OpenCutList 5.0 Ideas: Exploded Views?

If you are a woodworker and maybe a user of the OpenCutList extension, this topic that talks about the future of OCL might interest you.

One interesting thing with SketchUp is that it is a versatile 3D software. You can draw a building like a small piece of furniture with the same light and powerful user interface.

In its specific domain, OpenCutList attempts to improve this experience for woodworkers who would rather spend more time modeling their projects than generating cut lists, cutting diagrams with multiple external tools.

A unified tool that keeps your models as clean as possible and doesn’t reinvent the wheel can bring some limits on customization, but it can be very useful if you’d rather spend your time in front of a piece of wood than a computer.

That’s what the OpenCutList team has in mind when they develop a function that will allow you to print exploded view without creating scenes and modifying the 3D model, but directly in the extension dialog.

Do you think this can be useful?


I will definitely support this. I’m an OpenCutlist contributor and this is awesome. While we do most of our furniture assembly drawings in a weird database-based program called IMOS (based on AutoCad), this is great for quick shots where a CNC program isn’t necessary. It’s amazing what they do here and one more reason to FINALLY MAKE A LAYOUT API for developers. What you see here is great, but it should be connected to Layout, not Sketchup… :light_smile:

Great show guys!

By the way, is there a way to export parts of the cut list as 2D-DWG files via OpenCut-List? That would be awesome and save a lot of time.


I guess this can be applied to any architectural detail… I’m in


Not actually. What do you expect to export, the 2D rectangle of each part laid out on the sheet (cutting diagram) or its complete 2D shape with holes and other machining?

This is a nice feature. But …
The actual use would be if you can also export it with three wires to see what’s inside with automatic dimensions.
That would be very helpful.
But I also wonder why you guys are not focusing on exporting cnc saw programs.
Or the abs border doesn’t work properly if my side panel component is made of grups inside to show cutouts dynamically. That the eding is not recognized.
Also, the cabinet hardware is not useful at all.

Because I think it’s pretty stupid to use SketchUp if you’ve bought a CNC. CNC owners spend a lot of money on their tool, and my advice is to spend a little more on a real cabinet software completely designed for it. There are a lot of high-end programs on the market and SketchUp’s time in this domain is counted.
So it’s ridiculous for me to spend time developing an extension for companies that will be leaving SketchUp for good in a few months or years.

This is the main advantage as the main problem of SketchUp, there is no limit and you can draw whatever you want in the way you choose to do it. No “common” software can respond to this type of demand without frustrating it. The only way I know of to maintain this kind of freedom is to write your own software. :tongue_caught_out:
All professional software creates a set of rules and the user must follow them to enter the optimized process.

The exploded view is a great idea, but ask for only the components to be moved
Since the groups (which are currently not counted remain intact in their component) since I perform tenons, cuts and dynamic parts as groups without adverse effects.

Regarding the edge strips, can you measure shorter edges like on the L shelf instead of overall? Maybe even smaller bend lengths < 100mm to match the colored edges

Hello Boris,

I somewhat agree with you. Once you go to CNC, you’ll need more specialized software because there are so many settings to consider: what line to cut with what speed and tool, etc.

I keep finding the need to export part outlines for all sorts of purposes all the time (sending them to vendors for quotes, preparing them for further AutoCAD work, etc. :light_smile: ) Right now I have to lay all the parts (components) flat on the ground and then use the 2D DWG export function, but it’s manual work and of course error prone (forgetting to add or remove parts when you change the design).

So for that, it would be nice to be able to export the 2D outline of each part in the cut list. On the other hand, what OpenCutList has achieved is already extremely good, so there’s no pressure to add even more features! :wink:

CNC has many different issues to consider.

We design in Sketchup with CabMaker. Then export all parts to CutMaster and then send highly optimized DXF files to Cut2D Pro or VCarve Pro.

I re-prioritize the power of the CNC first, which will save quite a bit of time.
SketchUp WoodWop – YouTube

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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