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 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!


Luca C.'s picture

export is ok

I have problems with import .stl files.

message say "maybe not sketchup model"


Anthony S.'s picture

Quick question maybe one of you can help me with. When I attempt to export my grouped mesh to stl there is no option to choose the file type. The drop down menu is blank. When I go ahead and save anyway the file type on my computer reads "YYoiutubeAdBlockee". Any advise on how to get the exporter up and running again and possibly removing this virus from my computer?

Charles's picture

I try to import this file , but it stuck at importing geometry with sketchup handing there.

Steve D.'s picture

Same thing on a different file...

Buz O's picture

Just not there. Surprised SketchUp is claiming useful for 3D printing with no default STL support. !?!? Oh well, back to MeshMixer.

J M.'s picture

Not to mention you have to pay 595 bucks for the Sketchup pro version. Lame Sketchup!
Long time Sketchup user, but I will look for something else to do my 3d printing on.

Joel L's picture


One of my colleagues is keen to use STL exports from SketchUp in CFD analysis software (he's a water engineer).

To do this though requires each face (or selection of faces) to be exported as a discrete entity within the STL file, that can then be isolated, named etc. - this is supported by the STL file format.

Is there a way to batch export a bunch of groups in SketchUp as a single STL file, but have each group retain it's discrete identity in the exported file? Currently this can only be done by exporting each selection group as an individual STL file, the merging all of them into a new STL file using software like Gmesh.


Hailey J's picture


우식 오's picture

I just installed the Sketchup STL and ddoes not work..
When I start the Sketchup, errors loads and there is no Export STL menu under the File menu.
Does any one have save problem or just me..please help.

Alex E.'s picture

You have to drag the donwloaded file to the "...plugin..." folder inside Sketchup folder and then open Sketchup open preferences and go to extentions and load STL give ok and it will open

Norman F.'s picture

Did you install it correctly?

I'm using the 2015 and I downloaded the .RBZ file, moved it in to the sketchup/sketchup2015 directory.

Started Sketchup and then clicked WINDOWS - PREFERENCES - EXTENTIONS - INSTALL EXTENTION button, navigated to the .RBZ file, clicked it & clicked OPEN. It installed ok (can't remember it the computer needed to be rebooted). Close then reopen Sketchup (if reboot not required).

In the FILE menu there should be an EXPORT STL option.

It doesn't seem to export correctly if MODEL UNITS is selected so change to the units the item is drawn in.

Export in the units it was drawn in otherwise it re-scales ie. export 100mm x 100mm x 100mm box in mm, import in cm and box will re-scale to 1m x 1m x 1m (10 times the size).

Norman F.'s picture

Import wasn't working correctly for me with export & import set at MODEL UNITS.

I changed settings to match those I had drawn in (mm) and it worked perfect. Tried exporting set at CM & imported at the same setting & it loaded but at 1/10 scale (120mm came in at 12mm).
Tried again exporting the drawing (box size was 120mm x 120mm x 110mm) but changed it to export CM and when imported it was now 1.2mtrs x 1.2mtrs x 1.1mtrs with the man standing inside the box.

It seems that there is no selectable option to import MODEL UNITS and exporting at MODEL UNITS fails it's necessary to save & load at the correct settings.

I've not had the chance to test this on files produced by others so if you don't know what measurements it's been drawn at the start at the top & work down till it seems right. Not ideal but is working for me.


Michael R's picture

thank you, very helpful!!

Mat C.'s picture

Thanks for the plugin.

motoaventura C.'s picture


Aziim A.'s picture

hye.. im just curious.. why certain file (CAD file) need to convert to .STL file? please someone help me

Charles S's picture

3D print services seem to like STL format for one thing.

Drake D's picture

Just what I was looking for..easy classic installs.

Benjamin D.'s picture

Downloaded the .rbz file, and went through all steps listed to install .stl extension. When I go to click "open" on the .rbz file to install, I receive a message saying "do you want to install this plugin". Clicked "Yes". A new message popped up saying that the extension was successfully installed, yet I do not see the extension in the window, and I do not have the "export .stl" option. Help? Running on MacBook Pro, Sketchup 2013

Tony R.'s picture

Does what it says on the box. Love it.

