Sketchup model compatibility with CAM software

Hi all

I have created a part in Sketchup my company would like machined, and I have been told our machinist’s CAM software is having trouble interpreting the file based on it being too faceted. I used circles and arcs with an equivalent ‘segment resolution’ of 720/2pi radians, or 2 segments for every radial degree.

I understand Sketchup, as a face modeler, mathematically translates and breaks apart curves/curved surfaces into line/face segments during upload, however is there a way to “undo” this so-to-speak when exporting? Is there another software platform I could upload my Sketchup files/file exports into and “undo” this? I’m aware this is mathematically and geometrically a very challenging task.

For those who use Sketchup for product design, what tips would you recommend for modeling in Sketchup when your parts need to be read by CAM software and CNC machined?

What file type are you sending to them?

As of right now, I’m sending them STP’s.

I start by exporting my Sketchup creations as .STL’s, and upload those .STL’s into freeCAD. In freeCAD, I’m able to save them as .STP’s, however the files are still very faceted due to the triangular face rendering of the .STL’s.

.stl by its definition is going to be faceted no matter what you do in SketchUp.

Have you tried exporting from SketchUp as .dwg or .dxf?

.DXF’s dont get read correctly by freeCAD. I can ask the machinists if they can read .DXF, even though it should still be faceted.

Am I mistaken in thinking everything exported out of sketchup will have segmented curves/faces? Is there any way to re-render these exports into NURB cloud type geometries?

Generally 3D dxf or dwg files show curves as curves instead of straight line segments.

SketchUp is not a NURBS modeller so it shouldn’t be surprising to get faceted exports. Especially with .stl exports. Even if you were using a NURBS modeler, the .stl file would create facets because of the triangles.

So is there any way to get natural curves exported out of sketchup? or will they always be segmented, even in .DXF’s?

If you export as 3D DXF or DWG, and in the export options you turn off Faces, you will get true curves and no segments.

As I wrote and Colin repeated:

That is what you said! The new bit from me was about turning off faces. With faces still turned on you get segments lying on top of curves.

Which programs read them as such? I’m still seeing segmented lines/meshed configurations for the exports. These are the results I get when I upload the .DWG exports into Rhino compared to the part I rendered in Sketchup. I turned off faces in the export settings and they still exported with segmented edges and a meshed rendering.