1:1 printing plans for woodworking

Had a reply on Aaron’s live Q&A from Dave R to get in touch about printing 1:1 woodworking plans in SketchUp without having to export the model and dimensions. All help appreciated.

Can you share an example file that shows what you are trying to print?

That was quick, many thanks. It’s late here but I’ll post something later this weekend if that’s ok.

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That’ll work

Many thanks.

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Hi Dave, as discussed here is the problem I want to try and resolve with printing actual size templates for my scroll saw and band saw to be able to cut to the line. At the moment when I select print from the Sketchup menu, it prints the screen shot which is nowhere near the actual size.

The only way I’ve been able to get approx accurate sizes is to export the view as 2D graphic in parallel projection and then use that as a PDF and import it into Pages and resize it into a bounded box of the outer dimensions of what I want to print, which is long winded, awkward and not particularly accurate. Is there a better way to get actual size prints directly from Sketchup?

Many thanks for any assistance you can provide.


Lego man 2.skp (545.3 KB) Leg 5.5x3"…pdf (147.1 KB)

OK. So to print what you want to scale you first need to set up a standard view with Parallel Projection. In this case the front view. If you are going to print directly from SketchUp you need to resize the model window to approximately the same aspect ratio as the paper your printer can handle and you need to zoom in on what you want to show. In the case of the leg, taller than wide. Something like this:

Then in the Print Preview or Print windows you need to untick Fit to Page and Use model extents. Set the scale to 1:1. You’ll see how many pages are needed in the Tile Sheet Print Range.

Then you can print.

Rinse and repeat for the next pattern you want to print.

With LayOut you don’t need to resize the model window. Make a scene for each of the patterns you want to print, sent to LO, select the appropriate paper size and set the viewports to the desired scale.

Export to PDF for printing.

In LayOut you can make multiple pages if you have multiple patterns to print and if they require larger paper than your printed can handle, you can choose the larger paper size and then send the resulting PDF out to your local office supply store or print shop for printing. There’s a lot more flexibility in what you can print and how working through LayOut.

As an example, this is from a plan I did. It’s intended to print on Arch E paper (48 in. wide by 36 in. tall). There are full size patterns for the back rest slats, armrest and legs. Other parts are shown at a smaller scale. This is fully dimensioned and labeled but I’ve hidden that stuff for the screen shot.

Another example. All the parts and joinery shown at 1:1.



I had to have a play at fixing up your model. I found things not aligned and other dimensions that didn’t make a huge amount of sense. Since you are presumably making this from wood, I took the liberty of changing the posts to separate parts on the body (for the neck), waist and hands. Probably should have split the arms into several parts, too.

Lego man 2.skp (395.1 KB)

Thanks Dave. The alignment and dimensions are down to me being new to SU - been at it now for only a few months and all self taught (apart from watching Aaron and Tyson with the inputs from experts like yourself). I only do this for fun and am challenging myself by working through the 3D machine parts list in native tools and am getting there - slowly. I’m sure I’ve got a long way to go.

Keep safe

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