Making a 3D Pen Blank

Good Day

I am trying to make a 3D drawing to print on my 3D printer. It is of a pen blank.

Pen Blank1.skp (212.0 KB)

I think as far as most of the drawing goes bar the “X’s” i am almost there.

I have done this so I can try and understand the first beginers tutorial.

What I can do at the moment is press back the surroundings of the “X” When I use the push / pull tool it all pushes down. The “X” and the background.

I am also not sure what the next step is to getting it ready to go to the 3D printer

Thank you

You’d need to explode the ‘X’ components to make them cut the face. Then you can push the background down.

All the blue faces are inside-out and need reversed. There’s some other weird geometry needing tidied up too before you’re ready to print.

@McGordon Thank you for your help, this is my first drawing outside the tutorial I am not sure what you mean when you say

Also the

Select X, Explode, select surround, push down and inference point at bottom of the O.

To reverse a face, right-click on it and choose “Reverse Faces”. Setting a keyboard shortcut for this is a good idea. You can also right-click on a white face and choose “Orient Faces” which will try and orient them all the same way, but it won’t work if you have a non-solid shape like this.

Your O shapes don’t have any thickness. There’s a ring at top that hides the problem.

I pushed the ring down, then back up again to give the cylinder walls thickness.

@McGordon thank you, Let me work on this now and resolve the issues you have highlighted for me. Thank you for the soloutions


I have followed your instructions I think. Would you check it for me. I am not sure how I got it inside out or quite what it means but I did as you advised and reveresed all the faces

.Pen Blank1.01.skp (232.0 KB)

Each face has a front and a back. You want all the fronts facing outwards. This might cause problems when 3D printing if you don’t. The default backface colour is blue and you still have some blue:

The end face is an easy fix, just reverse it.

The inside of the cylinders is blue because there’s only a single skin with no thickness, as mentioned earlier. You might also need to make the face form at the bottom of the ‘cup’ to make the whole object a solid. I had to do that with most of your circles to make it solid. To force the face to form, draw a chord across it then delete the chord. You could also draw a line over one of the segments of the circle if you’re careful.


I think I have now got all the face in the right direction, I have also made the cylinders have a wall thickness.

I have noticed the third “X” has faces in the wrong direction, I have tried to reverse them and the reverse face inverts. I am not sure what the problem with that one is. I think that is the first one I drew.

Pen Blank 1.02.skp (257.7 KB)

I didn’t see that happening here when I reversed them, but there’s a stray line inside your centre X:


That’s the blue edge (selected) in x-ray mode.

If you don’t already have it, Solid Inspector2 is a very handy extension for finding problems. This is what it shows for your model:

Are you going to print this then turn it on a lathe to make the pen?

@McGordon i am wanting to print it. Then fill the gaps with Resin. Then turn it on my lathe to make a pen.

If that drawing is ready i dont actually know what the next step is

I would tidy it up in SketchUp first. Get it reporting as a solid in Entity Info or Solid Inspector. The Xs and Os aren’t equally spaced, one of the Os touches the wall.

When it is ready, I suppose the next step would be to export as .stl and import into your slicer software and have a look at it there. You might find new problems there like the walls are too thin or the gaps between them too small, etc.

@McGordon So I decided to just simpliy things until I understood more. So I did one section of the fen Blank, then I want to print it so that I can get a better understanding.

The X in the box seems to be right, Until you view it from the bottom, its hollow, I am not sure how to make this a solid?

Is there anything else that is not correct,

I will scale it down when getting it ready to print.

Many thanks

Pen Section1.skp (126.4 KB)

How do I add this addon

You’re almost there, you just need to add some thickness to the bottom.
So use Push/pull to extend the rim, remove the face internally (I’ve done that by selecting the corners and deleting them.
Then delete one edge and the bottom skin will form, triple click one of the remaining edges to select all three and delete.
Then triple click the whole thing to select all and right click Make Group.

Do you mean the Solid Inspector2 extension? It’s in the Extension Warehouse. In SketchUp, open the Extension Warehouse window. Search for “Solid Inspector”, there’s 2 versions, I showed using version 2 but the old one has its uses too.

It would be nice if you posted some photos when you print this.

@Box thank you very much for your help. The tool, a red X in a circle is not showing in my tool bar, how do I add it

Many thanks

That is just delete, you can hit delete on your keyboard.
The actual Icon is part of the ‘Standard’ toolbar.

@Box I have exported it as a 3D object, but how do I get it to be horizontal its standing up on an edge in Cura.

I don’t have cura, but no doubt it has a rotate function.

Yes, it does have a rotate tool so just rotate it.
If you export it from SketchUp with swap yz coordinates OFF, you won’t have to rotate it.

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