What is your work flow for creating & sending files for CNC machining?

Hello. I have designed some simple birch plywood furniture pieces that I intend having CNC cut. I am wondering what people do to create the files needed for cutting sheet material like plywood? For instance, do you create a new 2d drawing representing the plywood sheet the parts will be cut from and redraw the cabinet part shapes or can you use the actual 3d model itself somehow to get/create the range of part shapes needed to be cut?

They (the CNC people) have a nesting feature with their software, but I do not want to use this. I want certain cabinet parts to be cut from certain parts of the birch ply sheets to ensure correct grain orientation and colour.

I have talked with the CNC operator and I know what they want for files, i.e. lines drawings for the cutter to follow, I am just wondering about the ways people bridge the gap between 3d model and 2d parts for cutting.

Hope this makes sense. Cheers.


add the .skp for the best advice…

for something so simple I would copy paste into a new drawing…

lay all the pieces flat and work out my own nesting based on the ply faces I want used…


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Thank you for the link. Reading through the details and user reviews suggests that it will not work with SketchUp 2016, which I am currently using. Also not sure how I would use this plugin to create my own panel layout. Looks very interesting though and will play with it when it is updated. Cheers.

Thank you for the advice. Because this furniture piece is made from 12mm, 18mm & 24mm plywood, it makes sense to create a new drawing representing each of these ply sheet thicknesses. I was thinking that to have the most control over how pieces get cut I would have to draw the layout of each ply sheet and arrange parts the way that I intend. Cheers.

I linked to a search list of various extensions on the term “cutlist”.

Re: CutList. The author has died, and cannot do updates.

One of the users Marcel, wrote:

It works, just not from the Sketchup Extension Warehouse directly. If you search for the plugin using a web browser and download the .rbz file, then you can install the plug in using the Preferences menu, select Extensions and click on the Install Extension… button.
This was the way I made that work for my latest 2016 installation.

Let’s ask Dave: @DaveR

Ah yes, thank you. I will continue to explore. I appreciate the info. Cheers.

The author of the CutList, Steve Racz did pass away several years ago so he’s unlikely to be providing any future updates.

I think Marcel is off base in his statement that you can’t install CutList directly from the Extension Warehouse with SU2016. I’ve installed it that way in SU2016 on four different computers and it worked just fine.


Ah, I wasn’t aware of this.
That’s very unfortunate as I know a lot of people rely on Cutlist.

It still works just fine, though.

True, but not having further development is a bummer.
I never worked with it extensively. But have seen some clients who use them heavily.
(and I know you are heavy user as well!)

Any possible take over from other great developers?

I don’t know. Maybe.

What about the rights of the plugin? Is there a problem when somebody continue with developing the code?
Is there a git or other info available?