Flattening Extension


So, I created a topic as to having an issue with taking my 3D model down to a cut list for the individual parts. After some discussion it was brought to my attention that maybe in fact I was in need of a flattening ext as opposed to a cut-list as it will not call out angles of the parts only lay them out on a piece of material… Any advice on what I’m trying to accomplish here?


Could you post an example of a source sketchup model and an expected result?


Flattery over on SketchUcation Plugin store…

if you want foldable type layout…

if it’s a suite of armour it may take a while to work out the fold lines…



So this is my design, and now i have to get it broken down into individual panels in a flat orientation to send to the metal fab shop to be cut on the laser table


Unwrap and flatten also seems to do what you need…


for something with so few pieces I would do it manually…

how are you fabricating the end result?

folds and welds…



Busy breaking all the individual panels into Components since the design was from a pulled rectangle, but as soon as i can finish I will give the ext a try.

Thank you for the advice


Unfortunately I gave breaking it down and just doing it manually a try already. Sketchup doesn’t have a way to call out the angles, only for straight line dimensions so obviously the information for the laser table isn’t there. All the panels are individual to avoid having an incorrect angle from the metal break, once cut they will all be welded at the individual seams.


I just tried unwrap and flatten on one of my projects (model had similar angles / complexity) - it worked well without breaking up the model, I selected only 4 sides (not 5) of faces at once to simply the process. Worked well.

Your model may suit breaking into 3 components (mirrored ends) and then try unwrap.


add your .skp file and I’m sure some people will play…

I would normally look at laser cutting with a half etch on the back side for the fold lines…

i did one in brass last year where we CNC’d V cuts after laser cutting the outlines for almost perfect folds…



The flattening extensions won’t give you the angular dimensions either!!
They will just flatten your object. And you can do that manually as wel.
The results will be the same, a flattened shape, no dimensons.
You can download the extension “Angular dimensions”, this will tell you the angles you need to know.


Just to confirm - did you use flattery; anything else required prior to export, and what export file type did you use?


it was built in 3d with material thickness, then I grouped each ‘piece’ faces and edges, then…

select all >> deselect one >> rotate first + rest to plane of first >> deselect first >> rinse and repeat…

when all where flat, made a dxf of just the outline for laser cutting out 21 per sheet…

I deleted all faces, leaving only edges, which I put all on a second Layer

I set line color to green for the dxf

from Sketchup, I set Top View, Parallel Projection and export 3d AC2007 , shown as black in this image…

then add the V cuts to an exploded copy of the master flattened piece…

I’ll see if I can find a file I can share it’s an ongoing job…

they fold up into a cube, like in this quick render…



oh wow… John, that just sounded far more complicated than i have nerve for lol


the hard bit was making a jig to fold them square without leaving any marks on the surfaces…

with yours [and mine] you only need to fold out half and rotate a copy…



Gotcha, Well I’m in process of copying and making a component of my last piece now, so which flattening ext should i try this with? And, it looks like you or some mentioned that I’ll need to add another ext to cal out the angles on the pieces?


Thanks for the details.

So CNC machines prefer dxf?

Did you add the v grooves to the dxf?


So yeah… This is obnoxious…
I guess I never realized just how impossible it is to get a simple layout from a design program… I mean seriously, been moving all these pieces, copying and moving one at a time because I was told they had to be components in order to get a cut list, now that I’ve sat here doing that for 2 hours, the flatten ext doesn’t work on components… it wants everything ungrouped… i mean there really has to be an easier way to take a design and get an accurate breakdown for parts cutting… At wits end


If you’d share the SKP file I’m sure we can show you that it isn’t impossible.


LOL, Must be above my paygrade because I’ve burned an entire day attempting it every which waybumper cut list comp.skp (199.4 KB)

So the grey one in the foreground has no components, the white one in the rear is the one that the pieces were copied, moved back, and made in to comp.