Why is my 3Dscanned volume NOT a solid?

So many people and post mention 3D scans
So naturally got a 3D printer and tried some odd and ends of slightly bendable animals like snails and gecko. But a the end it let me cold and un-fulfilled
Lately came across a post that mentioned an app called “Polycam” (no I am NOT connected or ad for them) but I wanted to try as it said it’s for free (yea ok the first 12 tries) because I am learning UnrealEngine5 https://www.youtube.com/shorts/J5dEj7BLpNU

Somewhat by “miracle” my first 3D scan done with ± 25 Android phone pics out of something really stupid came out perfect. An orange peel. I couldn’t believe it .
I hang it up on a string under my desk lamp and wam bam got a free file fromat “GLTF” (that I have never heard if before)

that I had to import to Blender and then get a Collada file to import to SketchUP,
It also loaded 100% well into Lumion where I turned it into the world biggest peel So much fun

So then back in SketchUP I

I put up a tall rectangular volume up and wanted the cut the natural volume from the geometrical volume and the software keeps on telling (NOT A SOLID)
as I wanted to make a 3D printer volume the rectangle with the void from the peel.
I tried to do intersecting the faces not no avail beside the faces
I can’t get it to work
what am I doing wrong and how to solve it.
Thank you.

Do you use solid inspector? It can tell you, most of the times, what parts of your geometry have issues. You could use a plugin like universal importer to reduce the polygon count as well, anyways when you print it, all the small details will disappear.

With a mesh created from a 3D scan there is a very good chance that you have overlapping geometry or holes in the mesh. You would probably be better off using a tool made for working with organic meshes to clean it up before trying to print it.

I am NOT trying to print it.
At this time, all I want is to subtract the organic shape from the rectangular volume
inside SketchUP and change the organic shape into a shape I can substract.
Thank you


I have solid inspector but must admit don’t know how to work it
all I see is some circles showing up around the space of the mode and then , what to do I don’t know
Thanks I don’t try to print it in 3D yet I just want to subtract the organic shape from the rectangular one
and left with a rift inside.

Can you share the file so we can check what’s going on?

De nada.

My apologies, I missed that part. Regardless, I would lean on Meshmixer or possibly a slicer with mesh repair tools. You CAN fix meshes like this in SketchUp, but it is not the ideal tool.

Of course, this is all said only having looked at a couple images of your mesh. As was asked, if you share it, we can better help.

SU is not the best program to achieve this.
Personally, I would fix that organic shape with something like Netfabb to make it a printable STL.
Blender handles those type of shapes without a problem.
In Blender import the fixed STL add a rectangle box and use the Boolean tool, export the rectangular box as a STL, check it again through Netfabb and print it.

There is a chance that some of the geometry in your scan is tiny, and that can lead to holes appearing in SketchUp. Try scaling the scan up a lot before importing into SketchUp.

Do you have the scan in a file that we can try?


Sorry, couldn’t locate the file in my somewhat messy directories.

00_1_GlassBLOCKpeelCONCEPT.skp (8.6 MB)

So I wanted the subtract the organic shape from the block

I do NOT want to print this in 3D at this time!

Just do learn how to do it in SU without the message that the organic “is not a solid”

Thank you. Gracias


Here is a video of how to do it.

HOLA muchas gracias
I have followed your video and have fixed the several holes and edge irregularities found.
Then I have tried all of 6 options of subtractions 1 versus 2 or the other way round
but I am never left with just the glass block minus the organic volume
(so that I could go inside the glass block and see the organic volume inside ?

Maybe I should ttr to cut it by slices and intersect with model to delete the space inside?


Not sure what you mean by 6 options, but all you need to do is select the cutter (your mesh) once it is solid, then choose the subtract Solid Tool, then the block.

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There was only one hole on the object, that you could fix it by drawing two lines as I show on the video, then I made the Boolean operation but I use bool tools instead of the native solid tools, but I could also have done with native tools cause both objects were solids, as you can see on the video I get into the group and delete the top face just to show that it was successfully subtracted.

Thank you No 6 I meant the the 6th of the subtraction tools in SU.
My organic mesh did divided
but I was unable to visually delete
I am still left with the block that has all the marks of the mesh
Maybe my thinking was wrong as the mesh still has all the material looks of the original scan
I was looking for only white or glass from the block
Thank you so much I think I’ll get on with it as is…

Maybe you can share your model or some screen shots? It is hard to tell from your description what you are experiencing.