Introduction: How to Use a CNC Mill With Google SketchUp

Picture of How to Use a CNC Mill With Google SketchUp

Using a CNC Mill is pretty easy, and I'm going to show you how to upload a Google SketchUp project onto MillWizard.

Step 1: Making a 3D Image

Picture of Making a 3D Image

First thing you need to do is to convert Sketch Up to .stl files. You can find and download this here su2stl.rb, which can download from this page. The next thing that you need to do is get the .stl files into the Sketch Up Pluggins. To do that you need to copy the .stl file into the pluggins file here C:\Program Files\Google\Google SketchUp 6\Plugins. Then make a 3D image on SketchUp, the design should only be 1", 1", 1" when you first start to make it easier.

Step 2: Uploading the SketchUp File to MillWizard

Picture of Uploading the SketchUp File to MillWizard

Now you can convert the Sketch Up file to .stl file, so MillWizard can read the file and transfer it into G-Code, the code that the CNC Mill reads. Then you select the entire model and go to the tool bar and click "Plugins" then click "Export to STl". This will convert your model to an .stl file. Next you upload the .stl file to the Mill wizard. Select the file and use these demensions.

Type: End Mill

Diameter: 2.5

Cutting Length: 20

Stepover %: 50 (The lower it is the more presice).

Spindle Speed: 300

Feed Rate: 1000 for foam, 500 for wax.

Plunge Rate: the same as Feed Rate.

Raster in X and in Y

Safe Z height: 5

Press Calculate. And then Simulate if you want.

On the next page select Gcode inch [*.tap]

Then save the finishing.


David97 (author)2012-07-25

Thanks alot for this instructable. I have been looking for a easy cnc mill program and I am allready good at sketchup. I have found other programs too hard or expensive. Thanks alot.

dagenius (author)2009-04-12

you should either make a link on how to make the mill, or make your own instructable on it, if you haven't already. cool ible.

jamwaffles (author)dagenius2009-04-17

Yeah - i really want to know how to make a low runout cnc spindle hint hint anyone :P

reggy_a (author)jamwaffles2009-07-23

I have a tried and proven print for a precision cutting spindle I made for an engraving reducing machine. (the machine used at the US Mint for engraving master hubs of the coins we use). The most expensive part of the spindle of course is the precision bearings, If I recall, they cost me around $85.00, the rest is machine work that I did myself on a lathe. If you would like it, give me an address to send it to.

clarkis (author)reggy_a2012-02-09

reggy... I am interested...please send the info on the precision cutting spindle...
snail mail: 527 Melbourne Ct, Charlotte, NC 28209...


medecandia (author)reggy_a2011-01-11

I would also LOVE to see this. I am currently building a CNC as we speak.

jamwaffles (author)medecandia2011-01-12

How much for a ready built one? I'd love to build one myself but I'm just not that good

jamwaffles (author)reggy_a2009-07-24

i would like it very much lol. address: thankyou very much reggy

tinker234 (author)2011-06-03

hey this is cool i might do this

madmonky13 (author)2009-07-10

will this work for sketchup 7??? pleas anser

buzzsaw2222 (author)madmonky132011-05-06

It worked for me in sketchup 8

brichins (author)2010-07-29

p.s. The script you have here is version 1.0 and is 5 years old. The new version is 1.3 and has been dramatically improved:

robots42 (author)brichins2011-03-13

don't you just love php links with the wrong (out of date) id

BlackAngel999 (author)2011-01-02

Or after you have a .stl file, you can tinker with ReplicatorG / Skeinforge. Cheap machine management included!

brichins (author)2010-07-29

Nice idea - however you forgot to give credit (and link) to Didier Bur for creating the Ruby script. This script and many others can be found here:

M4industries (author)2010-06-26

Is this the free download version of Google Sketchup?

ziggalo (author)2010-02-20

 when i  clicked on the link, it downloaded a .tmp file? I'm totally confused. is that what is supposed happen?

zorbzz (author)2009-11-29

Big deal if you put the G-Code for free. Who wants to cut a smiley face. People want to know how to adapt for their own designs not cut stupid smiley faces all day. Nice tutorial but the G code for the smiley face is stupid.

akun2500 (author)2009-11-11

Thank you very much, nice tutorial ! 

marco oeste (author)2009-11-08

can provide gcode file for free if u guys leave your email address

marco oeste (author)2009-11-08

found that if you convert to dxf file or plt file most vector files will convert into mach3 or lazycam files without cuve problems

BovineDiozzi (author)2009-07-10

yes but i didnt use it

gregpeart (author)2009-06-24

The .stl file will open in"cambam plus", so thats good! its a start anyway,I can view it and if i knew how to use cam-bam(rtfm!) i would then just need to build a cnc machine and use a cnc program to control it. Like i said, its a start . thanks for the file converter!

gregpeart (author)2009-06-24

Cool, can save as .stl, after adding the downloaded file into sketchup "plugins " file. You must change to .rb file first, per step 1. Now i am trying to open the saved .stl project i made ,after importing the .stl into "wings3d" free program, but wings3d didnt like it , or open it!no success yet, is just a verification that its there! now am trying some cnc/cam programs to see if it will import.

gregpeart (author)2009-06-24

I have spent some time trying to do the files part of this tutorial, no joy yet, will try again. Can someone explain step 1? I will if i get this to work, its a shame, cos it looks and sounds easy, great for a first cnc project, dont know if this is for $500 version or free sketchup?

BovineDiozzi (author)2009-04-28

step one confuses me too and i wrote it lol well you need to add that file into the google sketchup program file in the c drive so you can convert the file

snowpenguin (author)2009-04-09

Can you explain step 1 better? I have no idea what you said and this looks really interesting.

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