question about cutting diagram and sketchup

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Forum topic by Carol posted 01-27-2022 10:24 PM 393 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Carol's profile


181 posts in 1971 days

01-27-2022 10:24 PM

Topic tags/keywords: sketchup

i’ve been honing my sketchup skills, designing pieces and creating cut lists and diagrams but after watching another hour of videos, still can’t figure out how to create a cutting diagram for dimensional lumber or what sketchup calls “solid wood”.

can i get a cutting diagram for dimensional lumber? can anyone point me to a learning source?

it’s pretty cool that i can get a cutting diagram for plywood. until i finally figured it out, i’d spend hours arranging and re-arranging parts on a 4×8, doing the same thing sketchup does in seconds…

-- Carol

5 replies so far

View EarlS's profile


5513 posts in 3806 days

#1 posted 01-28-2022 01:18 AM

I believe that is probably one of the features you get if you pay for SketchUp. I’m happy to be able to make scenes of the various parts and their dimensions that I can use to make printable pdf files. Honestly, I don’t use cutting diagrams. After a while you get proficient at figuring out how to make the best of the boards you have.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Lazyman's profile


9591 posts in 2845 days

#2 posted 01-28-2022 02:43 AM

Cut List 4.1 is an add-in or extention that I have used but only on the 2017 version so I don’t know which other versions it works with. There may be a newer version available for later versions of Sketchup.

If I remember correctly, if you do nothing it automatically assumes that the parts are for dimensional lumber. If you put one of the keywords for sheet goods (e.g.;sheet, plywood, MDF—you can add your own keywords to the list) into the component name (I usually put the keyword into parenthesis) it will put it onto a standard 4×8’ sheet. This is handy but does not always do the most efficient layout. If I do not like the layout, I typically draw 4×8 rectangles and then drag a copy of each component over to the the rectangle and lay it down so that I can play around with different layouts. The manual method may not be great for complex drawings with lots of parts because it is easy to miss one or more.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View JAAune's profile


2133 posts in 3774 days

#3 posted 01-28-2022 02:56 AM

I can confirm Lazyman’s memory regarding how cutlist works is accurate.

One addition is that cutlist also checks the name of the assigned material for each part and it’s easier to apply custom materials to parts than rename components to have keywords.

We do use the cutlist plugin to generate an order list but not for cutting diagrams on solid lumber since we get random width, random length material. If you’re using s4s then cutlist may be more useful to you. The other disadvantage to relying on cutlist for solid boards is that the software cannot do grain matching.

The easy way to process a stack of boards without using software is start by marking out the longest or widest parts directly on the wood and move down the list to smaller parts until you’ve got everything accounted for. With this method, we can process 500bf quickly and end up with very little waste.

-- See my work at

View Carol's profile


181 posts in 1971 days

#4 posted 01-28-2022 03:13 AM

thanks for the help all.

actually, once the lightbulb went on and i dropped my forehead on the keyboard – is such a simple solution…

just adjust the size of sketchup’s sheet goods to whatever size lumber i’m using. instead of a 4×8 sheet, for this particular project, i have 1×6s and 1×10s.

-- Carol

View LittleBlackDuck's profile


9454 posts in 2278 days

#5 posted 01-28-2022 09:32 AM

Cutlist can “calculate” for you the board feet you may require for purchasing, however, I find an accurate cutting diagram is a manual effort…

If I make up a cutting diagram, I usually just do it for the laser, however, there is no reason why you can’t draw a bounding box representing your board/sheet and overlay that with your components (see last picture).

I use this method extensively for laser cutting layout… though I will admit I have the Pro version that I pass through Layout to “PDF” it to CorelDraw for sending to my laser.

Here is the the latest project I’m working on,

and the respective cutting diagrams…
3mm MDF,

6mm MDF,

The 3D perspective is retained for all components included in the diagram,

Without Layout, you can still dimension in Sketchup... here is a KISS layout of the 6mm…

Though if needed, I would normally do in Layout.

Just use Top view, Parallel Projection.

-- If your first cut is too short... Take the second cut from the longer end... LBD

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