Sketchup to 3d print model surface flat faces


Hi all, I m new to sketchup and 3d printing. Loving the experience so far :smile:

Currently making models and 3dprinting them for fun. My prints have a lot of flat faces when it is supposed to be a rounded shape, is there anyway to print out a smooth curved surface without having to redraw my model in sketchup?

I have been playing with meshmixer and I can kind of get the curved surface I want by making the object solid and sculpting the surface but i hope there is a better way.

Thanks in advance!



Su is a surface modeler and such approximates curves by line segments. When you make you model you have the option to increase the number of segments which will make item smoother but then it is a good idea to model at say x1000 and then scale back down when you are done. SU has problems forming small faces and this helps to avoid that.
Some cases designer sand models to make smooth .
For existing model making smoother can be done but requires use of plugins or other programs.
If you want that done suggest you post model herein.
For simple arc / circle number of segs is N=PI()/Arcos [R-e/R] where n is # segments, and e is error



Thanks! I have tried installing a plugin, it does the job but made a ton of triangles to the whole model and slowed down my machine or crashing it sometimes.

Surface modeler as you mentioned sounds great, I will give it a go!
Thanks again :slight_smile:



Read my post again. SU IS a surface modeler.!
Post your model so it can be checked. It is much easier to evaluate then what we are guessing about now!
Flat faces are basic to the SU model, They only way to get appearance of rounded face is by use of more vertices / edges but then other problems will come up like the small geometry I noted above. You can soften / smooth the model so it looks better.:smile:

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just to clarify…

SU is a short name for SketchUp

S ketch U p


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Opps, now I get it! Thanks for the further explanation :slight_smile:

Here is the object I wanted to 3d print. Please let me know if there is a quick way to give a face to both sides to make it a solid object, and to give the object a smooth surface for printing.

Many thanks!




Each surface already has a front and back;
To make a solid you need to close that outside edge; then make the total a component, check the entity info and if reports a volume it is solid. If it does not use ThomThoms solid inspector and it will show where the problem areas are so you can fix;
To make smoother vertices and edges will have to be added. There are some SU plugin or other software to do that. Try SU plugin subdivide and smooth and see it that will.
You could try a print with out that and see if it is smooth enough and you could also do some sanding to make smoother;
I am guessing the item is part of a figure of revolution (??) and if so it may be easier to just redraw a section and then use a radial array to add sections. Is that true??
With out knowing more about genesis of your model IMHO there are some dimensional errors and I would redraw the total model. BTW Autodesk has now included their 3d print utility in MeshMixer 3.0 which allows addition of internal shell for model strength. You profile shows SU pro and if that is what you have you maybe better using that since it is integrated with program.
2/3 1150 update
See attached pic. Note the “rim” does not match the surface profile and will be very difficult to make solid. Once you have a proper surface the use the follow me tool to add rim.model 1 su forum2.skp (150.6 KB)

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Hey I been away for a while, sorry for the late reply. Now I understand.
I have just installed solid inspector, and the subdivide plugin, the sculpt brush can pretty much replace what I used to do in meshmixer. They work wonders!
Your help is much appreciated :slight_smile:
Will definitely check meshmixer3.0 out.
I m only using SU make, dono why its showing pro? Anyhow thanks again!



It will show Pro until trial period is over



I see. thank you sir!



Oh I have 2 more questions if you don’t mind

  1. Is there an inverse select function? I can’t seem to find it.
  2. When I merge objects, sometimes they create crazy lines making a simple face into many faces. Is there any way to avoid that?




See edit undo, some cases you can do that for multiple steps but some action are un-doable. You can also hit the file revert and tha will take to you back to the last save version on disk. Also, go to windows preferences, back up and auto save . You should ckeck knowledge center on how those work.



Thanks for the answer, i might have used the wrong wording for inverse select.
What I mean is, say I have a box with six faces. I pick 1 of the faces, is there a button to press so that SU will deselect the selected face and select the other five faces?

Many thanks!



Not as such but you could select all the faces then deselect one face by holding shift when you click on it.



thanks for the answer! it would make things much easier if they have this function tho