Flat assemblage for a dollhouse

When I was a kid, you would get models of things and all of the parts of the model (such as a model plane or something) would be connected as one flat piece of plastic and you would break them off of a square frame. I saw an ad on Facebook for this product (see pics) where you get a flat piece of balsa wood with the parts laser cut out of it, and these would be the pieces of a dollhouse. I was wondering how one would go about doing this in sketchup - model the whole thing and then disassemble it digitally on the y axis? Just curious if anyone has any ideas - it would be a nice Christmas gift for my girlfriend’s daughter,


Model the parts as individual components. Then you can lay out copies of them flat. Export a .dxf file to create the tool paths for CNC or laster cutting. Not quite the same but …

I could make the die halves for injection molding and crank out models all day. :smiley:


This stuff has revolutionized third-party mods for commercial model kits. It’s an amazing time.

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Here’s an example I built in a few moments. I built the “house” with the individual components and I changed the axes for the walls so they’d lay flat when I brought them in from the Components panel.


I built this ROKR train, then photographed the puzzle sheets and recreated the parts in SketchUp. Then I followed the printed instructions and rebuilt the train in SketchUp.


We just got trained.

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when people ask me how to model furnitures, I tell them to think of the last IKEA thing they assembled.

and make it the same. When in doubt, model all the elements they got in the package, and follow the assembly manual.

no experience in this exact thing, but made many cardboard models in arch school :
one thickness. You have to build your model by scaling up.

Say you’ll use 1mm cardboard. then EVERY element you make will be this thickness. But by modelling it 1mm, you’ll expose yourself to tiny faces limitations of sketchup.
So instead of using a mm template and typing 1, use a cm or a m template and type 1.
your model will be 10/100/1000 times too big, but you can scale in the end.

Then, model EVERYTHING with this thickness. each separate piece is its own group. you need a 3mm thick part ? it’s 3x1mm thick parts.

in the end, you’ll have many 1mm(or 1m) thick groups. all that remains is to lay them flat. And you could check Cutlist / Opencutlist to help you with that. they are woodworking extensions that take a model and make it cut / print / cnc ready.

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Very cool!