How to export Sketchup to CNC Router for woodworking and advertising

Exporting Sketchup through CNC machine is not simple, it requires many steps, this article is a comprehensive guide and how to optimize many applications in the real wood industry and advertising. All CNC machines read data via Gcode file so the article guides the steps to create Gcode file for CNC machine from Sketchup

Using for:

  • Producing wooden furniture.
  • Making billboards, cutting letters
  • Model making
  • This procedure is not suitable for sculpture or 3d printing

Exporting Sketchup file through CNC machine

  • Sketchup of 3d modeling, called CAD software (Computer Aid Design). The goal of Sketchup is to accurately 3d modeling.
  • Abf Sketchup plugin helps add cutting strokes, milling strokes, arrange sheets on workpieces, export DXF files
  • Use CAM software (Computer Aid Manufacturing) to import DXF file to set up Toolpath (Parameters, running paths of cutting points). The ultimate goal of CAM software is to create Gcode files
  • Input the Gcode file into the CNC machine, order the CNC machine to run

Step 1: Modeling Sketchup

  • This first step takes the most time when you need to accurately model the object to be CNC cut. To use the Abf plugin in step 2, you need to use Groups for the objects to cut.
  • You can refer to the Dynamic models for furniture production here has been set up to help fast, accurate and similar drawing and works well with the ABF plugin.
Shoe Cabinet Design Sketchup
Shoe Cabinet Design Sketchup Example

Step 2: Sketchup plugin exports DXF files

  • Sketchup plugin exports DXF files with the best free wood industry is ABF with full features.
  • The ultimate goal of ABF is to export DXF file including layers of cut, milling lines. When there are separate layers, importing DXF through the CAM software will set the cut line very quickly based on the layer.
  • Note that ABF Nesting is flat with many layers, so it will not be suitable for sculpture or 3D printing
  • You can download and view the ABF Sketchup plugin article here
Nesting ABF Plugin
Nesting ABF Plugin

Step 3: CAM software exports Gcode file

  • The Gcode file is simply a text file containing the coordinates and parameters that CNC machines need to run. So you can see there are lots of extensions like .txt .nc .tap …
  • The goal of the Cam software is to set the parameters, the running path of the milling cutter and to export the gcode file.
  • Commonly used fee-based CAM software includes Aspire, Mastercam, Alphacam …
  • Commonly used free CAM software includes Freecad, LinuxCNC, PyCam, Blender CAM …
  • The above CAM software has 3D rendering function, but using Sketchup is still the fastest. Sketchup also helps you render products to customers preview.
Import DXF to Aspire
Import DXF to Aspire
Toolpaths Aspire
Toolpaths Aspire
Toolpaths Aspire 3D View
Toolpaths Aspire 3D View
Gcode file
Gcode file

Step 4: Run the CNC machine

The Gcode file created in Step 3 is the Input command for the CNC machine through the CNC control software such as Ncstudio or March 3, the initial settings for the CNC machine and operation, the unit that sells the machine will follow the instructions. details for you. The goal of this article is to create a Gcode file.

Ncstudio preview gcode file
Ncstudio preview gcode file

Thus the general article about the process of exporting Sketchup model through CNC machine for beginers to understand the nature and holistic. Then will detail the steps to have the best way.