Can You 3D Print SketchUp Models?

Can You 3D Print SketchUp Models?

SketchUp is a powerful and widely used 3D modeling software that allows users to create stunning designs. Many people wonder if it’s possible to take these digital models and turn them into physical objects through 3D printing.

The answer is a resounding yes! In this article, we will explore how you can 3D print your SketchUp models and bring them to life.

Preparing Your SketchUp Model for 3D Printing

Before diving into the world of 3D printing, there are a few crucial steps you need to follow to ensure your SketchUp model is ready for the physical realm.

Cleaning Up Your Model

To avoid any issues during the printing process, it’s essential to clean up your model in SketchUp. This means removing any unnecessary geometry, fixing overlapping faces, and ensuring watertightness. By doing so, you’ll have a solid model that can be easily translated into a printable file format.

Scaling and Resizing

When working with SketchUp, it’s important to pay attention to scale and size. Make sure your model is accurately scaled before exporting it for 3D printing. Take measurements within the software itself or reference real-world measurements to ensure accuracy when transferring your design into a physical object.

Exporting Your SketchUp Model

Once your SketchUp model is ready, it’s time to export it in a suitable file format for 3D printing. The most common file formats for this purpose are STL (Standard Tessellation Language) and OBJ (Object File Format).

  • To export as an STL file:
    • Go to the “File” menu and select “Export” > “3D Model”.
    • Choose the desired location to save your file and give it a name.
    • From the “Save as type” dropdown menu, select “STL Files (*.stl)”.
    • Click on the “Options” button to adjust settings such as units and face smoothing.
    • Finally, click on the “Export” button to generate the STL file.
  • To export as an OBJ file:
    • Follow steps 1 and 2 from exporting as an STL file.
    • In the “Save as type” dropdown menu, select “OBJ Files (*.obj)”.
    • Click on the “Options” button to configure additional settings if needed.
    • Click on the “Export” button to generate the OBJ file.

Choosing a 3D Printing Service

Now that you have your SketchUp model in a printable file format, it’s time to find a suitable 3D printing service. There are several online platforms that offer 3D printing services, allowing you to upload your model, choose materials and finishes, and get an instant quote for printing.

Note: It’s essential to consider factors such as pricing, materials available, printing resolution, and delivery options when selecting a 3D printing service. Read reviews and compare different platforms before making your final decision.

The Printing Process

Once you’ve selected a 3D printing service and uploaded your SketchUp model, it’s time to proceed with the printing process. The service will take care of converting your digital model into a physical object using 3D printing technology.

Tip: It’s recommended to request a test print or small prototype before committing to a full-scale print. This allows you to check the quality, accuracy, and any potential issues that may arise during the printing process.

Post-Processing Your 3D Printed Model

After receiving your 3D printed model, there might be some post-processing steps required to achieve the desired finish. This can include sanding rough surfaces, applying paint or varnish, or even assembling multiple printed parts together.

Note: The post-processing steps may vary depending on the material used for printing and your specific requirements. It’s important to research and follow the appropriate techniques for the material you choose.


In conclusion, you can indeed 3D print your SketchUp models and turn your digital designs into tangible objects. By following proper preparation steps, exporting in suitable file formats, selecting a reliable 3D printing service, and considering post-processing techniques, you can bring your SketchUp creations to life in the physical world. So go ahead and unleash your creativity!