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!


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

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

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.


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?


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?



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:

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.



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?



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?



THEPRO400's picture

So far, its alright, trying to find something to open up the .stl file. 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. :-/

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SketchUp STL 2.1.4; March 28, 2014
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