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

Popi S's picture

very intresting

Gilbert C.'s picture

i need help, when i go to the export option it just opens "stl export options" window and the window is empty.

Rubén D.'s picture

You can try to install iexplorer 8.
It worked for me (under wine, i used the "winetricks ie8" command)...

tt01234567890 ..'s picture

GOOD! Thanks!

LOLOLOLOLOL IT WORKS GREAT

=) lol

Robert B's picture

Ok for me it works. Managed to import an stl, open it and work on it. Did take a bit of time though.

One thing we should consider with this plugin is that the STL files do have a lot (LOT) of polygons which makes it hard for our "normal" pc's to compute. And I'm using a decent desktop. So I guess that anyone using a basic desktop will find that it takes up to an hour to visualize the stl, let alone work on it.

I downloaded the gnome from makerbot for testing.

idesign r's picture

Hi Robert.. Yes I have tried it and takes so long time to open until I quit Sketchup?!
Anyway, since you tried it, does it require any other software to clean your model and make it 100% ready for 3D printing, assuming it is already good modeled by Sketchup.

Thanks.

Роман Л.'s picture

I can't export my model:( So, I select a group, pick "file/export STL..." then set option "Export selected...", press Export buttom, select file, save and that is all, nothing apeared in targer folder. SketchUp 2013. Help me please!

Pat C's picture

Everything was going SO well, and then I tried to use this Extension. It installed as expected, and gave me the option to import an STL file in the File menu, but once my file is selected, the next thing I click brings up an endless wait cursor, and the title bar is relabeled: SketchUp Make (Not Responding).

Windows 8.1 64-bit, recent download of SketchUp Free (may still be in Pro Trial period)
SketchUp Run as Administrator, same problem.
Disabled extension, closed and relaunched SketchUp as Administrator, reinstalled extension, same problem.

Model is 213990 (Tentacle Stand) from Thingiverse, just under 3MB in size.
I tried a model (fish bag clip) just over 100KB in size, and it imported immediately.

I'll set it to go until the PC goes to sleep, maybe I just have to wait longer.

Pat C's picture

Yes, waiting did the trick. It took more than half-an-hour to load this object, and 5 minutes of waiting through the "not responsive" status each time I tried to select the whole model. Every scale, move or rotate attempt took another 34-40 minutes.

In the end, it worked, though. I now have a SketchUp model of the tentacle stand that will fit within the print space of my Bukito. I am not seeing the option to export it to an .stl file, though, but I remember reading something about that in the forum. Time for more research.

So far, I am thrilled and delighted with SketchUp Make, despite the wait time for the complex model.

long Q.'s picture

Import stl doesn't work. I am using sketchup 2014 Free Version. Can anyone help?

Thanks

Paul B.'s picture

Yes, I'm happy to help.  Can you describe the steps that you're taking to do the import, and what happens when you try?

Thanks,

Paul

Jchon P.'s picture

I am having trouble completing an import of my .stl file as well.

I am able to select the file for import, but it sits on "importing geometry", [apparently] unresponsive for hours (overnight even) until I just force the program closed.

This is the [50MB] file I'm attempting to import:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B57YoD7uhNdkUTh2bEgwSjRTcXc/view?usp=sh...

esteban H.'s picture

I can export but cant import why?

Paul B.'s picture

Hi Esteban,

For importing (in Windows), you need to go to File/Import, and pick STL from the list.  For export, you go to File/Export STL...

If either the importer or exporter do not show up, there's probably an issue with the STL extension.  Let me know what version of SketchUp and OS you're using and I'll investigate.

Thanks,

Paul

Yue Z.'s picture

it stuck in "importing geometry" and not responding at all

Paul B.'s picture

Hi Yue,

It could be that the importer is having an issue with your STL file.  Would you post that somewhere where I could download it and troubleshoot the issue?

Thanks,

Paul

Yue Z.'s picture

I use windows and I downloaded the latest version of sketchup with this plugin. And it just does not work for import. I did not try export yet.

Olivier V's picture

I do not understand but It does not work at all?????

Paul B.'s picture

Hi Olivier,

Can you give some details about what's not working?

Thanks,

Paul

THEPRO400's picture

So far, its alright, trying to find something to open up the .stl file. But...is the icon meant to be a picture of a certificate?

Peter R.'s picture

I'm having issues with this. Whenever I convert and send a file to print, I either get a slanted print, or something more like a mesh than a solid print depending on what software I connect my printer to. It was working until yesterday and I've gotten the slant down to a few degrees instead of 45 somehow, but I have no idea what I'm doing or what its doing. Anyone else have this issue?

Bryan R.'s picture

Hmm. Quit out of SketchUp, re-launched. Now I see an Install button. Weird. But good. :-)

Bryan R.'s picture

2014-07-05: Cannot even download this, let alone install it. Message after clicking Download says I have to use the '2014 built in Extension Warehouse broswer. But there's actually no Install button in there, like the instructions say there should be. Clicking the Download button (present, where I imagine Install should be) just gives the same message about doing what I'm already doing. So, it's just plain broken guys. :-/

Sidd C.'s picture

I have installed the extension and when i try to open .STL files it still does not allow me to open them. I am running mavericks on a macbook pro and using sketch up 2014. any ideas on how to fix this?

