Diagonal plywood boards fails to auto Layout

I purchased two Sketchup cabinet design models from a cabinet designer, for me to build myself from plywood etc.

The Sketchup models came with some flat pieces of plywood, shown at right angles in the 3D model, and those pieces layout fine.

It also came with several diagonal placed pieces of plywood that he modeled as a rectangular frame with the wood spanning from one corner edge to the opposite corner edge. These are causing a problem for the auto layout feature of the Builder Free SketchUp extension (similar to CutList).

I want to select all of the parts of the cabinet model and hit the button “Run Builder” to run the Builder Free extension, and get all of the parts laid out efficiently on sheets of 4x8 plywood, with minimal wasted wood.

When I hit “Run Builder” (EDIT: was “send to LayOut”), Builder fails to find matching wood stock for the parts which were designed as spanning from the one corner edge to the opposite corner edge of the bounding boxes.

For example, one problem part is half-inch thick plywood, 24 inches wide, 16.5 inches long, displayed in the design as attaching by its four edges at an angle of about 25 degrees. The designer made it as a frame 24 inches wide, about 14 inches long, and spanned the wood from the top left corner to the bottom right corner. Because none of the rectangular frame’s dimensions (24 x 14 x 8) is half-inch thick, this plywood board fails to match my 0.5 inch thick plywood stock, and Builder’s auto layout fails.

How you would go about solving this problem of Builder’s auto layout failing for this piece, and for all the other angled pieces which were modeled as rectangular solids with wood spanning from opposite edges.

The maker of the cabinet design doesn’t want to redo his work to model those 12 or so parts as flat pieces laying at an angle in space.

Is there some setting to make Builder Free’s auto layout automatically interpret the model for these parts as, for example, just the half inch thick plywood, 24 inches wide, 16.5 inches long?

Here’s an example file with only 2 of these “diagonal” boards in it for you to have a look at…
Diagonal plywood boards fails to auto layout.skp (42.1 KB)

Could you upload the SKP file so we can see exactly what you’ve got going on?

It does sound like you have a misunderstanding of what LayOut does. It does not automatically create a layout of sheet materials for you.

If you are referring to the layout portion of the CutList extension, it sounds to me as if you need to change the axes of the components for these angled parts.

I’ll copy and paste two of the plywood boards and save as a new .SKP file and upload to the first post, to show you what I’ve got going on. (Note it’s copyrighted protected design I agreed not to share the design with anyone. But two boards is fair use, no worries.)

By Layout I meant either the actual LayOut app, or the Build extension. I’m using the Build extension. They fail to match parts which are modeled diagonally inside of frames, with the suitable half inch thick plywood stock.

OK. First. LayOut is not intended to create layout of your sheet materials. LayOut is for creating documentation from your SketchUp model. It displays the scenes you’ve created in SketchUp.

As I said before, you need to change the components axes so the bounding box fits the part correctly. Compare your model to the screen shot.


right click on the component and choose Change Axes. Then set the origin, red, and then green axes so they align to the part.

I’m surprised the author wouldn’t fix that sort of thing. I’d never supply a SketchUp model with incorrectly oriented axes even if I was giving it away for free.

What is the “Build extension” you refer to?

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Sorry i put the wrong name… “Builder Free” is an extension from the Sketchup extension warehouse. It’s a more recently developed (Feb 2016) extension, similar to CutList (Feb 2015), meant to auto layout plywood parts on 2D plywood stock, or strips of 1D stock.

Thanks for the clarification. These extensions that do the layouts of parts work based on the shapes of the bounding boxes. Since the two components in your uploaded file were made incorrectly, they give undesired results in these extensions. As I’ve written now twice, you’ll need to correct the axis orientation for those components. It’s too bad the author was sloppy in their modeling. If they’d handled the component creation correctly, you wouldn’t have to do this.

Thanks, I thought the author should’ve fixed this, probably still should. Now I need a tutorial on how to fix the bounding boxes. The user interface is not mega ultra clear for a first timer. I get that Blue is the vertical axis. Red is horizontal and Green is depth. But how to specify these correctly onto the parts. I guess that the horizontal, Red, should indicate the plywood thickness, 0.5 inches, which is angled upwards to the right a bit in space, no the larger board. The Blue vertical is angled upwards to the left. And the depth, Green, is not angled at all off the normal Green axis.

For just getting proper reporting, it doesn’t matter which axis represents the thickness and which the length. It does come into play when applying materials and inserting copies of components into the model space. If all you want to do in this case is get the proper dimensions, right click on a component and choose Change Axes. Click on a corner to set the origin, then click along an edge to set the red axis direction and finally on an edge perpendicular to the red to set the green.

You can get into setting the axes more but this will get the immediate job done.

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One problem remains! I’ve fixed the model by doing Change Axes on all the problem boards, however, one last board is giving a problem and failing to lay out with Builder. Its axes are changed and its thickness matches the thickness of the plywood in stock. SkectchUp shows the same error as for the boards of the wrong thickness of the bounding box, due to wrong axes. "Components with errors are present in the model, and have been ignored from the cutlist."
It then shows the dimensions of the ignored component - 23 x 13 7/16 x 1/2. And there is 48 x 96 x 1/3 plywood in stock.
All other parts of the model get accepted for auto layout with Builder so this doesn’t make any sense.

Any suggestions how to fix this?

Perhaps you could share the SKP file with that part?

Diagonal panel myseriously should match plywood in stock but doesnt.skp (35.2 KB)
Sure. thing, here it is!

Well, it wouldn’t show up in the CutList layout because the Definition Name is ‘Component #58’ and not a name that would show up in the Sheet Materials section. I don’t use Builder but perhaps it has a similar issue. Change the Definition name to something the extension will recognize as a panel.

Could you install Builder extension and try it with that? CutList matches by material name needing to contain keywords relevant to plywood sheet. Builder matches by thickness of material so 1/2 inch thick parts should match 1/2 inch thick plywood stock, yet Builder claims it cannot match this part by thickness, for just this one single panel!

Nope! As @Chris_C observed, CutList identifies sheet goods by matching keywords in the name of the material applied, not the name of the group or component. Or did you mean so that Builder will match it?

That’s incorrect. Cutlist will also sort materials into the Sheet Materials if the component’s definition name contains a “sheet word” from the list. You do not have to apply a “sheet” material to the component or its faces to get it sorted into the Sheet Materials section.

If I get time over the weekend, I’ll try it with Builder.

Oops! You’re right. Because the dialog says “Sheet Material Words” I had never tried that!

I also haven’t used Builder Free, but its documentation says it tries first based on material name and if that fails based on thickness. It’s distributed encrypted, so only its author can tell why it might misfire in @Chris_C’s situation. Seems possible it’s a computer arithmetic effect the author didn’t handle well.

It’s a separate issue, but unless your project is made entirely of sheet materials or has no other parts that happen to be the same thickness as your sheets, this seems like a weak strategy.

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I use CutList for every single plan document I create and those models almost never get materials. It’s handy to be able to bypass the painting process when you don’t need to show the materials anyway.

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