SketchUp for Schools WEB - Laser cutter

Want to cut student files on the laser cutter from Sketchup for Schools Web version. Unfortunately the laser cutter is managed by Adobe Illustrator - and now you cannot import any DXF/DWG files into Illustrator. I can upload each of the student files to my private Sketchup pro account and then download as an EPS file which works perfectly, however I would rather the EPS option was available so that students can print/cut their own files. Any chance you will add EPS as a file option to the free web version, at least the school version?

What problems do you get when exporting to DXF and taking that into Illustrator?

Since version 2017 Adobe Illustrator cannot accept and does not recognise DFX or DWG files, at all. However it does accept EPS files, and reads and cuts them beautifully. As a school we do not have licences for the Adobe suite, and cannot afford the ongoing expense of it, however as I stated we do have a few current copies, one of which is the driver for the laser cutter!

There are free online converters from DXF to EPS…

However they mess up the files when converted

That doesn’t seem right indeed…
Have you tried another online converter to see if does the same?

Can you share the .skp file used to make that?

Test Laser cut files.skp (114.8 KB)

This is the original test file!

I exported a .dxf file from the .skp file using SketchUp Go (web version similar to SketchUp for Schools) and then used Inkscape (a free application) to open the .dxf and save out a .eps file. Then I used a free online eps viewer to oopen the .eps file. This is what I got.

What do you see with this .eps file?
laser test.eps (5.1 KB)

Tried again with the converter, this tim took the DXF (without layers option) and converted it to a SVG file

This did open in Illustrator - and looks like a solution! if not a bit long winded!

Did you try the .eps file I made?

It does seem a little odd to me that you would use a 3D modeling application to create 2D paths for laser cutting. There are any number of 2D applications that could be used to create .eps or .svg files directly. Inkscape is one of them.

Thanks DaveR - I did test your file and this did open, I have used GIMP in the past, however its another software that kids would have to download onto their Macs just for this task - I am trying to get the best workflow solution for being able to cut out their designs on the laser cutter, which is driven by Illustrator (which is an improvement on the ancient version of CorelDraw). I encountered this problem previously about 5 years ago at another school, but the last Google Sketchup Version 2017 did still have a range of download versions, the original issue was changes to Adobe Illustrator back in 2017ish.
I use sketchup and tinkercad a lot for designing products and architecture in 3D, and being able to use the same files for making mockups on the laser cutter is ideal.

Google has had nothing to do with SketchUp for about a decade. SketchUp 2017 is a Trimble product.

Maybe you could get your school to provide you with SketchUp 2022 to get .eps export for your students’ files.

At least there are some options immediately available.

Thanks I do have a licence for 2022 but I am looking for a workable solution that students can use directly without any costs! They are encouraged to do the cutting themselves on the Laser cutter, and I can assure you preparing students work for multiple classes is sole destroying!

In the Illustrator I’m using I can directly open DXF, or use File/Place. I did in some cases get strange results, but in some combinations it looked the same as it did in SketchUp. Going via DXF as a 3D export from SketchUp gives the advantage that arcs are still true curves, I could zoom in on them in Illustrator and they remained smooth. I’m using Illustrator 2022.

1 Like

If the students are on Mac, any program that can print can print to pdf or eps. The problem I see is that while you can do this from web, there’s no “print vectored” option like desktop does.

Do your students have SketchUp Make 2017? You can do that workflow from there. (I have 2020 Pro in this example, but I don’t think it’s changed)

So, to loop back to the original post, as a feature request, could SketchUp for Schools get a “Vector Printing” option like the desktop version?