Sketchup printing help

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Forum topic by spaids posted 12-13-2009 11:53 PM 5884 views 3 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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699 posts in 3117 days

12-13-2009 11:53 PM

Topic tags/keywords: sketchup

I am trying to print a full scale pattern from sketchup. For some reason I can not get sketchup to print on a single page. No matter where I put the drawing in the project sketchup splits it on to two pages. Its not to big to fit on a single page. What am I doing wrong?


-- Wipe the blood stains from your blade before coming in.--

12 replies so far

View GMman's profile


3902 posts in 3122 days

#1 posted 12-13-2009 11:57 PM

My printer always ask me how I want to print, full page or different sizes.
Yours maybe different,I have an HP printer all in one.

View skidoo's profile


11 posts in 2634 days

#2 posted 12-14-2009 01:56 AM

DaveR wrote what I was going to write, and then some. Great tips. #7 always does the trick for me.

I rarely use a standard view, because I often print my dimension labels with my model. The lines and numbers rarely cooperate, requiring me to both tweak their positioning, and rotate the camera just-so for each shot (printout). So I never change the printout/Sketchup scaling directly (it’s disabled unless you’re using a standard view).

But fiddling with Fit to Page and Use Model Extents gets it all on a single sheet every time (for me). Interestingly, Use Model Extents is squirrely unless you’re either using a standard view, or you’ve zoomed your camera out enough to get most of the model in the frame.

Note that un-checking Fit to Page, and then changing the Sketchup-computed defaults, can produce odd-seeming results, depending on where your model is positioned, and/or the angle of the camera. Again, this only happens if you’re not using a standard view.

So, to make a long story longer, my rule of thumb is thus: If the camera is zoomed so that less than a third of my model is showing, I always un-check Use Model Extents, otherwise it (usually) gets checked. And Fit to Page always stays checked (pretty much).

-- Chips and beer.

View skidoo's profile


11 posts in 2634 days

#3 posted 12-14-2009 03:10 AM

Ah, gotcha. Duh. Read too fast. Pay no attention to me. :-)

Yeah, the few times I print scale templates from Sketchup, it seems I always forget to turn on Parallel Projection.

Nevertheless, rather than wrestle with Sketchup, I do much the same as you. I export a Top + Zoom Extents camera view as an EPS and open it up in Illustrator. Then I can scale it precisely (since its a vector image) and Illustrator will print it out at whatever dimensions I want.

Sketchup could definitely use some more straightforward support for printing 1:1 (or whatever scale you choose).

-- Chips and beer.

View JeffH's profile


2 posts in 2508 days

#4 posted 12-16-2009 05:28 PM

> Sketchup could definitely use some more straightforward support for printing 1:1 (or whatever scale you choose).

This is why LayOut was created.

View Kristoffer's profile


675 posts in 2640 days

#5 posted 12-16-2009 05:42 PM

Huh?! All of you computer savvy people just confuse the heck out of me. My ears started bleeding half way through this thread. I kept reading with hopes of learning something because I think that sketchup hates me. But, I’m still pretty new to it, so I’ll keep reading the threads.

-- Cheers and God Bless

View spaids's profile


699 posts in 3117 days

#6 posted 12-16-2009 06:06 PM


Although printing scale templates from sketchup is not advanced material, I would still let it lie until I learned my way around. Go here these are very basic video tutorials but after you go through them a light bulb will turn on in your head and you will find that sketchup starts to work with you instead of plotting against you. And then when you want to do advanced stuff, or even easy stuff for that matter, you can ask on lumberjocks and the help you get will be much more effective. Just learn the vowels and you’ll be speaking the language fast.


-- Wipe the blood stains from your blade before coming in.--

View skidoo's profile


11 posts in 2634 days

#7 posted 12-16-2009 08:42 PM

>> Sketchup could definitely use some more straightforward support for printing 1:1 (or whatever scale you choose).

>This is why LayOut was created.

Eh. LayOut’s for creating all aspects of presentations and other consumables based on your model. So it should provide scale printing as a seamlessly integrated and easy-to-understand feature. But it doesn’t, really. You still have to set parallel projection and whatnot, just like in Sketchup.

Plus, scale printing is a feature too fundamental to be provided only in Layout. That is, you shouldn’t have to create a new Layout document just to generate a scale printout of your barstool model or whatever. It’d be like if MS Word only printed portrait-oriented pages, and made you create a Power Point document if you wanted to print landscape.

Heck, Layout didn’t even have a disconnected dimension-labeling feature until this latest version.

I love Sketchup, but it is kind of a mess.

-- Chips and beer.

View skidoo's profile


11 posts in 2634 days

#8 posted 12-17-2009 05:26 AM

> Printing to scale from Parallel Projection(2D) makes sense. You couldn’t print to scale with a perspective view anyway.

Sure you could. Printing to scale ought to be a fundamental feature of any sort of modeling program. At least of those with even the slightest pretense for modeling “real-world” entities. Regardless of what the current view is.

Another MS Word analogy: Whatever “view” I’m working in (e.g. Print Layout, Draft, HTML, etc.), when I initiate the command to print the document, it shouldn’t restrict me to the paragraph I happen to be zoomed in on.

I realize that Sketchup does allow us to print 1:1, but accomplishing this task is more cumbersome than it either needs to be or should be, given the subject matter.

But please don’t mistake me. I absolutely LOOOOOOVE Sketchup, and have loved it, even before Google bought them. I think it’s a tool particularly suited to the small-shop woodworker (and so many/much more). And I use Layout all the time, primarily because it’s saves about 900 copy-and-paste operations over the course of pulling together any given project.

