Create 3D Wireframe 2D Projections?

I would like to be able to create 2D wireframe projections from 3D models, so that my students can design and create their own edge lit lamp’s in the same way as below. It is very easy to find artwork for sale and there are many designs that are free, but I want them to be able to create something original.
I have spent days on this and the closest I have come is to use the Skema 2D Projection Extension. It does work with the Solid Wireframe option, although I did encounter some problems on certain models. The main issue is that although the projection may be perfect on Sketchup, once exported as a DXF and opened in Illustrator, to be printed on the laser cutter, it is completely distorted and unusable.
If anyone has a fix or recommendations I would be very grateful.

Have a look at this thread:

Thank you for your response. I read through the thread anyway to see if there was any information on the DXF issue but it appears to be about creating a net of a 3D object unless I have missed something?
I am looking for either a different way of creating the wireframe image you can see below (I have included one from the side so show that the projection is just a 2D image from a particular angle) or a way to stop the distortion shown in the image of the DXF open in Illustrator.

Are you using a desktop version of SketchUp or SketchUp for schools? (Your profile says the latter, the thread suggests the former)

Last I was teaching with SU for Schools, it had no export ability, but I see it does now. I thought I’d give it a try, but I can’t get any output let alone see if it’s distorted or something.


These aren’t hugely complicated and would think it as easy to output a 2D image (raster) from SU and then just trace the lines in illustrator, with the newer curve tools this is a lot easier than it used to be. I had done this one last week in the same way (attached and didn’t take too long) As its a school, I would imagine this type of practice might be good too?


The pupils will be using Sketchup for schools but I have access to both versions on a non-networked PC. The extention that I am using has the DXF output inbuilt though.

Hi, thanks. That’s definitely a potential option. How did you create the grid effect in SU though @whiterabbitdesigncompany

And you’re using the plugin for DXF rather than built in because you have SU Make not SU Pro, I’m guessing?

I’m wondering if there’s something wrong with the way the plugin makes DXF files.

There have been reports by others that some extensions that export DXF files don’t do so properly.

@Rutantu, Since you are using SketchUp for education purposes, you should be able to get a version that has a native DXF importer so you don’t need to rely on an extension.

Does SU for Schools have eps export? This is 2D projection in Vector format done using SU pro. Also, @Rutantu - check out this video on low poly modeling using Vertex Tools and SubD that can get you the lines effect you’re looking for: High & Low Poly Apple Modeling In SketchUp - YouTube

There is a native one but it is not working for me.

These are the options but I always get the error message ‘We encountered a problem during this operation’

This is the list of files types that can be exported @eric-s. That is a very interesting video, I wondered how stuff like that was done.
I was hopeful that it could be achieved without extentions so that the pupils could be as independant as possible, but am willing to do the final conversion myself on the desktop version of Sketchup Make if necessary.

So, you experience the same thing I am with DXF export option. A thread should be started under SketchUp for Schools about this.

You could also get either an education license for SU Pro for yourself, or run a trial version of SU Pro with a time window around when you would need it.

In this case, the shape was drawn in SU with these exact same lines but with a distorted view, and then traced in illustrator with the curvature tool (although it could likely be done with live trace) the resulting lines were then separated in pathfinder.

Another option than the skema 2D would be to use Eneroth’s “flatten to plane” extension. Providing you orient the view you need from above as the projection maps to the floor (x,y). Exporting as a DWG and that goes into illustrator without issue.

The issue in SU will be to get the lines correct. Quads will display as your examples show better, so you might be better in blender?

The Skema extention creates the lines automatically which is what I was looking for. I tried to use the flatten to plane extention but although it did not effect the projection in any way, the name and

made me realise the problem! The extention works by taking a view from a section plane and I was tilting the section plane to get my view resulting in the output being in a box rather than a flat image.
I used a section plane on axis to produce the projection on the left which exported perfectly.
It would be easier if there was an simple way to flatten the boxed version to get a good view but I can certainly work with what I have now.

Thank you to everyone for their input!

Now I’d like to learn how to make 3D projections of 4D objects :smiley: .


Ask the mice!