Oliver H.'s picture

I think you have to import the stl file, you cant open them as if it was a sketch up file.

Dave E.'s picture

Update.

Well, partially pleased anyway. "export" seems to work.
But I need to work on existing STL, so this ain't really much relief.

Dave E.'s picture

OSX.7.5, MBP
Had to manually unzip and place the plug-in into sketchup 8/pro. WTF happened to the "install extension" button?
Options for .stl now appear in import/export dialogues; says "Importing STL done!" but NOTHING HAPPENS!
Not pleased.

Troy W.'s picture

IF YOU ARE HAVING ANY PROBLEMS SEEING YOUR EXPORTED stl , MAKE SURE TO DELETE THE LADY THAT POPS UP ON EVERY "NEW" PROJECT, AS SHE STANDS 5' +....

kourou k's picture

salut tous,

alors moi aussi ça ne voulait pas ,donc en faisant ça avec mon fichier" tube;STL" propriétés/
en bas c'est écrit :ce fichier provient d'un autre ordi et peut être bloqué pour protégé cet ordi/débloquer/ ok ça reste :)

Samathey S.'s picture

Pour ma part j'ai réussi à exporter en stl, en restant dans le rep "Téléchargement" ailleurs je n'y arrive aps

Jia B's picture

I downloaded the Mac plugin successfully and istalled it automatically, but it does not show up in the file menu. I have SketchUp 2014. I use OSX 10.7.5. A plugin is stl4su.rb and dated 2010 in a folder for SketchUp 7. Is that different from 2014? The preference menu installation does see dmg or the plugin for SketchUp 7

raoul L.'s picture

doesn’t work on MacBook Pro 2.66Ghz intelcorei7 late 2011 with OSX10.9.3
so removed.

Raquel B.'s picture

pretty good package

Richard H's picture

so i got it installe dquick and easy but i cant import an stl file.
it gives me the option but when i do import a file it doesnt give me anything no model?

Hong J.'s picture

the comments is not ordered by time

Hong J.'s picture

by the way, mine says "importing geometry" too. it just hangs there.

Hong J.'s picture

Am I missing something? I opened the "import" button, selected the file type to be stl.
and clicked to import. what is the maximal file size for stl importing?

the file I want to import to sketchup is http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:151251/#files
if you happen to import successfully, please let me know.

can someone give this file a try? I know the file size is 150MB. but a smaller file 6MB doesn't work either.

Hong J.'s picture

has anyone made this extension work? by importing stl files successfully with sektchup 2013 or 2014?

I tried a stl file size of 6M and 150M, neither 2013 or 2014 sketchup worked. the program just hanged. I downloaded these stl files from thingiverse.com

Clark W's picture

My issue is that I cannot import stl files. It goes through the motions, then nothing appears in SU. Any ideas?

Sheik Siddick P.'s picture

it dnt work

Josef B's picture

Thank you to this plugin developer. It is very useful for me to model n construct a KiCAD 3D Module. Since I didn't quite well n familiar with Wings3D, I prefer to use the Sketchup which I'm quite familiar. Straight, fast n easy.

SKETCHUP --> (exported as mm & binary format ) xxxxxxx.STL ---> Wings3D ----> xxxxxxx.WRL

My SU unit setting is mm. The plugin ( bugs ? ) xlates 1mm as 3.937... mm (= 10 / 2.54 ).
So, at KiCad module editor, use xyz SCALE : 0.3937 .

Again, thank you very much.

rgds /jbd

marcos g's picture

PERHAPS YOU MUST LOG IN
I have Sketchup 2014 and could not do anything untill I was Loged In into the Extention Warehouse. Once I did log in, it worked from here by pressing "Download" and following the prompts... All working fine!

Craig K.'s picture

I just installed his plugin and it installed and works beautifully in Make (2014). Just look at the illustration. Once installed, you can export STL from the file menu, and when you go to import you have the STL option.

KIke S.'s picture

Under Ubuntu-Wine-Sketchup 8
The Option window appear blanc and nothing happens!
How to reproduce :
- darw a box
- select, group
- file->export_stl

Then the option for export stl is blank

Frank P.'s picture

I found this way too complicated and difficult.

Gonzalo P.'s picture

How to install the Plugin:

1. Download the .rbz file.
2. Open Sketchup Make.
3. Go to Window-> Preferences.
4. Go to Extensions.
5. Click "Install extension" and choose file.
6. Yes to all. Ok to all. Done.

ZUKE G.'s picture

Perfect!

Roger D.'s picture

If you are using an EVAL license on a PC but need to check out how STL export works (for instance to try with a 3D printer) then there will be no INSTALL button for you to click anywhere (neither here on this site nor their much-publicized "Extension Warehouse"). This site will also not allow you to download the file you need.

So, go to the supplier you got your eval license from and ask them for the .rbz file. Save it to your desktop or someplace you can easily remember. Then open SketchUp 2014 and go to Window/Preferences and select Extensions. Select "Install Extension" at the lower left corner of the dialog and then select the .rbz file you obtained earlier. "Export STL" should now appear on your File menu.

I have no idea why this process is so miserably undocumented and arcane. It's really unacceptable and wasteful of everyone's time.

3257 users
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SketchUp STL 2.1.4; March 28, 2014
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