SketchUp STL
Import and Export STL files for 3D printing
SketchUp STL

The STL file format is widely used across different 3D printing and modeling interfaces. For instance, many of the models you might find on Thingiverse.com are available in STL format, and several popular 3D printers accept STL files to prepare models for fabrication. This extension provides import/export functionality for STL files to and from SketchUp, so you can easily export SketchUp groups to STL, or import an STL design and manipulate it within SketchUp.

Once you install the extension, you’ll find two new options under the File menu:

Export STL: This function requires you to select one or more groups for export (so you’ll need to group your geometry before using this).

Import... (STL): With this plugin, you’ll find STL as a supported format within SketchUp’s Import command. STL files will be imported to SketchUp as a group.

For questions or help with this extension, head on over to the SketchUp help forum.

Note: This extension was originally developed as separate plugins by Jim Foltz, Nathan Bromham, and Konrad Shroeder. Now, it’s in continual development as an open-source project on GitHub that’s hosted by the SketchUp team. Stay tuned for updates!

Reviews

Bob B.'s picture

Thanks a lot! It really helps.

Marlon N's picture

Testamos com diversas formas e curvas. Geramos o modelo no Sketchup passando pelo fatiador até a impressão, e funcionou muito bem.

Works fine. Just remember that after you import an stl file, press "Zoom Extents" (magnifier with 3 arrows pointing away from it) otherwise you won't see the model, as they tend to be very small!

it works for me, just ensure you are using the right version of sketch.

doesnt work, just gives me a message saying its not compatible with the version of sketchup I have. I have the latest version of the free version, really not helpful.

Wellll Frankly itdoes not install.. even the directions don't work .. Another Garbage Quality Sketchup feature by 'Trimble'

Since Google gave up on Sketchup.... the new incompetent owners have ruined it.

the plugin works perfectly, incompetant new owners are not to blame

Worked perfectly. Thanks.

At first I was happy that I could finally open stl files.

But that happiness turned to being upset when I found out that the colors and textures are missing with ALL imported stl files!

Do not waste your time with this extension if the colors and textures matter to you.

I think you are mistaken.

Here is an excerpt taken from Wikipedia about the specs of STL files

"STL files describe only the surface geometry of a three-dimensional object without any representation of color, texture or other common CAD model attributes"

Any program that claims to export STLs with texture or color are nonconforming to the STL standard.

Please do your research before calling out others.

It worked well enough to make a STL but it is buggy. It wouldn't create usable code when I made a model in USA Inch pattern out of SketchUp Make 17 64 bit. It did work when I did a test drawing as metric. That was acceptable to the Cura 15.04.06 that comes with a Monoprice Mini 3D and produced a decent 3D print. Unfortunately that means I will have to re-do all the inch pattern drawings I was going to print in Metric and then figure out what I am going to do when it comes time to make the design up in metal on my inch pattern milling machine.

Robert M's picture

Part of the problem with SketchUp is it represents curves as polygons. My instructor showed me in InkScape what a SketchUp DXF file really looks like. There is SO MUCH POST-PROCESSING to get a 2D SketchUp to do laser-cutting, you might as well use AutoCAD. Otherwise the burn takes HOURS and the poor laser head is jerking like cerebral palsy. The same thing with 3D. Yes, SKP will export an STL with the RB plugin, but that's not the issue. The issue is the geometry and the mesh in that STL. Once you try to post-process SKP's STL in the slicer, you're not going to get a smooth printout, the extrusions ('Follow Me') especially rotated curves (example, a bullet shape) are not 'water tight', for slicer output.
I've had two vendors refuse to take anymore of my STL files. They told me OnShape, Fusion or SolidWorks, or don't send them anymore files.
EDIT - I have over 10,000 hours in SketchUp and build extremely complex 3D models with it for facilities installations (think giant HO train sets)

Man! Sucks! Then again I always wonder why people use non-metric systems. Its sooo hard to add.

As I do alot of design and proof 3d prints this is a brilliant extension, It runs perfectly well on the standard Sketchup and on Imac with no issues.

I like this extension (depend on it even), but it gets annoying (well, all of sketchup does) with 3D printer-sized objects. The tiny polygons trip it up.

I wish Sketchup would reset it's numbering system for tiny objects and pretend things were 1000x bigger than they are, then, when exporting, know that it was scaled. I'm not going to be doing gaming miniatures and city planning in the same sketchup project!

To workaround it, sometimes I have to scale things up with another app like 3D Builder before importing them to sketchup. And the reverse after exporting.

