Making 3D text printable. Problem to make outer shell



I have made a fairly simple 3D model.
I wan to ad some text into it.
I have managed to make the graphics solid group and outer shell. This can be exported as a stl file, no problem.
When i enter text it appears as solid group. I can even make this a an outer shell.
But when i want to add some more geometry (basically a thin box going through all the letters in the text to make them hold together when printing) it all goes crazy.
Many times i get a “bug splash”, the program crashes, or i lose some of the letters in the group or it refuses to stay as a solid group.
Any tips from you guys? Im desperate right now.
BR Sten


I’m going to guess that you are working at a very small scale, this can cause problems.
Have a look at using this method.


Where do you add it?

If you add it directly into the text’s solid group, you risk making the group not a solid anymore if you don’t know exactly what you do.

A solid is a manifold with well-defined topology where every edge is connected to exactly two faces. If you mess with the geometry and produce a stray/orphan edge or an edge being connected two 3 faces, it is no solid anymore. SketchUp breaks crossing edges, so if the thin box is drawn within the text’s group and intersects one of the text’s edges, it results in an improper topology that you would have to manually cleanup (Solid Inspector is a help).

  • Add the thin box not in the existing solid group, but as a separate solid group.
  • Use Outer Shell to merge both solids.


Thanks a lot for your advice.
That will be the problem.
But i have also tried to add a simple “plate” under the text. Connecting surfaces, not going through. Same result.
God, its frustrating…


I will look int that. It is fairly small but not microscopic. I think the model is about 100 mm long and about 15 high.


Then it could happen that if the text’s bottom faces are merged with the plate’s top face, you get internal faces whose edges are connected two 3 faces (not a solid anymore).


Uploading the model would help us solve it for you.