Exporting to 2D file for Printing

I went to FedEx to print out my fairly large drawing, and brought along 3 different exports from my .skp file:
Control Panel.skp (246.4 KB)

A .pdf:
Control Panel.pdf (103.0 KB)

A .jpg:

And an .eps:
Control Panel.eps (90.8 KB)

I figured since .eps is the only export I could find to make sure it exported at a 1:1 scale I would try that… but they had nothing that could read that file extension.

So we tried the .pdf and it printed too small.

Then we tried the .jpg and it printed too big.

What am I missing here?

How did you export to the PDF? What settings did you use? If you used the view as it shows in the SKP file, you missed setting the camera to Parallel Projection, setting the standard Top view, and setting the window size so the panel fills the frame. You probably also missed setting the option for Full Scale. Without setting the Camera to Parallel Projection, scale doesn’t make any sense and so it wouldn’t be something you could set anyway.

Notice that when your PDF is setup to print at 100% using Adobe Reader’s poster option, yours would print out the panel very large. So if you told the people at Fed Ex to print it on a sheet that would contain the correctly sized drawing, it would print out too small.

I set the Camera to Parallel Projection, standard Top View and I shortened the height of the model window to more closely approximate the shape of the panel. Then I set up the PDF as shown above and I got this. It appears to be much more appropriate for the size of the panel.

With all that said, setting something like this up to print at full size is much more easily and dependably achieved in LayOut although you’d need to be using SketchUp Pro to have LayOut.

Hey DaveR,

You had me right up until going into Adobe and checking how it was set to print as a poster. On my screen it shows me much different dimensions.

So I went back to Sketchup and checked my export settings like you said:

Then I closed the field around it as much as possible… (I don’t know why this affects the PDF to be honest)

.skp file for reference:
Control Panel.skp (248.3 KB)

Then I went back into Adobe Acrobat:

… so… long story short…

I understand why making sure marking Parallel Projection and Top Camera view are important.

However, I don’t understand why framing the PDF different effects it’s size, unless I perfectly need to snapshot the object within my window in order to maintain it’s dimensions. Is that the case?

If I take this file to FedEx tomorrow will it print to scale now?
Control Panel.pdf (100.0 KB)

Or will it just be “closer” to scale?

Basically. The model space is used for setting the limits of the printing area and that impacts the way the model displays on the “paper”. With LayOut you don’t need to change the SketchUp window. You can set the paper to a size that is appropriate for the pattern. Here I set up the paper to be slightly larger than the panel at full size. It is similar to resizing the drawing window in SketchUp although in LO it’s a lot more straightforward to set up.

And the resulting PDF setup to print to poster size:

My printer setup is for letter size paper so the number of sheets would be different for a different size paper.

It depends on the printer. I would expect it to be closer. You could print it first using the Poster setting and see how things measure up.

So to be clear:
There is not a way to use Sketchup that ensures an object exports an image that allows it to be printed at the scale you draw it in?

If so, does this also mean that the .dwg files are also flawed and cannot be used for CNC / laser printing since they measurements will not be to scale?

An exported PDF, if set up correctly before export and set up correctly for printing, should print at the selected scale although it also depends upon the printer.

It’s possible to print to scale directly from SketchUp, including SketchUp Make, but you need to have an appropriate printer installed.

How do you make that leap? Exported DWG files will be exported at the scale selected in the Export options. Since you are using SketchUp Make, however, exporting DWG files is not an option. That requires SketchUp Pro. If you have SketchUp Pro you can export CAD files and you’d have LayOut which as I’ve indicated several times already would make creating full size PDFs easier and allow higher quality output.

You mention that it “depends on the printer.” We all know if you goof something up with a third party… whether acrobat… the printer… the person entering in informaiton at a printing place… it will be screwed up.

However, if I export a .pdf with the settings I did above and print it out and it is wrong… but I export a .pdf from AutoCAD and that same printer does it perfectly, how is it that I’m doing something wrong or the printer is doing something wrong?

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