Dynamic Components - Flat Pack Version

Hi guys,

I work for a joinery/Shopfitting company we’re trying to streamline our drawing processes. We’re currently looking at purchasing a CNC machine to assist with our work.

I built a dynamic component for our standard method of construction for carcasses, as attached. What I’m trying (and struggling, massively) to do, is basically copy all of the individual components within my ‘Veneered Carcass’ dynamic component, so that they are laid out flat elsewhere in the model. I want to be able to scale the carcass template to whatever size is required, and then have the individual components change size to match.

The reason for this is that rather than exploding my models everytime when we’re putting them into vCarve, we’ve always got a flat version that we can import straight into vCarve that I can manipulate that way.

I’ve attached a copy of the model to show how I have it set up now. But if anyone could let me know if a. this is even possible, and hopefully b. how to do it.

That would be great!


Carcass Template - Veneered and Painted Doors.skp (139.4 KB)

Hey Joe!

I do a lot of CNC work using SketchUp and getting that information out to CNC. Here’s a fun one a did a few years ago:

I also do a lot of work with Dynamic components.

The two don’t always mix. Dynamic components work by scaling parts of the SketchUp model up and down. You can end up with rounding errors, arcs that aren’t arcs and circles that aren’t circles. These are all critical things when doing CNC.

That’s not to say that they flat out won’t work, but they are major caveats.

Not to sound like a shill but I did develop some software to solve this problem: www.getfabber.com.

For the reasons I outlined above Fabber doesn’t work with Dynamic Components, only static components.

There are other options though, but before I get into those what are you looking to do? Just cabinetry or other parametrically driven things that are CNC cut?

Hi Eric,

Thanks for the prompt response!

I’d actually downloaded the trail of Fabber and thought it was great. The only reservation I had was that the g code isn’t importable into vCarve from what I can fathom. We’d still have to ‘flatten’ our carcassing before we exported the SVG file via Fabber. Is that correct?

At the minute we’re just looking at cabinetry, we mainly do bespoke fitted units for people as well as bars for restaurants/pubs etc and some other interesting bits that I’ll have to navigate as and when they come in. I just wanted to find out a way of importing our carcassing into vCarve without having to flatten all of our units and individual components, which could consist of 15+ units sometimes, depending on the job.

Hope that makes sense!


Ahh, I think you downloaded Fabber at a bit of a transitional time… We used flatten SketchUp models into SVGs that you could then use in VCarve. We had a script that would automate the toolpathing based on the imported SVG (our SVG had special coding in it)

Now what we do is import your SketchUp model into Fabber cloud, we flatten and nest it and give you ready to run G Code. You in theory wouldn’t need VCarve at all. There are some caveats to that (for example Fabber doesn’t do text carving)

What kind of CNC are you running?


Ahhhh right I see.

We haven’t actually got the CNC yet! We’re looking at a few different models. The latest is an Apollo 1325 ATC w/ automatic tool change but this may change. I think we’d just need to review it depending on the model we end up going for.

I’m not sure how this particular machine works, we’re going to see it on Thursday, but the majority of others that we’ve looked at just have a USB slot that we import the files on, so I’m assuming we could just save the G code onto the pen drive that is then (hopefully!) read by the machine?

We don’t tend to do a lot of text work, but vCarve comes free with the machine, so if we do need to do any in the future we could always just revert back to it.

Thanks again for your help.

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