I recently laser-cut some pieces where I’d drawn the drawing in SketchUp. Been a few years since I last did this and then used Rhino or AutoCad. But this time when I used SketchUp it occurred to me that it’s actually quite fitting for drawing for laser-cutting - due to how SketchUp automatically merge geometry.
In other vector applications I used previously there was a constant issue of overlapping lines if you were not careful. But with SketchUp that’s pretty much non-existent as long as you don’t nest stuff inside groups/components.
Anyway, here’s the model:
While it’s not strictly necessary I prefer to turn on orthogonal camera and switch to top view.
I then set the Style to draw edges by material instead of the default:
This allows me to define colours for different cuts/engraving settings later on.
HexTiles-60mm.skp (177.1 KB)
Once it’s all drawn you need to find out what format the software for the laser cutter supports. You cannot print directly from SketchUp. There’s always some software that comes with the laser-cutter that knows how to talk to the hardware. Note that I exported in 3D - not the “2D Export” - because the “2D export” distorts things based on the view and doesn’t preserve scale. This also means you must be careful to ensure you draw everything flat in the model.
Often you can use DXF - which I did in this case:
HexTiles-60mm.dxf (475.6 KB)
Then the DXF file was transferred to the laser-cutter software and I set up what cut or engraving type I wanted to use based on the line colors.
You start the laser-cutter and sit back, make a cup of tea…
Hope this helps.