Best SketchUp Version / Plugin / Workflow for Exporting Planes (to laser cutter, CNC etc)

Hi All,
I’m trying to help a student take her Sketchup model, and prepare planes (walls of a room etc) for laser cutting.

I am overwhelmed by the various version of SketchUp, extensions, techniques etc and would really appreciate any tips or links on an approach.

We are looking for the easiest way to export geometry to laser cut files (DXF maybe?).
I remember a long time ago I was doing this manually, by selecting each plane and proceeding to move them to the floor flat before exporting.

If the paid version of SketchUp will make this considerable easier we would be open to it.

Thank you kindly for any advice.

*would LOVE any tutorial links / workflow suggestions

Have a look at this thread https://forums.sketchup.com/t/fabber-the-sketchup-cnc-laser-cutting-solution/79779

Note that extension only work in SketchUp Pro or Make.

2 Likes

HI Teeem,

Thanks very much for the reply.
Sadly, it looks like the software required for that is extremely expensive.

Can you suggest any other possible approaches?

I really appreciate your response.

Hi,

are you referring to the cost of Fabber itself or the CAM software?

If its the latter maybe @ericschimel can way in if there are any lower-cost options that fabber works with.

1 Like

@artStudent You can still get the older (but still great) version of SketchUp 2017 for free. If you do need to buy it, I believe for education it’s only $50.

If you’d like to use the Fabber extension, and you’re in a school contact me directly here and I can set you up with a student account

2 Likes

Thanks for the help everyone.

@ericschimel that is very kind of you. I really appreciate it.

Originally I went to look at Vectric’s offerings, and it looked like it would be a thousand dollars to get that workflow going. Am I right that your tool is mainly compatible with Vectric?

We have access to Blender, the Autodesk suite, an older Mastercam license, Fusion 360 (with cam tools) and the Inventables Easel software in the lab at school. The student I’m trying to help uses Sketchup on her own, and so investing in workflows just to help her with this project is difficult, but one I’m trying my best to achieve.

If anyone has any tips on a brute force way to accomplish this task I’d be all ears (ie. select face and snap it to ground plane one at a time or something).

FredoPortrait may be useful as far as getting only the selected geometry “out” of SU via export to .dxf
FredoPortrait can be used for several purposes:

1. Transfer cameras within a model and across models.
2. Generate images and exports of the selection only
3. Generate 2D Component from selected 3D objects (for SU2018 and above) FredoPortrait can be used for several purposes:

I think that workflow is going to be far too complex for @artStudent

@artStudent can you post a sample file of what you’re trying to do? I could help further if I could see a file…

Thanks @ericschimel and @Charlie_v

Eric, I don’t have the student’s file handy, but here’s an example:
SketchupHouse
(The house from Sketchup home page).

Imagine I wanted to take the various planes (the wall, inside of window sill etc) and export them all to vector files for machining. I’m looking for the easiest way to get all of those planes out and onto a flat vector cut sheet. I don’t mind moving them around on the cut sheet in a program like Inkscape or Illustrator, but I’m stuck on how to get those planes out efficiently.

I may have misunderstood what Fabber does; does it only export geometry to tool paths, or does it convert to vector and then generate tool paths? My fabrication method would be importing the vector files to our school’s BOSS laser for cutting.

Any tips greatly appreciated :slight_smile:

ps if I have to click the planes one at a time to export I will do it… Just not sure how.
I remember a long time ago when I did something similar, I had to duplicate each plane > rotate it > snap it to ground etc and it was extremely slow… I probably just had a back workflow going :wink:

hey @ericschimel what do you think?

Hey sorry for the delay!

The answer is that on that house you could export the all of those panels in a flattened state, so for the basic ones you’d get a rectangle that’s the size of the cutout that you need. Does that make sense?