Change the Import option to meters and it will import better. I will be slow to work with as it is hugely triangulated as all stl are. Would be much simpler to reproduce it in SU. But…


It’s pretty simple really, you’d just need to work out how many you want and what degree of twist. I wouldn’t be surprised to find the original is SU.


Watching your gif was like seeing popcorn made for the first time! Whaaat?! I’m headed over to the download Chris Fulmer’s Component Stringer and will report in later.


Seems to have a problem installing on SU 2016 (first mssg from user on page asks when is this going to install on SU 2016). Cant find it under Extensions in tool bar (or under any other toll bar heading). Went back
to warehouse and it does say it is installed on my SU.

I did find Chris’ Center on Origin extn. (I really needed that for this project because of bracelet’s odd shape)
and that DID install (even tho said it wasn’t cleared for 2016 version) and it works.

Since it’s so easy, would you generate a bracelet and send it to me? On a circle that’s got a radius of 2.99"
with the rectangle measuring a length of 1.50"


Did you look under Chris Fullmer Tools in the Extensions MENU?


Just reopened Sketchup and found Component Stringer in my ‘toolbox’ so I will give this a try
on my own later. Thanks for ‘opening my mind’ with this. I’ll check in later if this has problems
dancing w/SU 2016.


(sorry f/my serial messages)
Okay. Component Stringer does not seem to want do a full circle (altho your example worked with a circle. the homepage f/Component Stringer says the ‘path’ can’t have connected lines. so I broke the circle. [can you explain how you got it to boogie with a circle?]
My (broken) circle has a 2.99" radius and the object component is .75" X 0.08" X 0.08" (I want the ‘bracelet’ to be 1.5" tall).

I input what you showed in yr gif: NO reverse edges; NO scaling; 4 rotation and I got this:

So I’m missing something here. Suggestions?


if you rotate 4˚ per edge you need 90 edges to complete a 360˚ rotation…

also note the component axis needs to be drawn at the centre of the ‘rod’…



I am not getting this. The animation that Box created shows the object I want to create but when I use the settings indicated in that gif are creating sometthing like a ‘fence falling over’ (see my pic). Also, in that gif Box used a full circle as a guideline and according Chris Fuller’s homepage the guide must be a broken line, not connected. ALSO, according to SU and a user comment on the homepage this extension might be buggy in 2016 SU. Sooo, can someone take this to Box’s ‘bracelet’ from my ‘picket fence?’


My circle is made of 720 segments with one removed. The component width is the same as a segment and has its axis set at the center of one face. So the last component fills the gap.
You need to work out how much detail you want and create you circle and components accordingly.
You should be aware that you’ll need to adjust the components so that they intersect correctly if you want to make them into one solid.
You’ll also want to work at a larger scale and reduce when finished.


Had a few minutes to think tonight and I was wondering if you really want a spiral with all those facets or if you want something smoother like this?


I want your skillset! Your iteration is a more lovely form than the ‘original’ and I can tell it would 3D print with cleaner edges, but its core is a wider radius (than original model) and would visually read less effectively when viewed (on the ceiling, see below). Also, less spiral elements as the tight coil loses the graceful spiral element (as shown it reads more like a vacuum cleaner hose than decorative element). If you want to play around with it, PLEASE DO! = the top view (X Y) measurement of the radius from the midpoint of one spiral to the centerpoint is 2.99" and bottom-to-top measure Z axis is 1.52".

This is for a ceiling light (see the first 3D printed piece I did before wading into the current ‘bracelet’ iteration):

Note the narrower core and fewer ‘coils’ accentuate the ‘spiral’ effect more dramatically than the more tightly coiled version you sent:

This version will be printed and then brass plated and I think will read more 'antique.'
I am, btw, ending a 9 year hiatus from Sketchup because I just bought a 3D printer (I previously used SU to make concept drawings).

Last night I was thinking about of your last response and how to communicate my confusion over understanding your guidance. I am, as you suggested, now working on a much larger scale. I understood your instruction about placing the centered axis on the segment and it produced a ‘better’ result (below):

Did your Component Stringer version of the ‘bracelet’ get created solely in CS? Where did the “720” segments get factored in? There’s only 3 boxes to input in Component Stringer so I’m thinking that your gif left out some other steps (where/how does that connecting core that links the spirals happen?). Can you restate the process you used to recreate that bracelet in more detail or explain it differently?

I would like to master this extension and know how to use it for future work. It’s super-cool. I do have a bracelet in ‘usable’ form so I can probably complete my design. { I still have to delete the inner 1/2 of the bracelet and that is probably my next forum question, as it is not wanting to join faces to the model so I can just highlight and delete the unwanted 1/2 (see below, highlighting from the inside has effects on the outside also unfortunately).}

You’ve given me a path but I am not quite getting where to go next to master this extension (insert some kind of “Yoda” quote here). Anyway, I’m one step closer!


The ceiling light thing interests me . . what are measurements . . I only have 6.5 inch cube of space to print in and when I use 90% infill I get really good parts but it takes for ever to print too . .


The part I am developing has a diameter of just under 6.4.“
I use a 20% infill and that seems plenty rigid for my purposes.
My Ultimaker bed can print around a 7.5” diameter altho this piece is the largest I’ve tried.


Sorry, i missed your replies, was too busy at the time. Just had a sec and thought of this version.
Use Component Stringer to create the formwork for Curviloft and then make a radial array.
This structure will create a solid spiral ring that you can intersect with a cylinder much more easily that the multi component option.
If you are still following this I can give you more details.