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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!

About the Author

When Eric isn’t using SketchUp, he’s turning his models into real world objects. Anything from Maker Benches, 3D prints, full size buildings, and even geodesic domes.

Profile Photo of Eric Schimelpfenig