Hey all, I don't use SketchUp myself (mostly openSCAD, etc.),

Hey all,

I don’t use SketchUp myself (mostly openSCAD, etc.), but I have some students who’ve been using it since @Tinkercad went away and I’d like to print some of their models, but I’m not having much luck getting usable STL’s out of it.

I’m using this plug-in: https://github.com/SketchUp/sketchup-stl

When I select the object and choose File -> Export STL, I get a file, but there’s nothing in it. Additionally, I get a dialog during the export process that isn’t very encouraging (106 faces exported 0 lines exported 212 objects ignored).

Any tips on turning .skp files into .stl files for printing?

I still use the original (http://www.guitar-list.com/download-software/convert-sketchup-skp-files-dxf-or-stl). might be worth trying.

Are you sure their models are solid? right click a group or component, select entity info, and if it doesn’t say solid group/component, that might be the reason.
There’s a plugin called solid inspector which will point out where you have missing/too many faces.
If it’s a more complex model, use meshlab (it’s free!) to close holes in your model, this will make it solid and therefore printable.

I have gotten some STL that were almost printable out of sketchup, but I had to repair them with mesh lab. The dialog that you described always pops when you use the tool, I stopped using sketchup a while back because I could not consistently get workable models out of the system. (I am still using a print service, I have printed models through the service however) In my experience you will have to repair the model using meshlab however.
Here is a thread that I read to get some intuition on using sketchup to make printable models

If your students are looking for a new software, I do like blender, after I got over the huge learning curve. http://3dtin.com could be useable, but it is not as nice as tinkercad was. I have also heard good things about 123d, but I have yet to try it

I was hanging out with the guy who makes openscad last night at Foulab. Seemed like a really good dude. Making stls from an instruction set is. Hard.

i dont remember the plugin that I installed but I had the same situation. I just need to add the extension .stl at my file name and then was able to print it without problem… Hope it helps :wink:

@Jason_Gullickson I also used the same STL export plugin that @Gary_Hodgson mentioned. Just make sure to export as millimeters when prompted. After installation, the export option can be found under Tools>Export To STL. After creating the STL you should repair the model using Meshlab or NetFab software.

Sketchup is notorious for intersecting edges and open meshes caused by the push/pull mechanic. To get a good stl you need to close all holes and remove duplicate edges (or internal edges) making sure the surface of the mesh is all white not grey and then you export the stl and promptly upload it to http://cloud.netfabb.com to fix it as it will still need fixing. It is quite possible to get good stls from Sketchup but it takes good housekeeping, good working habits, and mesh repair more often than not. And thats why we all like OpenSCAD so much.

Thanks guys, I switched to the plug in that @Gary_Hodgson suggested and then sent them through netfab and so far so good.

Really missing +tinkercad right about now…

I’ve switched to 123D Design. It’s pretty decent although not terribly stable yet. Not had a problem with non watertight models yet and although the documentation isn’t complete yet the sketching surface fits with the way I think and make things.

Hello, you can use this toolchain : sketchup -> export as .dae -> meshlab -> import the .dae multiply dimension by 25.4 and export to .stl -> Netfab for cleaning the .stl (repair option)

Brian Evans is right about an often repair process needed, or to be the god of sketchup. It can save time to design but you loose it at export process to get a clean printable part. I suggest you to use freecad, nice tools with an active core team, except constraints, not too far of sketchup, parametric and usable with python for OpenScad people :wink:

I’ll echo the statements above about solid checking, but I’d be curious to see what kind of model you were working with. If it’s on the 3D Warehouse or Thingiverse, maybe you could share a link? The STL plugin is an open-source project, so there’s always room for improvement.