Get started with 3D printing: make the SketchUp logo

I’ve been hooked on 3D printing ever since I got my first wooden MakerBot back in 2009. I have thousands of printing hours just on that machine alone. I remember one of the first prints I attempted was a DeLorean from Back To The Future in flight mode. Back then I was naïve. I grew up watching Captain Picard confidently demand a replicator to make a “Tea, Earl Grey, hot!” Seeing it materialise in seconds – I thought this was how 3D printing worked.

Imagine my dismay when I removed my DeLorean from the printer. It did print, but it was so full of support material that I would have had to chisel away, I may as well have started with a solid block of plastic and whittled my own by hand!

Fast forward thousands of hours and a few hundred prints later... I’ve learned a lot. Some of the best prints I’ve found aren’t the most complicated ones, but ones that are optimized for 3D printing. A great print to me is one that can be easily printed time and time again, and shared with others to print.

I teach 3D printing to a lot of people. I always like to set them up with a run of easy – but fun – prints. There are a lot of easy-to-print files out there, but they don’t often come with clear instructions for a newcomer to 3D printing. This was the impetus for this project: The SketchUp step-box logo.

This print embodies just about everything I love about 3D printing: it’s easy to do and it doesn’t need any rafts or supports, so there’s no cleanup afterwards. You can do it on a basic single extruder printer. Most importantly, if you’re going to print something... why not a rad SketchUp logo!

To make this print really easy for anyone to do, I’ve put together some instructions below:

If you do print one, we’d love to see your “makes” here on our Thingiverse page.

If you’re looking for some more stuff to 3D print, 3D Warehouse now has a large list of printable items. If you’re looking for hand-picked printable SketchUp models, you can also keep an eye on this Thingiverse collection we’ve started here

Happy printing!