Sketchup tutorial: Prepare your model for 3D Printing with Sketchup

This tutorial was created for SketchUp 3D modeling software users, and will focus on its use in 3D printing.

In this tutorial, we will provide a brief overview of modeling best practices. We will show you the main pitfalls to avoid and solutions you can use to resolve them. After reading the tutorial, you will be able to:

Then, you will be able to upload your 3D file on our website and 3D print it!


Developed by Trimble, SketchUp is 3D software for everyone. It is one of the most-widely used 3D-modeling software used in schools and in the workplace. It is surface modeling software with which you are able to manipulate faces and edges. One of the reasons for its success is that it has simple, intuitive modeling tools.

You do not have to be an expert user of SketchUp to take this tutorial. Intended for beginners and professionals alike, this tutorial will simply give you a good foundation to begin with. It is, in fact, complicated to modify a poorly designed model in SketchUp. For this reason, we will give you some practices for optimum 3D file creation to ensure successful 3D printing.

To learn about modeling with SketchUp, please refer to SketchUp’s learning center In addition, you can consult Jean-Luc Clauss’ book , 3D Printing with SketchUp or his training video Modeling an Object for 3D Printing to start 3D printing with SketchUp on the right foot You will also find many tutorials about SketchUp on Youtube .

This tutorial was created based on the 2015 version of the software (Windows version). All of the operations described can also be performed on the Mac version of the software. Furthermore, you do not need the professional, paid version of SketchUp software to create models for 3D printing However, this version does provide you with additional tools (such as importing and exporting other documents) to optimize your modeling.

To download SketchUp, please refer to the developer’s website: http://www.sketchup.com/fr/download/all.