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

Love it. Next I'd like instructions on making a replacement part for a coffee tamper. ANy ideas?

49mm's picture

Missed the link! Check out https://www.58mmtamper.com to see what I mean. It's the handle part (the base is replaceable and can screw into the handle).

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.

You must use non-retard units and it works (as you notice)

One of our clients does STL, which is pretty cool. I dabbled a bit in SketchUp for our engineering project in school but decided it wouldn't be my mastery. Still so awesome!

http://www.norwalkautodetailing.com

as this seems to be the only way to contact you, es I know you are closed from 23-26 November 2017, I do NOT need to be told on every single frelling page. given up looking for anything as it's just bloody annoying having to keep clicking that frelling close button on the SAME DAMN MESSAGE

Just what I needed!!

www.skidmarkdesign.com

Very useful. Exceptional for 3D printing. Had made my life easier.
Phenq france

We first used 3D printing to make a replacement part for a piece of equipment that the company no longer made parts for. What a life saver! I saw the potential that day and never looked back :)

Andy, Owner
Guelph Electrician

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've been super interested in 3d printing lately. I think it's the future. This is a great post. Thank you!

painters fargo nd

So glad I found this post!

www.hairstylesbyjess.com

Thank you for this!

www.candnpainting.com

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.

I am a fan of this extension but I have one function when exporting that can be a caveat. When you export, I have to click around the object to make sure nothing is selected to make sure the file exports correctly. Maybe in the next version of the extension a pop-up can tell you if anything is selected before exporting.

Jackie - https://www.hotelsnearbyme.net

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.

Charles - http://www.notarypubliclondon-mmk.co.uk

Does this extension only work with SketchUp Pro?

I want to incorporate this with my dental firm and our tool manufacturers.

David -

This is super useful, much obliged. Trust it or not, we utilize this in our towing business for insane occupations that include some genuine innovative deduction for towing colossal sheds and other huge structures. AssignmentGeek.co.uk

It is always a pleasure to read your article, bless the Actu auto author for a great inspiration.
Eromi.xyz

Amazing post, thanks
kissanime https://kiss-anime.co/

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 this worked for me too. Great to have such a good network here.

Harvey - www.coventryguttercleaners.co.uk

Thanks - it's now working fine, J

This is super helpful, thank you. Believe it or not, we use this in our towing business for crazy jobs that involve some real creative thinking for towing huge sheds and other large buildings.

-Doug from http://www.mesatowingcompany.com

excelente informacion, un 10.

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

Awesome, I tried to do the forum too. This helps.

BAB
Landscape Design St Louis

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

Completely agree with Sapphire here - get this pre-installed with Sketchup please :)

Gray @ http://powerdrillguru.com

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

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

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The SketchUp team uses our APIs to build all sorts of specialized tools. Some of these extensions ship with SketchUp as full-blown features, and some are just examples of how to use our APIs.