Exporting 2D faces from Sketchup to Adobe Illustrator

So I’ve got a face that I want to lasercut, and the software that the laser cutter uses is Adobe Illustrator. However, when I try to export this 2D face, I end up with a rasterized image, instead of the 2D face only. I find this annoying, and I don’t have the money to pay for Sketchup Pro to get LayOut.

Can somebody help me out please? Thanks, very much appreciated.
P.S Would be best not to use any third-party apps but extensions from the warehouse are A-OK.

Are you sure the later cutter is using .ai files and not another filetype?

It sounds like you need vector output. That would require SketchUp Pro or SketchUp Shop. Alternatively you could hire someone to make a vector export for you.

What version of SketchUp are you using? Please complete your profile.

You can export as PDF in Make17 and open that in Illustrator.

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By the way, sketchup is 3d software, if you want 2d vector graphics, why not use a 2d vector graphic program. Quite a few free ones out there.

Yes, it’s using .ai files because I can cut directly after drawing some shapes.

I’m using Sketchup Make 2017 for your reference.

Thanks for the suggestion, I’ll try using export as PDF and see if it works.

EDIT: I went to File → Export but couldn’t find Export to PDF. Any tips?

Only on Mac.

oops I knew that once upon a time, sorry @tsarcoal

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The gray matter turns to jelly in all of us eventually Liam. Some sooner than others it seems.


You can achieve a vector PDF from SketchUp Make by printing to a PDF printer with the “Use high-accuracy HLR” (whatever it means, on the Mac they call it Vector Printing) print quality setting enabled.
The result is essentially identical to what you get with the Export>2d graphic>PDF or EPS function in SU Pro.

If you have adobe illustrator you could export the raster from SU at highest resolution and use “image trace/make expand” in illustrator to get a usable path, if thats accurate enough?

How does one get to the PDF printer?
Also, I think raster from SU would be good to get a path. I’ll try it and see if it’s accurate enough.

IF you were on a Mac, you can use the standard printing dialog box from any program that can print to make a PDF file. It looks like this in SketchUp.

I brought a test into PowerCADD and converted it to objects which worked.

After conversion:

I defer to Windows experts what your options are for printing, but I would assume the SU File->Export->2D Graphic and then PDF works. I tested that as well on my Mac and got the same results.



Illustrator was able to open the file as vectored art with each line segment as an object plus surfaces as polygons, so that’s a bit redundant for paths.

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Go to the Print panel and select it from the drop down list at the top.

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You must have one installed. There are a zillion available options, from many free ones to the expensive Adobe Acrobat Pro.

I’m sorry, could you add me some screenshots just so I know I’m using the right way?

FYI I’m on Windows 10. Thanks for the effort though Mac people.

There should be a pdf printer option in the list of printers.
However, it doesn’t send to print but gets saved as a pdf - of which you need to specify file location, name etc. Then open that pdf and print.


idk.pdf (39.0 KB)
hmmmm so here it is, but that simply achieves the same purpose of having a 2D graphic.
Compared to the rasterized image, they’re quite alike.

Also, I only got Microsoft Print to PDF and not Adobe PDF and stuff.

As said earlier, check the “Use high-accuracy HLR” box