Creating a SketchUp Template: Part 2 – Saving and Using

In Part 1 of this series, I showed how to set up the SketchUp file that will be saved as a 3D printing template.

In this post, I’ll show how to save this file as a template, and how to start a new file using this template.

Save as Template

The file from Part 1 contained an imported model of a 3D printer (though you could just as easily create a simple box representing your print bed). The printer model sits on its own layer. And there are two scenes – one for showing the printer, one for hiding it.

Before you save, make sure what you want displayed is displayed. Click the “Makerbot” scene so that the printer is showing.

If you want to change edge properties, default face colors, or show or hide axes, now’s the time to do all that. The Styles window is where you’d make these changes. (The View menu has some of these display options as well.)

When the file looks like the template you want, choose File / Save as Template from the main menu. Give your template a name. If you want to use this template as the default each time you use SketchUp, check that box. Then click Save. That’s all there is to it.

SketchUp saves this file to a hidden folder, to prevent you from messing with the templates. (You can Google “SketchUp template folder” if you need to find out where they’re hidden away.)

Using the Template

Close SketchUp, or if SketchUp’s still open, choose Help / Welcome to SketchUp.

Your template appears in the template list. Choose it, then click Start using SketchUp. (If SketchUp is already open, the new template will be used the next time you create a new file.)


Here’s my 3D printing template, with its Makerbot ready for a 3D printing project. I found a minion model in the 3D Warehouse, and used the Scale tool to make it fit on the Makerbot’s print bed.


Once you have the model’s scale established, you can click the “No Makerbot” tab to blank the printer itself. That frees up your display to work on the 3D print model itself.

(You can’t send a SketchUp model directly to a 3D printer – it must be converted to STL format first. See our post on how to do that. When converting to STL, make sure the printer isn’t showing, or it will be included in the file conversion!)


Something to keep in mind – deleting templates isn’t quite as easy as creating them. You’ll have to dig into hidden folders. If you need to do this, just Google “delete SketchUp template” and get your instructions.



About Bonnie Roskes

Bonnie Roskes has been writing tutorial-style projects on 3D modeling software, primarily SketchUp, since 2001. Her website, offers a wide variety of learning materials for all ages, from kids in grade school through design professionals. Her materials cover general 3D design, 3D printing, geometry, interior design, geo-modeling, and more, and future books are in the works. Read more about Bonnie.