Tracing a heart pic for 3d printing


Ello all! i am having some trouble. My wife drew a heart pic by hand. i took a photo of it and in gimp, i used the paths tool to trace it and stroke it. Now i need to import that into sketchup pro, and extrude it up and offset it. Basically, she is making a heart shaped box with no lid.

here is a photo of the drawing from gimp:

Thanks much. I just need to make this the actual shape. Whats the best option? thanks


Also, it needs to be able to offset, push, and pull with out destroying the image haha. i tried using a bezier tool and some other plugins and it didnot work when i tried to offset…


I’m not sure if this is accurate enough for your purpose. I imported it into SketchUp and vectorized the edges.

heart_stroke.skp (35.6 KB)


ok awesome. two questions. can you show me how you did that?

now when i try to use tools on it such as push/pull, it wont let me. it shows the “No” symble. the red circle with line through it haha.



The outside and the inside heart shapes are each in separate groups. Explode them and you can push/pull them.


my wife says she is eternally grateful for this:) how do you vectorize in sketchup?



Vectorizing in sketchup requires you to do it by hand with the sketchup draw tools or use a plugin.

I’d recommend you vectorize it in inkscape and then export as dxf and import into sketchup. However, for dxf import you’ll need sketchup pro or access to someone with pro.


For future reference, here is a quick version of how to make a heart shape using arcs.
You can shape it any way you want with more complex arcs keeping an eye on the inference colours and points.


I tried using inkscape. That was my very first thing i did before i posted here haha. I saved as .dxf and imported it. But when i try to use the tools, it has that red symble. I adsume i must explode it haha. Anyway, when i zoomed in on the inkscaped vector i made, it shows a ton of lines. Its really strange. What options in inkscape did you use, or shoukd i use when it comes to tracing? Thanks. Oh i do have sketch up pro:) and yes it is a legal copy:) thanks much


Thanks box for that:) how did you make that little movie? Thanks


I answered that just the other day in another thread that may be of interest to you.
Recessed Hole Help.


ok, so after using inkscape, and importing the dxf file. i select it using the arrow tool and right click. the explode option is all grayed out. This is driving me crazy. it should not be this complicated to vectorize in inkscape and import haha. where am i going wrong. Here is a pic of the vector image in sketchup after i have zoomed in:

New photo by Matt Thomas

When i am zoomed out, it looks like a soild line. In inkscape, i used multiple scans with grays as the option. 13 scans to be exact

thanks guys.

EDIT::: Something interesting just happened. if i draw a line from the top left inner part of the heart to the middle left of the heart, the image all of a sudden becomes editable… confused i am

New photo by Matt Thomas


I used Gimp’s threshold tool to convert it to black and white and then used MS-Paint in B&W to clean it up a bit before saving it as a color BMP. The basic process is explained in this video:


Tracing isn’t that complex depending on how accurate you want it.


■■■■!!! ok cool. now, when i use the 2 point arc tool, i amnot getting those same dots as you to connect the arc to another arc. Are you holding ctrl? Becasue once i complete a arc. my SU will not find the end point of it to attach the other arcs to it.



No, if you are still using 2013 as your profile says, you won’t get those dots.
But you should get the aqua inference colour.
So it should be as simple. The dots are only showing you the ends and the ceter of the arcs.



I hadn’t looked at the original image until Box used it for this gif

In this case you should have imported the original image into sketchup directly and use the draw tools to trace the subject as Box did.

No need for Gimp or Inkscape.

With complex images, Inkscape can be of help as it can convert a raster image into a vector image (there is even better software for that but Inkscape is free).

However, depending on the resulting vector, image you might have to clean it, either in inkscape or SU. I try doing the most I can inside SU as it’s where I feel most at home.


ARG, my profile keeps selecting that version. I am version 15.3.331

I am going to assume that 15.3 does not have those dots because i cant see them haha.



Thanks JQL. yeah i am finding that using inkscape for this is becoming way to complicated. I know SU should be able to do what i want, its just a matter of finding the tools and the ability to learn said tools. It is very difficult to trace in version 15 because once i complete an arc over the heart, I can not see the line any more since it is black and blends in with the image. i am hoping that 15 has the cool dots that “box” was showing. that will help me alot. Nor does it show the aqua color on the image. Now if i draw arcs on the outside of the image, it works fine. Im wondering if i should import the png file instead of the trace. i think the arc tool is thinking that each line in the trace is an “endpoint” hence why i cant see the blue line



Go to the styles menu and change the edge colour.