Does this extension only work with SketchUp Pro? I have just downloaded the latest version of SketchUp Make, but was not able to download this extension (stated that it isn't compatible)

you can check out their instructions
https://help.sketchup.com/en/article/3000263

Thanks - it's now working fine, J

Spark P's picture

Works great with Matter Control. Just have to scale it (25.4).

D3ADSEC .'s picture

won't allow me to either import or export as .stl
when i group my geometry, the selection doesn't show up in export 3D model

Fredy P.'s picture

Works great, Thanks!

I'm so glad I found this. I was able to export .obj files which I used to print when I had my pro trial, but this is way better and free! I think it should totally come pre-installed with sketchup 7

For those who want to use this under Ubuntu-Wine-Sketchup 8.

The solution:
- Download the plugin and extract the content in a folder
- Edit file "sketchup-stl/exporter.rb"
- Add this method:

def self.force_export
export_entities = get_export_entities
if export_entities
path = select_export_file
begin
export(path, export_entities, OPTIONS) unless path.nil?
rescue => exception
msg = "SketchUp STL Exporter:\n"
msg << "An error occured during export.\n\n"
msg << exception.message << "\n"
msg << exception.backtrace.join("\n")
UI.messagebox(msg, MB_MULTILINE)
end
end
end # force_export

- In method "self.main", replace "do_options" by "force_export".
- Push the edited file in the archive (rbz)
- Install/Re-install the plugin and restart sketchup
- You should be able to export to STL with the default options

Hyntegra3D S.'s picture

Very very thank's Matthias T.

Francisco Javier V's picture

Wonderful !!

Thank you.

Saludos desde México.

I have the SketchUp 2017 trial version. No way to export an stl-file. The best I can do is to export an obj file.

Do I need WinRar or something similar to install this?

No you don't

Hi SketchUp Team
Great software & this is a usefull plugin thank you...
David

Jim's picture
Jim

David I noticed you edited your question into a comment - did you get an answer?

Jim's picture
Jim

Hi David,

Please use the SketchUp Forums[1] for support. The forums are designed with features for back-and-forth discussion of topics - unlike this comment section.

[1] https://forums.sketchup.com/c/extensions

Understood - thank you for your help - keep up the good work:-)

Many facets are missing when I import 1_4x20_hex.stl from
https://grabcad.com/library/request-1-4-20-nut

Jim's picture
Jim

Dave Y. you will need to import the nut at a larger scale to get around SketchUp's small-face issues.

Excellent. Works perfect in my machine.

using 2017 trial. can't get this to work. Installed via extension warehouse within app, and also manually via browser download. what gives?

I get a text box to tell me it was correctly installed and available for use. I restarted the program just in case. also verified extension manager set to unrestricted and the extension is enabled.

b

Please post to forums.sketchup.com for support.  For example, https://forums.sketchup.com/search?q=STL.  Comments aren't really meant to be a support funciton.

Jim's picture
Jim

Hi Chris - what isn't working?

Do you see a menu under the File menu named "Export STL.."? If so, the extension is installed correctly.

The import is available under the File > Import menu. Once the dialog opens, select the file type to the right of the Filename textbox. It is a drop-down list of available import types. There should be an "STero Lithography (.stl)" option there.

The SketchUp forums are a good place to ask further questions:

https://forums.sketchup.com/

Justin L's picture

Whats with this not working? under the extensions manager window is says ''unsigned''? PLZ help and thank you

Jim's picture
Jim

Because this extension is not signed, Sketchup will prevent it loading if you have the extension loading policy set to anything but "unrestricted". The extension itself is not broken. If you need to use this, you will have to set the extension policy to unrestricted in the Extension Manager.

Robert Y.'s picture

me too, whats happening with it

Jim's picture
Jim

I filed an issue at the GitHib site about getting this signed.

https://github.com/SketchUp/sketchup-stl/issues/161

I'm having the same issue. Does anyone have a solution?

si fragen welche Sprache und dann ist alles Englisch,

Colby P's picture

Can anyone from Trimble explain to me why exporting an STL is still something one needs to add as an extension? When you make the extension yourself, and you created the program, how is it possible that you can't build the function into the program itself?

Jim's picture
Jim

Hi Colby,

Tommy explains it pretty well in this post[1]

[1] http://forums.sketchup.com/t/vision-and-feature-requests/20675

Амаzing extention! )))
Тhank you~

Is this possible only in sketchup pro?

No I got it to work in the regular one. I rebooted the program and loaded my part in.

Same question here ? It seems to work only with Sketchup Pro... :(

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SketchUp STL (2.2.0); December 1, 2017
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