Sketchup for the Longmill

#1

I am new to the Forum and apologize if this question has been asked and answered. But in my limited time here I have not seen a mention of the program Sketchup for use as a design program for CNC carving. Has anyone had experience or information in this regard?

L.Linton

#2

I am very, very new to CNC, but the shop where I work part time has a Biesse machine for cabinet making. We tried importing files from Sketchup and failed miserably. We talked to Biesse and they told us that Sketchup files were not industry standard. Now that could be simply Biesse blowing us off, but a CAD teacher at the local community college said much the same thing. I guess the test will be for you to take one of your sketchup designs, import it into whatever CAM software you are using and see if it can create tool paths. If you do that, please report back. I use sketchup quite a bit and would like to know what it will talk to.

#3

I don’t believe Sketchup produces vector files, so curves aren’t actually curves when you zoom in, they are stepped straight lines. Since the CNC can act with great precision, if you give it a circle composed of a large number of straight lines, you’ll get a “pointy” circle out of it.

That being said, I did run across a SketchUp plugin that helps create g-code. I’ve not used it myself (I am working through the process of learning Fusion 360 and have done a few CNC projects on it - but I prefer to do initial sketches and designs in SketchUp for the most part and then re-create the finished design in F360. Sketchup is really great for fast brainstorming). I’ll dig up the link for you…

I found this: "As far as a plug-in, SketchUcam is probably your best bet for a free option.

If you can afford it, V-Carve Pro can import Sketchup files and convert them to G-Code for your CNC. The drawback… It’s $699.00. I’ll be trying SketchUcam to see how accurate it is before investing in V-Carve Pro."

I didn’t know that about V-Carve Pro, intersting. :slight_smile:

Here is the link: https://openbuilds.com/projectresources/sketchucam.1/

-Jeff

#4

Thank you for that information. I do wonder if you could import the “non-Vector” sketch up file into something like Inkscape to convert them.

Regardless, I am also learning Fusion 360 and Onshape as I go so I may as well follow through with what has been shown as a proven program.