I am interested in your ups and downs using SketchUp modeling software with 3D

I am interested in your ups and downs using SketchUp modeling software with 3D printing. (And which .stl exporter works the best for you.) What is your workflow from model to print?

I have worked with sketchup before.
I can’t reccomend it. Allthough it is easy to use, in the end you’ll get a model with (god knows how many) errors and faults. And the model is unprintable. Also you need seperate plugins to in- and export stl files.

I now work with solidworks. A little harder to work with but in the long run you’ll have better models and always the function you’re looking for. Also you can make realystic looking models. (Not free software)

The base price of a single SolidWorks seat is four thousand dollars. Just saying.

Alternative: Geomatic Design Personal (formerly Alibre) at around $200. Or FOSS software such as FreeCAD. Both having a steeper learning curve than Sketchup, but not as problematic generating STL, which is done natively.

I’ve just recently changed my mind on Sketchup from really disliking it due to it producing crappy stl’s in need of repair to finding it quite usable for 3D-printing actually. It was a real game changer once I found and installed the following two extensions/plugins;

Solid inspector


I still do most of my work in OpenSCAD/CoffeeSCad/… since it’s nice to work with parametrics but I occationally use Sketchup for quick designs or for experimenting with a design and how things fit together before redoing it in OpenSCAD.

I use 2 stl plugins. But really you just need to repair every single file. I think the one i use most is jfl plugin, but i dont remember. Netfab studio for repairing the file, slic3r , then repetier.

What is jfl? What printers are you all using?

JF stl importer. It works the best of the ones ive tried, but you need to select the right scale as you import.

The export one is su2stl

I’m using a prusa mendel. Arcol hotend and heated bed. Sanguinololu 1.3a electronics.

Modified OB1.4 , ramps 1.4 buddashnozzle1.2 (planning on selling it because tips cost 30$+ ea. They doubled in price since i got mine.

ORD Bot Hadron, modified Stepstruder MK8, Ramps 1.4, Marlin firmware, Octoprint on Raspberry Pi, PLA on heated bed with sugar water on mirror glass.

I’ve experimented with autodesk123 design, freeCAD, and another autodesk program which I don’t remember the name. I keep finding my self going back to sketchup. I use two plugins a STL exporter and CADspan to reverse sides. Then netfab, slic3r, pronterface. There’s a lot of great plugins at http://sketchucation.com. A lot of people hate on sketch up but I’ve been happy with it and you can’t deny how easy and intuitive it is to create a model using it.