Getting Sketchup drawings into layout and then into the Glowforge

We bought this thing because it is advertised as being compatible with Sketchup. So far, I have found nothing that works to make things compatible without numerous plugins and steps that have not ended with a scale result. Hoping someone has some suggestions.

I have used Sketchup to do a lot of design work but have never found a way to go directly to the Glowforge. This is my process I use to go from Sketchup to the Glowforge.
First do the drawing in Sketchup. Set the camera view to Parallel Projection and select the view that displays the object to be cut in plan view. Zoom all so it fills the screen, (make sure everything else is hidden). Export a 2d drawing in dxf format. Make sure you are using inches and not metric or the next step may have a problem.
Second import the dxf file into Inkscape, make sure Inkscape is in the inch format, (free program and many posts on that. Make sure you have set Inkscape to save in the proper Glowforge format. A simple search will show what is needed). It should load into Inkscape at the proper scale. This is where I change the different vectors in the drawing to the colors I want so I can set the correct cutting sequence, typically some interior parts first working my way out so the last piece to cut is the outer one. That way everything held in place until the end. You can’t do this in Sketchup and I think it is a very important step.
Third, save the file as a “plain”.svg format, load it into the Glowforge GUI and you should be ready to go. I have never had a problem with scaling.

Hope this helps.

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There are others much more experienced than I am here in the forum. Here is a recent post that might be helpful. There are lots of other discussions if you search, but I suspect users of Sketchup will weigh in and help you out. Good luck. Google Sketchup extension allows to export directly to cut file

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not a 3d user, but I just took a quick glance at the sketchup page, and it looks like maybe only the Pro version can directly export 2d vector files (pdf and eps). I didn’t dig very far though.

Sketchup Pro can export PDF, which the GF UI can import.

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I have Sketchup pro, but the export doesn’t translate exact dimensions. It is unfortunate that this machine is advertised as using a program it does not actually use.

You’re blaming GF for the inability of your chosen application to produce accurate output?

OK… best return it then. Support will be along in a while.

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My SU to GF workflow is to export to EPS, open that in Illustrator to check lines are connected properly/not doubled up and set colors for operations then copy/paste to the GFUI. Have not encountered any inaccurate scaling issues.

Where does Glowforge advertise that it is compatible with Sketchup?

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I’m not aware of any program that can directly upload files to the Glowforge.
I’m sure what was meant is that the files that you create with Sketchup can be uploaded to the GF, but you have to save them in a computer directory first, like any other application file, and then select the file when you “upload” from the GF.

That’s a problem worth exploring. Glowforge doesn’t advertise compatibility with Sketchup on the home page compatibility link.

It does in the FAQ and refers to PDF.

File conversion from 3D to 2D is quite a challenge and there are so many different solutions. What had you done before?

It is going to be worth figuring out how Sketchup makes these PDFs that aren’t to scale and why they aren’t compatible. It is an issue for sure.

From the FAQ one would expect to be able to save a Sketchup PDF and it function without an issue. Of course this is a much bigger issue in the context of file compatibility in the development of the Glowforge, which we have seen has been a long road. I certainly would blame the design program for failure of a feature in this case, but as we know with SVGs, that isn’t always the case.

I sure can sympathize with someone who is familiar with a design program and if Glowforge says it works, then it works.

Once again, what amount of due diligence is required and what amount of trust in marketing is given?

Not having Sketchup Pro, I don’t have any advice other than when these scaling issues have cropped up with other exports, it’s always traced to some setting in the export dialog that has to be a certain way.

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I’m sorry your files aren’t uploading to scale. Unfortunately, our team doesn’t have expertise in SketchUp.

If you create a file in a 2D vector design software like Inkscape, you can expect the scale to be maintained when you upload it to the Glowforge app.

I know some of our customers are using SketchUp to design, and one of them has already chimed in here (thanks @lmk!). I’ve passed along the information to the team concerning the compatibility issue. Thanks for letting us know about that.