Sure, the fact that the only way to get (Sketchup-generated) cut lists into Layout is by exporting a CSV from Sketchup, formatting it in Excel, and then loading it into Layout as a foreign entity (an image or whatever). Sure, that’s a little kludgey. But they’ll catch up. You watch. :-)

Just last night I whacked out the draft of the design of the dominant units that may one day comprise the bulk of a modular scrap-bin system I’ve been pondering for my basement shop. I do so love my scraps. Sigh.

Transforming my scrap management infrastructure from Rubbermaid tubs to the realization of heroic efficiency and superhuman output as manifest by the symbol of potential that is a single unit comprised of sawed-up low-grade plywood began as such ambitious imaginings almost always do: With the question, “Did I draw that cow in a realistic scale, as compared to that Prime Minister standing beside it?”

In fact, heck, here’s a PDF export of my lame little (work-in-progress!) modular scrap-bin plan:

It’s rendered as an Acrobat document, generated from a Layout document, which in turn is based on one of my countless “What if?” models, created in Sketchup itself. And yes, that’s three separate programs, in case anyone’s counting :-).

Nevertheless, whether I ever get around to actually withdrawing my significant holdings from Rubbermaid Corp. and re-investing them in Elbow Grease, Inc….well, that remains to be seen. As you can see, I’ve got more plans to make.

As these plans germinate, they get developed, page-after-page, in a personal (old-timey) composition notebook. The latest one, you know?

The attending pencil (undoubtedly a typical wooden Number Two) can be very supportive, but he has to get the message (even it if takes a few tough bumps on his ego), that nowadays we have pencils that we call mechanical, because they encase small systems for dispensing pencil leads and whatnot, not because that’s their Christian name or anything.

When people stumble across one these notebooks (sneaky-sneaks) they almost invariably ask me one of two questions: “What language is this?” or, “Wow, your youngest has really taken to charcoal, hasn’t she? I would have figured her for pastels….”

After some undetermined probationary period, if one of these ideas escapes more than a few nightly cullings by the brutal gang of thugs that call themselves “Critical Thought”, it graduates from the current notebook to become immortalized as a Sketchup model. If you believe Western Digital anyway. About the immortal part.

Bottom line: I personally don’t often (ever?) print transfer patterns and such, but, once again (acknowledging my own potential ignorance AND stupidity—no really, I’ve seen it in person): “Me Sketchup/Layout fan. But me no understand why scale printing feature is not more user-friendly.”

-- Chips and beer.

View skidoo's profile


11 posts in 2634 days

#9 posted 12-18-2009 01:42 AM

DaveR wrote:

> I’m not trying to be argumentative….

Hey, no problem. I welcome thoughtful discussion, even if it includes reasoned challenges, or in some other way doesn’t express complete credulity regarding my every post. :-)

> but please explain how you would print a perspective view
> to scale. Suppose you had a 3” cube in a 3/4 view from slightly
> above. And suppose you want to print it 1:1. Which lines
> would be printed at 3” long?

The rendering routine need not be restricted by the contemporaneous user experience. Informed by it, sure. But not arbitrarily limited by it. For example, the application could query the user for a reference entity; it could use camera position as origin and map perspective that way; it could automatically find the nearest point of the nearest entity, and use that as origin. There are all sorts of ways to make this (not uncommon) feature both useful and user-friendly.

Presently, Sketchup’s ability to render 1:1 output to a printer comprises nothing more than the simple task of mapping in only 2 dimensions. Yet, all-the-while Sketchup is perfectly able to render the illusion of perspective on our displays because it’s using camera position and FOV (among other variables) to translate 3-axis input data into 2-axis output data. It should be able to do the same when it renders to any 2D canvas, provided the necessary dimensional info is available about the target.

It’s not a huge deal to me. But I do see it is a significant feature, given the context of the product. And yes, this feature is in there now; my point is only that it’s awfully under-supported.

> And, are you saying you import your cutlist as an image file into LayOut?

Sometimes. Usually I just print them straight from Excel. This info is almost always generated solely for my own reference, the goal of my woodworking being avocation and the scope of my projects being modest.

I just run File->Generate Report, and then open up the CSV in an Excel template I’ve been tweaking for a couple of years. I’ve played with that one cutlist plugin from time-to-time, but its bugs or my own workflow quirks have kept me in my spreadsheet. And yes, occasionally I’ll take a screenshot from Excel and paste it into Layout.

But of course, whatever functionality and formatting my spreadsheet does provide for determining linear material requirements, it doesn’t generate cut layouts. On the few occasions when I decide it would behoove me to get some automated help on this front, I turn to a basic little utility that’s been around for a while now. The application is called, well, CutList, and can still be downloaded here. Its not the fastest horse in the barn, but for my typical requirements, its more than sufficient.

But don’t get me wrong. I’m not knocking the popular Cut List plugin or anyone else’s workflow.

-- Chips and beer.

View ecb97's profile


3 posts in 2218 days

#10 posted 10-02-2010 07:58 AM

hey, I came across your thread and was wondering if you can help me out.. I’m kinda new to sketchup (been using it maybe a year) but I was wondering if there is anyway to print just a portion. like in AutoCAD, you can just print a “window” is there a way to do this in sketchup?



View ecb97's profile


3 posts in 2218 days

#11 posted 10-02-2010 10:04 PM

thanks! a little add on to that though.. is there a way to print a window but to scale?


View ecb97's profile


3 posts in 2218 days

#12 posted 10-03-2010 06:48 AM

thanks again!

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