Gingerbread house: how to separate model into 2D components?


I’m pretty new to Sketchup, and I using it to create a pattern for a gingerbread house.

I got the idea from this website: Pepparkakshusbygge
(but he doesnt explain how to use Sketchup).

Now, I’ve figured out how to make the 3D model of the gingerbread house, but I’m stuck on how to get the different parts into separate components, then make them lie down flat so that I can print them out (as shown in the link above). The way it is described on the blog is that each part should be converted into a component (I’ve learned how to make a component and make a copy of it next to the model house, but from there on I’m stuck).

Can anyone help me, pretty please with sugar on top?

Thanks in advance!

Each wall should either be a component or a group. I do this sort of thing all the time and I use groups. When the walls are grouped, just “explode” the house by moving the walls away from each other, similar to an exploded view drawing that we have all seen when putting together WalMart bookcases. Highlight a wall, hover one side edge until you see the protractor, then rotate wall 90 degrees. Do for all wall making sure to move them about so that they don’t overlap. Next, use the move tool to place them all on one plane. Then use the TOP VIEW function to look down on the parts and arrange neatly for printing. If you need more description, let us know.

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Looks like an interesting project – what material will you end up using?

In any case, there are two extensions that you might find helpful.

CLF Loose to Groups will turn loose geometry into groups. So the issue there might be manually detaching parts of your house from themselves to that this extension can automate group creation.

For laying out groups flat, I’ve always had a hard time finding good scripts for this. One that seems to work okay hasn’t been built into a proper extension yet, but you can find the loose code for it here on SketchUcation. When your groups are ready to be laid out flat, go to Window > Ruby Console, and paste in the code from this forum thread. It should work to lay out all you groups flat on their biggest face on the XY plane. Make sure to save out a copy of your model before running this script!

Hope you find these two extensions helpful!


Thanks for the replies! It will be made out of gingerbread.

Unfortunately the script doesnt seem to work. A couple of the pieces are now laying flat, but most don’t. And all the pices are lying on different levels.

I’m clearly a novice at this because I cant get the rotate function to work at all either, nor move them so that they are all on the same level (I can get them pretty close but not exactly on the XY axis).

Any other tips on how to get the pieces aligned flat next to each other on the same level (XY axis)?

This is what it looks like right now

You’ve basically got a handful of objects you want to move and rotate to be coplanar. To any reasonably proficient SU user, this would be too easy to talk about simply by using the Move and Rotate tools guided by inferencing, and the task would scarcely rise to the level of needing an extension.

To a novice with no experience with those tools, the task seems downright un-doable.

If you plan on using SU for more than just this one project, perhaps you should set aside your project for a while and go through some basic videos and tutorials to get a general understanding of the tools and interface. This will stand you in good stead for whatever project you decide to tackle next.

There are no specialized “gingerbread house tools.” There are a few, basic, multi-purpose tools which you use for everything, and you either teach yourself to use them as a separate and focused activity or you proceed under a tremendous handicap.

If you do not plan on using SU beyond this one project, why even bother with extensions? Simply upload the skp file and I’ll put the pieces on the same plane for you myself. I think I can spare the three minutes.


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Oh my that would be super nice!

Haha yeah Im an uber novice. I think i might have over-extended my baking abilities this year… I only found this program for this gingerbread purpose :slight_smile:

gingerbread house pieces.skp (192.6 KB)

Here you go.

gingerbread house pieces.skp (90.6 KB)



You dont happen to live in Nairobi do you?
If so, I would bake an extra one for you!

What? You live in Nairobi, too? Talk about a small world!

Just kidding.


pault728: THANK YOU! It took me a bit of hovering but I finally worked out how to get the protractor to come up when in move mode and rotate the piece flat. Before now I was trying to do that with the rotate tool and having no luck.

Just to be clear on the move rotate function. The little red crosses that appear are the rotate handles. Click and release on one of them and it will rotate around the center of that face. Keep and eye on the VCB for the angle you want, or type in the angle you want it to rotate to and hit enter. Multiples of 90 will be the x,y.z axes.