Guides/SketchUp for Laser Cutting

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A 2D design in SketchUp
Arduino model from the 3D warehouse

Google SketchUp is a powerful, free, easy to use 3D CAD package by Google. It is normally used for producing 3D models many of which you'll find on Google Earth. It's intuitive interface had me hooked and I've created a fair few 3D models.

When I wanted to create designs for the laser I had a go with QCad but found the learning curve quite steep and was left frustrated. However, with a little research I found that it is entirely possible to use SketchUp in a 2D mode and export designs in a Laser Cutter compatible DXF format.

If you have any questions regarding SketchUp I'll do my best to answer them --Teabot

Why use Google SketchUp

2D mode

Watch the 'Using Google SketchUp in 2D mode' video and/or:

  • Select a millimeter template either on start-up or in Preferences/Template
  • Select: Camera/Parallel Projection
  • Select: Camera/Standard Views/Top
  • Optionally save this as a template for future laser cutter designs: File/Save as template


Make sure that you have installed the DXF export plug-in.

  • Go to: Tools/Export to DXF or STL
  • Export units: millimeters
  • Export to DXF: lines