GUNVALKERIE .'s picture

Trying to find and install should be user friendly it is any but user friendly... I clicked on the CONFIRM button of the download and it took back to the front of the page with no program downloaded... please make STL PLUGIN's more user friendly as in I'm able to download straight to my desktop of which I do not see

witchayaporn P.'s picture

yes so good

Phillip R.'s picture

unable to import an stl downloaded from thingiverse

Hans d's picture

I had the same 'problem' until I worked out that I had to select STL as the import format line ....
Hope that makes sense

Francisco G.'s picture

But where does it go? In my case I get to select STL as the import, I then click "Open", window goes away, I see "Importing Geometry.." on the bottom left, then "Repairing Geometry.." and then finnally "Import Successful". But then nothing shows up!
Could someone help me out?

Norman F.'s picture

Scale is a factor.

If imported in the wrong scale then the actual drawing may be so small as to appear invisible.

What I have found is that is you zoom in on the ORIGIN you see a dot appear, the more you zoom in the bigger it gets till you see the detail.

For example if you drawing area represents a 1km square and you import what you expect to be a building site layout 1km square filling the drawing area but import it in mm it would be like looking for a single speck of dust on the screen. Import it scaled correctly in km then it would fill the drawing area and be visible.

It seems that exporting in DRAWING UNITS fails (well it does for me) but exporting at a fixed scale works but I have to export & import at the same scales or the drawing is rescaled accordingly.

Hope this helps you.

Francisco G.'s picture

I'll give it a try then. Thanks!

Elmo C.'s picture

Trying to get to the forums to get more help but the link just takes me to a google group that says I have to be a member to even view it, but gives no link or other information on how to join. How are people suppose to get help when you lock them out of the help forum?

Jason S.'s picture

When I go to export STL, I can select the file folder and ascii or binary, but no file extension is available. I try to save and it completes with no file being delivered to the folder. What am I missing?

BryceOsaurus's picture

What version of sketchup are you using?  Can you open the ruby console and see if any errors are appearing on export?

Mario M's picture

It happens the same to me! I'm using Sketchup Pro 2013 and when I click export STL nothing happens and the dialog box maintains appearing on screen. I've tried to re-install the STL Export extension but It is still not working!
Thank you for your response

The plug-in works great in Windows, but I am running sketchup through wine in ubuntu 14.04 and the little export window that you created is blank, so there isn't the button to actually export it. Sketchup works fine otherwise, its just your plug-in.

Drew D's picture

I can't seem to get this extension to install with sketchup 2015, any advice?

Martin D.'s picture

I have just installed on Sketchup 2015 Win 7 x64 and it appears to exported correctly though I haven't tried printing the files yet.

Grant P's picture

Managed to get it to install on the Mac version 2015 by downloading the extension file from the website and then using the preferences > Extensions > Install Extension.

tim's picture

Working in Sketchup 8 Pro, I am trying to import my own sketchup file from a previously exported (and printed) stl version. All I am getting is a few of the polygons. On other files I am getting a recognisable, but still very holey copy. Any ideas on why this isn't working please?

tim's picture

In answer to my own question, load the file at a much bigger scale than you really want, ie meters rather than millimeters, and all the polygons appear! Then just shrink it in Sketchup.

gary S.'s picture

Might be usable if sketchup wasn't a slow POS with any mesh more complicated than a cube. Try loading a 15MB stl - and then you can sit for a while as it spins. I have been watching and hoping they would fix this but I guess 2014 is not the year. Maybe 2020.

Ben M's picture

My MacBook Pro can open 20MB STLs with no problems. Maybe before you denounce a plugin, make sure you aren't running on a Compaq from 2004.

Joe d's picture

awesome reply

Duncan P's picture

This Extension works great! I've been exporting STL files easily and quickly for my 3d printer. They print out very well! I'm using the Ditto+ with the Tinkerine Suite to slice the STL files by the way.


Мур Л's picture

Import does not work. create a model, export it to STL, try to import it back to the same and nothing happens.
Other models are not imported as well.

Tim B's picture


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!


=) lol

150232 users
143.22 KB
SketchUp STL 2.1.4; March 28, 2014
Number of Views: 
OS Compatibility: 
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.
Extensions: 20