Convert Sketchup SKP files to DXF or STL

Program type: 

Sketchup plugin

Operating system: 

Windows and Macintosh

License: 

Freeware

This is a plugin script for Google's free 3D design program Sketchup. The free version of Sketchup has limited file export options and many CAM programs will not recognise the native Sketchup (SKP) file format. This plugin allows you to export your Sketchup model as a DXF or STL files readable by most CAM and 3D printer software.

The code for this plugin is opensource - and hosted on github.

Installation instructions using the RBZ format - Sketchup Make, Sketchup 2013 , Sketchup 8 maintenance release 2:

Sketchup introduced an easier way to install plugins. Download the RBZ version of the plugin (skp_to_dxf.rbz) to your harddrive - it is a zipped file but don't extract it. Then in Sketchup click on the install extensions button. It's found under Preferences > Extensions > Install Extension. Clicking this button will bring up a file browser window where you can can select skp_to_dxf.rbz from your harddrive, and SketchUp will then install it for you.

Alternative installation instructions for Sketchup 6, 7, 8 and Sketchup Make (Sketchup 2013)

This is an alternative method which will work on all versions including 6 and 7. To install the plugin you need to download the file above (skp_to_dxf.rb)  to your Sketchup plugins folder. This installation method will work with Sketchup 6, 7, 8 and Sketchup Make (Sketchup 2013).

Location of the Sketchup plugins folder,  [VERSION] stands for the version number of Sketchup (6, 7,  8 or 2013).

  • On a Windows PC. If you have installed Sketchup on the C: drive then this folder will be at C:\program files\google\google sketchup [VERSION]\plugins. 
  • On Mac OSX. The sketchup plugins folder is /Library/Application Support/Google SketchUp [VERSION]/SketchUp/Plugins

Using the plugin

After copying this file, start Sketchup and you should now have an extra menu option (Export to DXF or STL) in the Sketchup Tools menu.

There are five export options:

  • STL  triangles. Use this for Makerbot or Reprap style 3D printers
  • DXF polyface mesh. This will give the most faithful reproduction of your original Sketchup model.
  • DXF polylines: exports the outlines of each face as a polyline, sometimes useful for CAM toolpaths.
  • DXF triangular mesh: breaks all the faces up into triangles
  • DXF lines. This option exports the edges in your model as lines.

Please post on the forum any problems or suggestions

Known limitations

The plugin will not work if you try to save the exported file in a location where one of the folders contains non latin or non unicode characters, eg: "ą, ż, ź, ć, ń, ó, ł".

CAD/CAM software compatibility

The plugin's output is compatible with the following CAD/CAM programs tested so far: 

DXF: Cambam, Sketchup, A9CAD, DeskProtoLite, Vectric Cut-2D, Corel Draw, Inkscape, LibreCAD.
STL: SkeinForge, FreeMill, Vectric Cut-3D, Roland Modela Player, Boxford's 3D GeoCAM, Carvewright Designer software, DeskProtoLite, MeshCAM Art, Art Cam.

Please post on the forum if you can confirm compatiblity with other programs 

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