My STL File is Missing Some Sections

Hi All,

New user here (2020 Web Free). I used SketchUp in college for modeling in architecture class but overall I’m a newb.

I’m a photographer working on a 3D printed camera housing. I’m ready to print my first test but my STL file appears to be missing some sections that are in my SketchUp file. Maybe there are some internal faces I need to fix or get rid of? I’m using the free version so no Solid Inspector. Should I just upgrade and then check via the latest Solid Inspector? I’ve attached some screenshots for reference. Two major flat faces on the left piece are missing. You can see they are totally gone in the STL file. I’d post more photos but it seems new users are limited to one image. Any thoughts?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


It would help if you share the .skp file.

Having Solid Inspector can be worth the price if you are going to do a bunch of this kind of stuff.

Thanks Dave!

SKP file attached/shared…I think. Again, new to this so learning quickly.

Nope. You need to first download it to your computer. Click on the pancake menu in the upper left corner and choose Download. Then upload the .skp file by dragging it into your reply.

Dave, you’re quick.

Thanks again. File attached.

Yes, will likely upgrade the account since I plan on doing more 3D modeling if this housing is a success.

GShapiro_FujiCardiaHousing_Test_1.skp (872.9 KB)

Too hot and humid to be outside today.

So here’s what Solid Inspector reports.

One clue you can use to tell if your model is printable is to check to see that the components are shown as Solid in Entity Info.

One of the problems has to do with reversed faces. Painting them with a material doesn’t fix that. You need to correct the orientation of those blue faces. Working in Monochrome is helpful to be able to identify the problematic face orientations. As much fun as it might be to apply materials as you go, don’t do it until the model is cleaned up and all right. For 3D printing face orientation is important because it tells the printer where the printing media is and where there is supposed to be air.

Here. I’ve cleaned up your file. Try this in your slicer and see how you get on.
GShapiro_FujiCardiaHousing_Test_1.skp (512.7 KB)

By the way, from the appearance of your model it looks like you could use a little different work flow and avoid a lot of the issues in the first place.

Thanks Dave,

Hot day indeed. Just got back from the beach with my other waterproof cameras. This will be added to the bunch when complete.

Copy that on the reversed faces. I’m still learning. If I simply right click and “reverse face” will this fix the issue? I guess it just means I have the inside facing out so it’s hollow and not solid. Having trouble with entity info and determining solids. Is this because I’m using the free version? Yes, guilty aa charged with painting my reversed faces blue. Lesson learned there. Will mess around and see what happens. Overall, does rest look solid? Pun intended I guess.

I sent my reply before you sent your fixed version. Thank you, very nice of you to do. Someone should be paying you more.

Noted on the workflow. Coming at this purely as a novice. I’m sure my process is completely flawed. As long as it works for now. Will get better as I do more.

Yes. You can select a bunch of incorrect faces and reverse them in one go, too.

Yeah, kind of. In this application think of SketchUp’s faces as the interface between air and the printing media. Anywhere there should be air, you should see white front faces.

Have you found Entity Info? If you select a component it should tell you that it is a solid component or just a component.

A note about what it takes for a component to be considered solid: Every edge in the component must be shared by exactly two face. No more and no less. So that means no edges without attached faces, no missing faces and no internal faces. You can poke through your version of the model to find those offenders. You can’t have a component nested with loose geometry, either. The 3D text in your model is a component nested with loose geometry. If you look at that in my version, you’ll see that the lid geometry is a solid component as is the 3D text and they are nested in the larger component you called …Backdoor…

There were quite a few issues to fix. I did most of them by hand although with a desktop version there are extensions that can be helpful.

You’re quite welcome. And thank you. They told me last week they were giving me a 25% pay raise. Of course I do this stuff as a volunteer so that promise of a pay raise was kind of hollow. :crazy_face:

With practice you will start to see how you can model things like this without ever creating any of the things that prevent the component from being hollow or at least you will see them as you create them and fix the problems as you go. Keeping things clean and correct as you go also tends to make the modelling simpler.

Good luck with it. Is this a thing you are just printing for yourself or are you going to be marketing them?

Thank you, thank you, thank you…

I’m beginning to understand what makes a component solid. I had plenty of internal faces which were definitely a major culprit. Sort of grasping the whole loose geometry thing. Might have to watch a few youtube videos to better understand. I see what you did with the 3D text.

Very generous of you to provide these services. I’m sure many of us would be lost without the help of a SketchUp Sage.

I’m pretty ■■■■ clean and OCD with everything I do in life so that should translate well to cleaner modeling with practice and time.

This project us purely out of passion. It’s a waterproof housing for a rare fuji camera that was made in the 90s. There’s no market for this. The camera takes 16 small photos via a “burst” on two 35mm frames. You end up with what can become a GIF or quick timelapse. Will be for GIFs and photo prints of my friends surfing, etc.

Thanks again, I’m sure this won’t be the last time we speak.

Good deal. It’ll come with time and practice. Model everything just because.

I vaguely remember that Fuji camera–I managed camera stores and sold cameras in the 80s and most of the 90s. Cool thing to make a housing for it.

Great little camera. Designed for golfers, never really took off. Excited to shoot in the water.

Thanks again Dave.

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Hey Dave,

Might need your help. Smaller ask this time.

Printed my first test on my friend’s 3D printer. First ever print and I’m pretty pleased with the results. Did some water tests and I needed to tweak the design. Would you be able to let me know if it’s 100% solid? Again, having trouble figuring that out with the free version. It doesn’t say so when I select my components. Will likely upgrade my account after this next round with test printing.


Here’s the new file. Added my screw mounts to really tighten the backdoor on the o-ring/gasket.

20200729_GShapiro_FujiCardia_Test2.skp (708.4 KB)

Entity Info (which you can look at yourself) shows each one as a component, not a solid component.

Hiding the top face of the lid, you can see there are internal faces and some extra edges, shown selected below.

There are also some stray edges inside the tabs at each end.

The box itself as a lot of internal faces including one where that stand off thing meets the case. A lot of the other internal faces are orange on one side for some reason. Hide some of the faces you need to keep and you can get at the internal ones to erase them.


Again, you’ve saved the day. Thanks for pointing out these obvious flaws…I still have a ways to go. The whole solid component thing was confusing me because without solid inspector I’m basically going through the entire component looking for every possible error until it reads Solid in the entity info. Needless to say, I fixed both components and they are now solid (plz double check and see for yourself). Those inner orange walls were from a previous version where I was trying to color the housing based on how I was going to paint it after printing. That won’t be for a while, I’m not nearly there yet.

I think I’m good to print pending a few quick inspections.

thx again,

20200730_GShapiro_FujiCardia_Test2.skp (686.0 KB)