Problem with creating a solid object for 3D printing



Hi everyone,

I am new to the SketchUp. I have created a rather simple model (a cylinder with the multiple through holes parallel to the cylinder main axis) that I need to 3D print (file attached). I have installed Solid Inspector and STL extensions. However I was unable to print using my stl file. I found out that the object has to be solid however Solid Inspector suggests me to close all the trough holes… Could you help to modify my model in order to export a valid stl file.

Many thanks in advance,
Yaro3D Monolith v10 final.skp (1.7 MB)


Solid inspector doesn’t like it much, and took a LONG time to anaylyze.

The problem looks to me as if you have made each ‘tube’ a group. The face they join has holes, separate from the ends of the groups.

why not redraw it without any groups, just creating one face with the array of holes, then pushpull the face to create the whole thing in one go?

It takes only seconds to do a right to left select on the whole of the cylinder and top face, leaving the bottom face in place. Then pushpull it to the height you want.

Solid inspector runs almost instantly this time, and reports everything as shiny. Select all, make it into a component, and the Entity Info window also says it’s a solid component, and reports its volume

Only one of your holes was a circle - see this image, which shows only one hole with smooth insides. That probably doesn’t matter for 3D printing though

Here’s the edited version.
3D Monolith v10 solid.skp (2.2 MB)


Dear John,

Thank you very much for your reply! I will try to redraw in the way that you suggested. Since I was drawing a hole (small cylinder of 2 mm diameter and height of 60 mm), after multiply it to create a 2D array and after add on top of the array a big cylinder with diameter of 40mm. After I intersected faces and deleted the circles on the top and bottom planes to create a through holes.
I made each ‘pore’ a group after watching a video how to multiply objects. I used multiply option to create a 2D array of pores.

best regards,


See previous reply now edited to give you the solid version.

If you ever need to redraw it from scratch, just make the big outer circle, make one small inner circle (hole), then array it. THEN pushpull to make the whole thing at once.

Do you need so many edges in the small circles? See multiple posts in this forum about the problem SU has in creating small edges in some contexts - it isn’t a problem here, but could be if you make more complex models.

PS. And I would (almost) always use (and name) components instead of groups to separate geometry. In this case, it wasn’t helpful to make each ‘tube’ a group.

PPS. You could use more edges in the outer circle, and fewer in the ‘tube holes’ for a smaller file, and a smoother outside surface when 3D printed. Why 28 segments for the outside? It is usually better to use a multiple of 8 or 12 for ‘circles’ so you can rotate them more easily, or join them to others.


Hi again John,

thank you for your time and detailed replies. I have noticed only now that you have already fixed all the issues and have converted my sketch to the solid object for 3D printing. I will give it another try and keep you updated. Hopefully it will be fine.


Hi John,

just a quick update that the solid model have been printed successfully. Many thanks for your help!

Could you please help with an issue of increasing the number of edges in the outer circle (point you have mentioned earlier). In the begining I have tried to put a large number of edges (300) for the circle of 40mm diameter but I got an error message that the number exceeds the allowed limit for this diameter. After I decreased number of 300 to 200 but it seems that it didn’t work properly and I ended up with only 28 edges (segments).
Is there a possibility to increase the number of edges (make my outer circle smoother) in the existing solid model? I read that if one selects a circle, one could use option divide to do it but I do not see this option for my model…

Best regards,


Reduce the drawing to the bottom only, as I did before.

Highlight the edge (only - not the enclosed face) of the outer circle. Open the Entity Info window (R click on the edge) and change the number of segments. Try 96.

SU won’t let you create very small edges - that’s why you couldn’t use 200 or 300 earlier.

Delete the small ‘circles’ (mostly polygons) and redraw one with the Circle tool, the right size but with fewer segments - try 12.

Array that circle in the original spacing, using Move/Copy (press m, then tap Ctrl - or Option on Mac to toggle Copy on.Watch to get the little + sign on the Move tool icon). Move one copy the right distance and direction (use an arrow key to force the move on green or red axis).

Type 5x (or use a different number than 5) to repeat the copy 5 times.

Select the row you’ve just made and copy that as many times as you need. Delete any extra, or add missing.

THEN push pull the whole face 60mm to get your smoother outside, simpler inside, solid again.


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