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SketchUp for Schools Checklist: Eight New Features to Rock the School Year

SketchUp for Schools back-to-school bus 2018

Backpack? Check.
Chromebook? Check.
SketchUp for Schools? Check.

It’s back-to-school (a.k.a. the most exciting time of year) and SketchUp for Schools has a whole new set of features to bring to the classroom.

Last year, we launched SketchUp for Schools, a free 3D modeling browser application available to any primary and secondary school signed up with G Suite for Education. We’ve spent the past year getting  your feedback and making improvements so that students and educators can do more in 3D.  We’re proud to share what’s new in SketchUp for Schools.

Better 3D printing functionality

When SketchUp for Schools launched, we got a lot of “Thank Yous!,” and “Finally, SketchUp on Chromebooks!” The next question educators asked, “Can we use it to 3D print?” We’ve supported STL export since the beginning, but this year, we added a couple more features to make your 3D printing experience even better.

1. Solid Inspector. The web-child of Solid Inspector2, the #1 extension for preparing models for 3D printing on SketchUp’s Extension Warehouse. You can find it in the new 3D printing panel on the right.

Solid Inspector in action. Check it out in the new 3D printing panelSolid Inspector in action. Check it out in the new 3D printing panel!

2. 3D printing guide. An all-you-need-to-know 3D printing guide, complete with three new lesson plans. And more good news: lesson plans are now delivered in Google Slides. Check them all out on the web or directly in the SketchUp for Schools application.

SketchUp for SchoolsFind curriculum in the menu at the top left in SketchUp for Schools.

3. Solid Tools. Outer shell, union, subtract, trim, intersect, split—it’s all there! Not only are these features useful for creating cool geometry, but they can also help prep your model for 3D printing.

Solid Tools

4. STL import. Open all those Thingiverse models you’ve been wanting to play around with. And, it’s just as easy as exporting to STL.

A whole bunch of new modeling features

We’ve also been busy over the past year adding more of SketchUp’s desktop functionality to SketchUp for Schools. Throw these features on your back-to-school supply list!

5. Style Editor. Create your own custom styles or edit one of SketchUp’s many default styles.

6. Downsave .skp files to 2016 or 2017. Working on an earlier version of SketchUp Pro on your desktop? No sweat. We’ve added the ability to downsave your files so that you can work between SketchUp for Schools on your Chromebook and SketchUp Pro on your desktop.

7. Importers & Exporters. Last year, we provided the most popular exporters used in primary and secondary schools: STL and PNG. This year, we’ve added a lot more so you can flex your creative skills on the laser cutter, image editing software, and other 3D modeling tools. Check them out in the Insert or Export menus.

8. Material Editor. Give SketchUp’s material library your own unique touch by editing material opacity. Keep an eye out for a more robust material editor soon!


We’re always looking to improve your 3D modeling experience in SketchUp for Schools (and we’re not just saying that for extra credit). Keep your eyes peeled for new features throughout the year, and don’t hesitate to let us know if there’s a feature you simply cannot live without!

Now, it’s time to get to class and put SketchUp for Schools to the test!

About the Author

As the SketchUp EDU Product Manager, Joy's goal is to deliver awesome 3D modeling tools to Sketchup's education community. As a human, she is a perpetual learner, fitness enthusiast, dog-lover, and day-dreamer turned dream-chaser. Her side-kick, Luke, is always nearby.

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