Google Sketch-Up Question


Well-Known Member
Can a file/model be taken from Sketch up and sent to have a 3D print made? Is it expensive and what are some of the sites to have this done?


Sr Member
Yes it can, however there are a few caveats you need to watch out for if you're just getting started with 3D printed.

One is that the file you want printed needs to have thickness, and not just a surface. The printer needs to know the exact dimensions of any given object in order to print it. For all intents and purposes a surface has no thickness so the printer wouldn't know how to print it.

Price wise it's all relative to what you want to have made and in what material. The bigger the object the more it cost to print. Most companies calculate cost by the volume of your object. You can greatly reduce the cost by hollowing out your object if the situation calls for it.
To give you an idea on cost, here are some examples:

The overall dimensions of this object are 5.5" w x 0.7" d x 1.4" h and is a solid object.
Cost to print was $37.40. Had I hollowed it out, the cost would be significantly lower.

Here's a much smaller ring with dimensions of: 1.0" w x 0.6" d x 1.0" h and cost $3.56 in plastic. For stainless steel it's $17.76 and you can even get it gold plated for a final cost of $20.76.

So you see you have your options in regards to cost.
My recommendation to have it all printed is Shapeways - Customize and create 3D printed products. Welcome to the Future of Stuff.
They've always done me right and haven't had a problem with them. Their prices are reasonable and the website is extremely easy to use.

Any more questions don't hesitate to ask!

Wes R

Legendary Member
I agree at the moment i think shapeways is the only place anyone goes to. As the printers get cheaper more places will open up. Squirl, i'm putting you in charge of uploading all projects onto shapeways lol


Well-Known Member
And if you need to check your model to see if it's OK for printing there's a program called NetFabb which has a free version. You can use it to measure thicknesses and it can check to see if there's any issues that would prevent your model from being able to be printed.