SketchUp to G-code proof of concept.

06 Sep 2010 18:36 #4015 by dunk
hi guys, i'm new here.

so i recently built myself a small CNC mill from scrap printer parts and am controlling it using the excellent EMC2 project.
i built it mainly to PCBs, a job which there are ample tools for generating G-code for.

but once i had the mill it occurred to me all the other things i could make if only there was a reasonable open source CAD program that would export to G-code....

i played a little with Blender (as there is a G-code plug-in for it) but quickly gave up on it.
it is awesome software but it's not really suited to technical drawing.

next i went looking for a SketchUp plug-in that would export G-code and to my surprise no one had written one yet.
(there is PhlatScript but that only cuts 2D shapes out of thin material.)

so i read up a little on Ruby (the programming language SketchUp uses) and hacked together a little script.
in it's present state my script will cut 2D shapes out of various thicknesses of material.
i plan to add full 3D routing in due course.

it is far from finished and please bear in mind if you look at the source code that i have no previous experience with Ruby, OO programming or SketchUp. (Microcontroller C is more my comfort zone.)
I intend this script to be more a "Proof of Concept" rather than a finished program. with a bit of luck someone with better programming skills than me will take the idea and run with it.
that being said, it is very useful to me in it's present state.

for usage instructions and download check the link:


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07 Sep 2010 09:08 #4028 by andypugh
That does sound very useful. It is probably worth adding it to the EMC2 Wiki pages. (Follow the steps here to get edit access to the Wiki)

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02 Oct 2010 01:43 #4486 by grether
Another project is already under development and use.
It is specifically done for cutting foam or other light materials in their machines, but it seems like a good base to start with if your not too far along already.

You can also drive their machines with EMC2 :)

If nothing else perhaps you can get some usable code, ideas, ect. form them.

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