No one uses Sketchup?

I’m very new to all of this. I just finished building my MPCNC and got it to move using manual move tab on Repetier. I also started reading the post processing Fusion 360 thread. I take it that the process is

  1. use CAD program of some kind (like modules in F360)
  2. Use something (post proc/plug-ins) to generate GCode
  3. Use Repetier Host to actually do the cutting.

So the two questions I have are:
A) I guess you can’t cut/mill from F360’s CAM module because it doesn’t understand Marlin?
B) Why is it that no one uses SketchUp to design things? I saw many Gcode plug-Ins for Sketchup. Is it because the GCode it produces isn’t 100% compatible with Repetier Host??

Or an alternative may be: Use pro version of SketchUP and export as DFX files. Then use Estlcam, export to Repetier and cut.

Thanks for putting up with a newb.


  1. or just load in on an SD card and run it from an LCD. Nothing special just gcode delivery almost any program can do this.

a)As far as I know fusion does not have a controller, does it? That would be cool. I am just starting to use it, so I am not sure but I will look into it tomorrow.

b)Personal preference I guess. I use Solidworks, onshape, and fusion 360 for CAD. If you are just getting started fusion is pretty amazing it has all the tools I have ever needed. Cad, Cam, Mesh, Rendering, best price out there. I am slowly transitioning over. I am very fast with solidworks but it puts a major dent in your wallet yearly…Now that I don’t have free access to it I have to get fast with another program. I did some public projects in sketchup, the interface and workflow is very foreign to me. The three I just mentioned are very similar, sketchup is very different.

a) Fusion does not have controller.

I use sketch up sometimes but I like onshape the best. I use estlcam to generate the gcode.

I’ve used SketchUp to generate the gcode for cutting foam RC aircraft using my needle cutter for several years. The SketchUp/SketchUCAM combo works a treat and there is Marlin-compatibility if you set a couple of settings properly. I usually start with the PDF plans from the RC site (RCPowers, FliteTest, etc) and convert them to DXF using pstoedit or Inkscape. Import them into SketchUp (I use free version only) and then scale/edit/layout all the parts into sheets matching your material dimensions. Input tool diameter (I use 0.7mm for the needle), material thickness, feed/plunge rates, etc. and then use the inside/outside/centerline/fold tools in SketchUCAM to set up the toolpaths. Last step is to generate the gcode files for each sheet and then use RH or SD card to feed them to the CNC machine.

Thanks everyone. I’ll investigate each and start learning! OnShape looks interesting. I’ll go through the learning curve on Fusion and Onshape and see what I like best. I’ve used Sketchup in the past, but only for simple stuff - so I’m not committed to it.

Happy New Year and thanks everyone!


Thanks Matt. I went through the Basics Webinar and it pretty much explained I need for my DCS Cockpit build. I just need to cut acrylic, punch holes, squares etc.

To start anyway! :slight_smile:

Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll keep playing around.

@dkj4linux, are those settings trivial? Would you want to share them?

@Hansang, I like SketchUp, but I’m not a mechanical engineer. It really seems like the Arduino of CAD, very easy to learn. I haven’t used it for any CNC work, but I do have an STL plugin for SketchUp which works OK. The two things that really get me are:

  1. you can’t go back in history, change one thing and then go forward, like if you forgot to put a hole before you go extruding.
  2. sometimes I want a plane between a set of lines, and I just can’t get it to fill in the plane.

Just my $0.02, I prefer OnShape to fusion. It just seems simpler. But fusion has the cam plugin. Another tool I use is libreCAD, which is good for 2D, then I save the dxf and open in estlcam. But I might be in the minority in that one.


The Marlin-compatibility settings I assume you are asking about? If so, yes… they are trivial once you have the SketchUCAM plugin installed. Under Tools->Phlatboyz->Options->MachineOptions, set the “Comments use Bracket or semicolon” to “false” (for semicolons) and under Tools->Phlatboyz->Options->FeatureOptions, set “Force all gcodes on for Marlin” to “true”.

The SketchUCAM plugin can be downloaded at

You’ll probably need to create an account (it’s safe and free) to get to the download link… which is at the very bottom of the lengthy first post… which also gives detailed installation instructions for your SketchUp version and OS.

– David

That is interesting. I don’t have my windows machine on my lap ATM, but I signed into that web page, and they have a ton of videos on how to use it. It is a very interesting set of tools. Here is a good video to give people the 101:

And here is the list of videos:

Thanks for pointing that out, and thanks for showing me those settings.

Thank you guys. I really need to make simple acrylic cockpit panels for my sim (DCS).

And Sketchup lets me use the Milspec font from Windows (OnShape does not).

I’ll give this a whirl. Thanks again everyone.