Overview

 
SketchUp enables you to print standard orthogonal views of a 3D model To Scale on a single page.  Unlike a simple 2D drawing, SketchUp’s camera provides unlimited perspective views of infinite 3D space.  Printing a SketchUp model to scale requires adjusting the camera settings to present a close-up, non-perspective orthogonal view of the model.

When the size of the printout exceeds the printable area of a single page, SketchUp spans the printing across multiple tiled pages.
You have the option to print all the pages, a specific single page or a specified range of pages.

SketchUp was developed as a tool for architectural modeling.  Printing large, house-size models to scale rarely presents a problem.
  • Printing small models to scale may require resizing the SketchUp window to crop empty space around the model.
  • Limiting the empty space around the model is the key to reducing the number of tiled pages required to print.
Tip:   SketchUp’s native print feature sees the modeling viewport as the area to be printed.
Thus, it helps to set SketchUp’s viewport to the same aspect ratio and orientation as the printed page.

Windows users can use this handy plugin for setting viewport size and aspect ratio to match print output.
Eneroth Viewport Resizer — Extension Warehouse (MS Windows ONLY)



Save time, paper, ink and frustration; use the Print Preview Dialog to see what you are about to print.

 


Camera Settings

To adjust the camera, click … Camera

Standard Views Set the camera to one of the perpendicular Standard Views.
Click … Camera > Standard Views > (then choose) Top, Bottom, Front, Back, Left or Right

Parallel Projection Set the camera to Parallel Projection aka Paraline Mode.
Click … Camera > Parallel Projection

Zoom Extents Centers the model in the drawing area and zooms to the closest view of the entire model.
Click … Camera > Zoom Extents

Tip: Camera Standard Views are aligned along the default R-G-B Drawing Axes.
Your model must be aligned with the R-G-B Drawing Axes as well.

 

 

 

Print Preview Dialog Box Settings

To open the Print Preview dialog box, click … File > Print Preview



Printer Panel

To open the Print Properties dialog box, click … Properties

Orientation Specify how the printout is oriented on the page(s).
Portrait … Orients the print vertically. The top of the model is along the short side of the paper.
Landscape … Orients the print horizontally. The top of the model is along the long side of the paper.

Paper Size Choose the size of the paper you want to use from the list of sizes your printer supports.

Other Properties Most printers provide a host of advanced print setup options.
To obtain the best performance from your printer, become familiar with its features and advanced setup options.

 

                       Portrait                               
 
 
 
                            Landscape

 


Tabbed Scene Print Range Panel

This panel is enabled only when your model contains one or more Scenes.
When the panel is enabled, you must select Current View to be able to print to scale.

 

Copies Panel

Select the number of copies you wish to print.

 

Print Size Panel

This panel presents the Scale and Page Size fields and the Fit to Page and Use Model Extents options.
The function of each is described in detail below.

  Fit to Page  The Fit to Page option forces the print output to fit a single page with no regard to scale.
Selecting this option disables the Scale and Page Size fields and the Tiled Sheet Print Range panel.
You must deselect the Fit to Page option to be able to print to scale.

  Use Model Extents  Use Model Extents reduces the overall physical size of the print (aka Page Size) by discarding the empty space around the model.
Use Model Extents does not affect the Scale of the print, only the overall size of the print.
For example, it may help you fit a scale house print onto a single page or reduce the number of tiled pages the print requires.

 

                                          Use Model Extents – OFF

 

   

          Use Model Extents – ON
 
 

Tip:  Note the changes in the Page Size and Tiled Sheet Print Range fields as you toggle Use Model Extents on and off.

Use Model Extents generally reduces the number of tiled pages when printing large models.
Printing small models may be problematic, resulting in a print that spans many more pages than necessary.

You can resolve Model Extents/Tiled Pages Issues by manually resizing the SketchUp window to minimize the empty space around the model as follows:

  Deselect the Use Model Extents option.
  Click … Camera > Zoom Extents before resizing the window to confirm the model is centered.
  Resize the SketchUp window, leaving as little empty space as possible as shown in the image below.

Tip:  Orient elongated objects horizontally onscreen and set the printer orientation to landscape.
 

