LayOut alternative for someone that does not need Pro

Interested in using for my woodworking hobby. Looking for an alternative to paying $590 just to have the layout ability for my occasional use. Can not justify spending that kind of money on it.

If you are a hobbyist woodworker, why would you need the LayOut app in the first place? If I may presume to guess the nature of your requirement, I should think you’d be looking for something that would enable you to print out full-size patterns of woodworking pieces for your own use. LayOut is really intended to make professional-caliber 2D drawings and presentations.

Well then, why not tell us specifically what capabilities you’re looking for? As it is, we don’t really have any idea how you would plan to use LayOut or its alternative, making it somewhat difficult to advise you.


I’m a semi-retired cabinetmaker, and the free version goes way beyond anything I need!

I guess the question to ask is, will you make money with your use of the program? If so, you should pay for it. If not, and it’s just to use in the shop, the free app is all you need. Start there!

I really don’t need to tell me to cut a piece of wood in a square a rectangle with certain dimensions. That would be the cut list.

Unless I am mistaken, doesn’t the layout feature show how to cut all the pieces with the least cuts and waste?

Yes, you are mistaken, possibly because of different things using the same name. As Gully observed, Trimble’s Layout application, which comes with the Pro version of SketchUp, is a document generation tool. It does not generate cutting plans (aka “layouts”) for getting your parts from a board or a sheet of plywood. There are plugins and other external tools for cutlists and cutting plans.

Gully was referring to the possibility to create a full-size paper pattern from which to make a template for a shaped part. That is possible using SketchUp Make, but easier using Layout.


Thanks for the information. Learned something new. What plugin would I need them?

Cutlist has a plug-in

@miamited, have you noticed how every one of your posts is a couple of short, cryptic sentences containing mostly criticisms, complaints, and things you don’t want or need? You provide no real positive information as to what you do want. How, then, can anyone seriously advise you?

Tell us exactly what capabilities you’re looking for. Then we can tell you whether you need LayOut to do it or whether you can accomplish it in Make, or whether such capability even exists.


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I have explained what I need and was already given a solution.

As I have already ststed, I al lok I ng for a way to layout the pieces of woof for amcutting guide to result in the least waste of materials.


You never stated that–@slbaumgartner did. And as he already pointed out, “LayOut” does not search for the optimal fit for a bunch of pieces on a sheet of plywood.

However, if you make an outline for each piece you wish to cut out and make those components, you can lay them out on a piece of sheet stock and slide them around until you get a good fit.

It seems to me that even doing it manually that way, you would rapidly reach a point of diminishing returns as to the best arrangement. After a few tweaks to move around obvious poor fits, I really doubt that a computer algorithm marching through all the possible alternative arrangements would be able to save even another 10% after that. Big deal. If the outlines are too close, it becomes more difficult to cut out. To me, the huge advantage to this over paper and pencil is the very fact that you can slide the pieces around.


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Neither SketchUp nor LayOut have a native ‘panel optimization’ feature.


Use version 8 the EULA is non threatening and get Cutlist plugin. Also, If you are using your computer to model…use it in the shop. Also see I SketchUp, You Can To on G+ fb or youtube. I take requests.

Hi Gully, don’t see you round the ‘other’ forum much, you should visit the ‘other’ one… this one is making you grumpy. :smile:

Cut list Pro is good. But really, if the job isnt urgent, why not just move em around on an 8 x 4 sheet, for example, and see how they fit. This brain/Su integration often can lead to improvements in design, shopping and construction. For example: I was able to cut an expensive order from 4 sheets of 2400 x 1200mm to 3 when i saw that the 1300mm widths I need happen to have the shelf at 1200 which could cover a join, so easy to use offcuts.
Silly example, but Su has saved my ass a few times now.
The bottom line being; if it dont work in sketchup, it dont work in reality.

( For whom Gully stitched me a beautiful yacht hull, many years ago).

Grumpy? Moi? Surely you are mistaken, Baz. I am widely known for my sweet disposition.


Dear friend
I’m also a woodworker and I use Su 8 every day, for every project I draw my work before to cut any piece, that"s what sketching stand for. Using the free version I made scenes for all three views and put the dimensions in separeted layers. finishing saved in PDF and print.
If you need a label or a stamp, do it in another program and just insert as image.

A friend of mine uses SU pro to design cabinets and do presentations, but he uses a dedicated CNC program to do what you want - it optimizes the materials, does cut lists etc.then it runs the saws. It costs $6000

I don’t use SU pro because I rarely need to do a 2d presentation that I can’t do with the free version. In a way, I wish there was a plugin that would keep it all on one plane. I just did a floor plan and some of the lines are obviously not level. the stairs are not square, indicating they are out of level. Sigh.


If you draw a big rectangle (say, on the ground plane) and use it as a drawing surface, On Face inferencing (blue dot) sucks your mouse pointer onto the face, effectively doing what you’re asking for. Just wait to see the blue dot before each click.


Hi Gully. Happy Easter. How does that work with importing plans? Many times I import a floor plan or a section of a building, resize it so it’s scale is correct, and draw new walls or changes I want to show a client or a sub. Should I draw the rectangle, then import the image onto the rectangle and draw on that?


You want to draw on an object that will induce On Face inferencing. There are, I believe, four kinds of objects that can be used for that purpose. They are:

  • A face, such as a rectangle. You get a blue dot and the tooltip On Face.
  • A face inside a group or component. You get a magenta dot and the tooltip On Face in Group [or in Component]
  • An image. You get a magenta dot and the tooltip On Face in Image.

So, depending on the circumstances, you could use any of these objects, all of which exhibit the behavior you were originally looking for. If you’re just drawing something new from scratch, draw on a rectangle. If you’re tracing or amending an image, you can draw on that. And so on. The essential thing is to wait for the expected inferencing feedback before clicking every single time to make sure you stay on plane.

Frankly though, I am slightly baffled by the volume of people using SU to make (or modify) 2D drawings. That’s not its raison d’être, and it’s not very good at it compared to dozens of inexpensive 2D CAD or drawing/illustration programs.


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