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.


  • 1.1. Know the Material Used for Successful 3D Printing
  • 1.2. Prepare for Modeling
  • 1.3. Orient the Faces of Your Model Correctly
  • 1.4. Create Closed Volumes (Solids)
  • 1.5. Optimize Modeling with Plugins
  • 1.6. Color Your 3D Model
  • 2.1. Import a 3D File in SketchUp
  • 2.2. Analyze and Measure Your 3D Model
  • 2.3. Export Your File for 3D Printing
  • 2.4. Transfer Your File to sculpteo.com
  • 3.1. Reduce the Size of Your 3D File
  • 3.2. Remove Intersections
  • 3.3. Clean Singular Elements from the Model
  • 3.4. Reverse the Faces
  • 3.5. Fixing Solids
  • 3.6. Apply Colors and Textures to the Front Faces

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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