Avoid mistakes that occur when designing 3D files for 3D printing on Sketchup

A 3D-printable volume must be a closed, independent solid. It must not contain faces, edges, or non-manifold points. 

The 3D file analysis and repair algorithms developed by Sculpteo are very powerful and enable you to correct your model’s geometry to make it printable. However, in order to better control your 3D model’s geometry and to reduce processing time, it is strongly recommended to check and correct your 3D model before transferring it to our site. Here is a summary of the most common errors and how to correct them.

3.1. Reduce the Size of Your 3D File

In the “Model Info” dialogue box, go into the “Statistics” section and purge the model (Purge Unused).

3.2. Remove Intersections

You should try to have a consistent modeling approach by using the “Push/Pull” and “Follow me” tools. After using them, ensure that you do not leave any faces or edges inside the volumes. Erase them with the “Eraser” tool or the “Delete” key.

3.3. Clean Singular Elements from the Model

Ensure that you do not leave edges or singular faces inside the volumes you create. The CleanUp³ plugin might help you. To do so, go to the “Extensions” menu > “CleanUp³” > “Clean”. Check the elements to be removed.

3.4. Reverse the Faces

When modeling, all faces need to be properly oriented with their front faces visible. To quickly correct a model with improperly oriented faces, you can right click on them and reverse them, or use the FrontFace plugin.

3.5. Fixing Solids

To repair complex or cumbersome models, we suggest that you activate a plugin like SolidSolver by right-clicking on the group and selecting SolidSolver from the pull-down menu.

3.6. Apply Colors and Textures to the Front Faces

Colors and textures will be applied to the front of the faces. .You must be aware that some export formats take into account the 3D geometry only.

You will find additional information about Sculpteo’s analysis and repair tools.