Converting/exploding models for CNC machining layout

hi all, is it possible to prep layout for CNCs within sketchup? I’ve seen it being done in fusion, but I haven’t quite come across anything in sketchup. I searched in this forum and found a couple of topics but havent quite found a workable solution yet, so i’ll try clarifying my scope to get nearer to my needs.

for CNCing i’m using Vcarve, which has an option to import a sketchup model (tho listed as vector). It can either import it as exploded view or as front/side/top view. Both of which will fail with mildly complex models. so i end up laying it myself manually but its a tedious process. (it fails even to layout a simple stepped showcase)

so any efficient solution maybe via addon or something to ease the layout? preferably something simple that works with already built models as I do not wish to adapt/convert/mess with them to make it work with this extension (if it exists). I might be open to the idea to looking into other software if its not that difficult (like exporting from sketchup just to lay it out not learning a whole new 3d creation process)

obviously not knowing what involves in coding an extension i might be asking something impossible, but at least on paper the concept of exploding a model isn’t at all that difficult, thought i do understand it might be an issue of how “deep” of an explosion each model should go if grouped.

PS I work mostly with flat surfaces, but I do have projects with angled joints (imagine a pyramid or something)

thanks in advance

Check out This extension was purpose built to bring SketchUp models into a CNC workflow. I believe it produces tool paths and material sheet layouts.

I hope this helps


thanks, video looks promising. The only drawback is it works with cloud and i dont have internet on cnc laptop. So i’ll have to prep work way beforehand.
will check their website to see how it really works.
thanks for sharing

Vcarve imports Sketchup models directly. Look at the options to specify which surface of the parts is up in the flattened position. You will need to select the option to select top surface by material. In your Sketchup model simply paint your model with a color on the “up” side.

The only drawback is it works with cloud and i dont have internet on cnc laptop.

I believe the cloud portion is just to create and download the g-code file. From there you can take the file to your CNC machine

Here is another video

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I output from SketchUp for digital tool path manufacturing regularly (CNC router, plasma, water jet…). I’m happy with exporting DXF through the extension simpleDXF. Native DXF export has some fatal flaws that make it unsuitable for import into CAM software.

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