STL Importer Future

Continuing the discussion from Sketchup keeps crashing when I try to import a skull:

It would be a nice option. There are a number of very nice programs and libraries for performing mesh operations.

The way forward is to move from the pure-Ruby importer/exporter to a more generalized compiled extension for mesh importing, exporting , and modification. There are several open libraries available which have done most of the heavy-lifting as far as mesh processing goes. They “only” need integrated into a SketchUp extension. As you know, my experimentation shows that a SketchUp stl imported based on assimp outperforms the Ruby version considerably.

Here’s a short list of interesting libraries. libigl looks very interesting.


I’ve been wanting to migrate the STL importer/exporter to use the C API for a while now. Though I hadn’t really thought of anything other than parsing the STL file and directly creating the triangles.

You’re thinking of auto-healing as well?

Ping @ @ChrisFullmer & @ChrisDizon (I figured this thread would be of interest to you guys as well.)

The slowness of auto-healing after an import is not something that can be fixed by anyone outside of SketchUp, or is it?

Shameless self-promotion
You might want to take a look at FluidImporter Pro, it is written in C++ and imports a bunch of different formats, STL among them:

@jim_foltz @fluidinteractive @tt_su @ChrisDizon @ChrisFullmer

Upload your model to 3D Warehouse, mark it as “printable”, and we’ll use the advanced algorithms from Materialise to generate the STL.

@isaac, where’s the fun in that…

“code for code sake” is more of a challenge…


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One of the problems is getting large mesh files into SketchUp in the first place. It is common to get .stl files in the tens of megabyte range which produce .skp files in the hundreds of megabytes. The Ruby STL Importer can take a very long time to import these files.