Printables is a feature that makes it easier for millions of 3D Warehouse users to create, share, and print STL files. It’s built directly into 3D Warehouse, so there’s no need to download any additional plugins. Simply upload your SketchUp model to the 3D Warehouse, make it public, checkmark it Printable. From there, 3D Warehouse will hand your model off to Materialise’s Cloud Services which will analyze your model and automatically fix some of the most common issues that are known to hamper 3D Printing workflows. They will then generate a watertight STL file and send it back to 3D Warehouse where it will be available for you to download.
Making An Existing 3D model Printable
- Sign in to your 3D Warehouse account and select My 3D Warehouse from the Account drop-down menu.
- Click on the model you’d like to make printable and click Edit.
- Ensure that the model’s Privacy Settings are set to Public, and then check the Printable box at the bottom of the page.
- Click Save and voila*! A few moments later, you’ll have a Printable STL file available from the Download menu.
* What's going on behind the scenes?
Here's a closer look at what happens when a SketchUp file is pushed from 3D Warehouse to Materialize's 3D Print Cloud system:
- Convert to STL: During the first step, the SketchUp file is converted to STL – a commonly used file format for 3D printing. This first step is roughly comparable to the popular STL plugin for SketchUp.
- Analyze the STL file: The resulting STL file tends to have two common errors that 3D Printing software may struggle with: a) the part was not carefully designed; for example, some surfaces and edges appear to be connected visually, but in reality they aren’t; b) the conversion process itself introduces change, due to rounding-off data during calculations. 3D Print Cloud checks your STL file to look for these, as well as other common errors such as flipped triangles, bad edges, holes, etc...
- Repair the STL file: If 3D Print Cloud detects any errors, it will automatically repair your file. The automated repair tool will invert flipped triangles, stitch bad edges, fill holes, trim surfaces, and unify shells. If this is not enough, Materialize will apply their Shrinkwrap technology, which applies a thin layer around your model, ultimately repairing difficult errors while preserving its details.
- Push the STL file back to 3D Warehouse.
Downloading Printable Models
Once Materialize has finished processing a 3D model, there will be STL File option from the Download menu on that Model’s Details page.
Finding Printable Models
To find printable models, search the 3D Warehouse as normal but append
is:printable at the end of the search query. For example, if you want to find a bracelet that is printable, you would type [
bracelet is:printable ] in the search box. If you want to view all printable models, simply search for [
Making a 3D Printable Model
This is a topic for another Knowledge Center article...