                Resize the SketchUp window to crop empty space.
 
 
      Print Preview of the model above.  Print tiled over 2 pages.
 
 
 
 
  Scale  Scale is the ratio of Printed size to Actual size.
Enter the values you wish to use in the Scale fields and select the units of measure from the dropdown menus.
 

Example:  1/4” = 1’-0” Scale
In the printout field:  Type 1/4 or .25 and select Inches from the adjacent dropdown menu.
In SketchUp field:  Type 1 and select Feet from the adjacent dropdown menu.

Example:  Full Size  1:1 Scale
In the printout field: Type 1 and select any unit of measure from the adjacent dropdown menu.
In SketchUp field:    Type 1 and select the same unit of measure from the adjacent dropdown menu.

  Page Size  The Page Size fields display the overall size of the printing, not the size of the paper.
Enter values into the Scale fields, SketchUp calculates the overall dimensions of the print output and displays the resultant width and height in the Page Size fields.
Do not enter values into the Page Size fields when you are printing to scale.
Simply use the width and height dimensions displayed as your guide to whether the printing will fit within the printable area of the paper.

Tip:  The Page Size Width/Height fields do not update automatically when entering values in the Scale fields.
Toggle the Use Model Extents option to refresh the Page Size fields.
Note the effect Use Model Extents has on the overall width and height of the printing.

 

Tiled Sheet Print Range Panel

When the overall size of the printing exceeds the printable area of a single page, SketchUp spans the printing across multiple tiled pages.  This panel provides the option to print all the pages, a specific single page or a specified range of pages.  By default, the print range is set to All and the Pages from:/to: fields display the total number of pages the print requires.

Tip:  The Tiled Sheet Print Range fields do not update automatically when entering values in the Scale fields.
Toggle the Use Model Extents option to refresh the Print Range fields.  Note the effect Use Model Extents has on the total number of pages the print requires.

 

Print Quality

Select the desired print quality from the dropdown menu.
The Print Quality menu is disabled when the Use High Accuracy HLR (vector printing) option is selected.
Note the Use High Accuracy HLR vector printing option does not support printing images, only colors.
Deselect Use High Accuracy HLR if you want texture images to appear in the printout.

 

2-D Section Slice Only

This option is enabled only when your model contains a Section.
When this option is selected, SketchUp prints just the outline of the active section cut.
The rest of the model is omitted from the printout.
Note you must have a section cut displayed or print output is nil.

          2D Section Slice — ON                        2D Section Slice — OFF

 

Use High Accuracy HLR

This option sends the model to the printer as high accuracy vector data.
Use High Accuracy HLR vector printing does not support images; they appear in the printout as simple shades.

Ready to Print?

Click … OK in the Print Preview Dialog to view the Print Preview.
If you don’t like the print preview image, click Close.  Adjust the settings in the Print Preview dialog and try again.
If you like the print preview image, click Print.  The Print dialog box opens.  Click, OK.  The printer commences.

 


 

Common Problems and Solutions

 

•  The printout tiles across too many pages.

            ***   See the PRINT SIZE PANEL section above   ***

Select the use Model Extents option and confirm the Scale field settings are correct.

Alternatively ...

Deselect the use Model Extents option and resize the SketchUp window to crop empty space from around the model.
Confirm the Scale field settings are correct.
 

•  The Scale fields are grayed out and inactive.

Confirm the camera settings are correct.
Deselect the Fit to Page option.

 

•  Jaggy printing.

Select the Use High Accuracy HLR (vector mode) option.

  

•  Images, textures and shadows do not print.

Deselect the Use High Accuracy HLR (vector mode) option.

 

•  Screen Text does not print as expected.

Screen Text generally yields unpredictable results when printing to scale.
Leader Text and 3D Text provide the best results.

 

•  Leader and Dimension Text fonts do not print as expected.

Set the fonts to be displayed as Height instead of Points.
To change the way fonts are displayed, click … Window > Model Info > Text (or) Dimensions > Fonts

 

  Not all tiled pages print.

Confirm the Tiled Sheet Print Range is set to print the pages you want.

 
 
 
George Knowles 10-21-2010