• This article covers a feature introduced in SketchUp 2018. For help working with STL files in earlier versions of SketchUp, see 3D Printing a Model. In SketchUp, you can import and export STL files, which are used in 3D printing. As explained in 3D Printing a Model, for a SketchUp model to become a successful 3D printout, the model needs to meet certain criteria, such as having a base and a volume and being a solid.

  • Like all SketchUp users, you want SketchUp to be fast. Whatever your experience level or modeling style, the way you model impacts SketchUp’s performance, and this article explains how to create 3D models in ways that optimize performance. Behind the scenes, you can check how your computer stacks up against SketchUp’s requirements. And tucked into SketchUp’s preferences, you find a few settings that might also boost performance.


  • Your model’s template determines your model’s default settings. SketchUp includes several templates for common applications, like architecture, construction, urban planning, landscape architecture, woodworking, interior and production design, and 3D printing.

  • You can customize SketchUp so that it fits you like perfectly worn-in blue jeans — the pair you wear so often you worry how you’ll ever leave the house after the inevitable hole appears in the seat, because how you could ever leave the house without those jeans? Or maybe you’re more the button-down-shirt-and-trousers type? The point is that you can fashion SketchUp to reflect your specific situation:

  • Some philosophers say that naming something is the first step toward figuring out what makes that thing different from all the other things in the world. In a SketchUp 3D model, this idea isn’t some wishy-washy concept. When you use the Classifier to embed data into groups or or components, those groups or components become objects. When objects have names, descriptions, and so on, you can manage the details about all the classified objects.

  • Can you imagine Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press, learning how to create 3D models in SketchUp? Hopefully, he’d like the way SketchUp advances his groundbreaking invention — especially the text that moves and (in some cases) updates as you work on your model. In SketchUp, you can add four types of text, each depicted in the following figure: