Frequently Asked Questions
A list of frequently asked questions.
The local axes of a component are used to find out which dimension shall be considered the length, width or thickness of a part.
The dimensions of components are taken from the bounding box. Depending on how you draw your component, the bounding box may not be aligned with the component axis. Check out SketchUp Skill Builder: Group axis and bounding box to learn about relocating the local axis to align the bounding box with your component.
The Option Automatic orientation of parts, tells OpenCutList to interpret the dimension of the part using the largest dimension as length, the smallest dimension as thickness and the remaining dimension as width. You can edit the properties of a part, change the order and lock the orientation of the local axes. If Automatic orientation of parts is not enabled, the length is read along the red axis, width along the green axis and thickness on the blue axis. Depending on how you draw your volume, SketchUp might not place the local axes the way you would like them.
On the Materials tab of OpenCutList, add a new material and configure its type. Alternatively or if you already have material on your components, you may define the material within SketchUp, then it will appear in the Materials tab, where you will have to configure a few additional parameters. This information will be used to compute raw dimensions (using the oversize) and select the correct thickness. Also price and weight attributes can be added to the material.
If you have just applied material defined in SketchUp, OpenCutList lacks the additional parameters it needs to exactly compute the Parts List. Check out the tab Materials to enter this information for all materials used in your model.
It is not possible to make an exhaustive list of all thicknesses, sizes and personal preferences. For each material we have listed default sizes, which you have to adapt to your local market availability. There is one set for metric units in mm and one for imperial (fractional) units in inches listing a limited set of parameters. You can save your customization and restore it at any time. You can also revert to the original defaults.
On material of type Sheet Good, there may be no grain direction (like for MDF sheets) or a grain direction along the length of the sheet. Some material do have the grain running across the sheet (plywoods). In that case, simply swap length and width so that the first dimension represents the grain direction.
Using the context menu Flip Along and selecting the blue axis (if the thickness is on the blue axis) will flip the front and back face of a part.
Using the context menu Flip Along and selecting the red axis (if the length is on the red axis) will change the direction of the arrow.
This happens when the dimensions are not exact with respect to the precision of your model. See the menu
Tools -> Model Info -> Unitsor the Preferences. Enable the length snapping and configure it to the same value as precision to minimize the effect. However there are situations where this will almost always happen (because you cut a curve or a bevel or because you changed the units of your model after creating your components).
OpenCutList material is SketchUp material with some attributes attached to it. Textures cannot be added directly from OpenCutList to the material, but you can edit the material directly in SketchUp if you want to customize its appearance. It is important to configure the direction of your texture in OpenCutList.
OpenCutList selects the top level material of the component to assign the part to a group. You may define other materials to the faces of the component. If you do this on all faces of the part, the color of the component material will not be visible anymore.
Material must be applied to the component, assigning it to all faces is cumbersome and unnecessary.
This may happen when your drawing is not precise enough. Increase the displayed precision in the model info to the maximum, menu
Tools -> Model Info -> Unitsor in Preferences. You should now see that parts have different thicknesses. If you use fractional inches, and a ~ (tilde) is displayed in front of the thickness, switch to decimal inches to see the difference.
In North America, there is a distinction between the nominal and actual size of many wood products (rough wood, dimensional lumber, wood panels). SketchUp and OpenCutList work with actual dimensions, therefore you need to enter actual sizes and not nominal sizes.
For dimensional lumber (softwood), when the nominal size is 2 x 4 (2 by 4), the actual size will be at least 1-1/2 x 3-1/2 at 19 % maximum-moisture content.
When you plan to use a panel (OSB, Plywood, ...), make sure you note the correct dimensions. Often the hardware store will list the panel with an indication like this:
Birch Plywood (Common: 3/4 in. x 2 ft. x 4 ft.; Actual: 0.728 in. x 23.75 in. x 47.75 in.)
This means that instead of 0.75 in. the panel's thickness is only 0.728 in., not much difference, but 2 ft. x 4 ft. is missing 1/4 in. You need to take this into account when setting up the trimming size for the panel.
Rough wood volumes are usually measured in FBM (for "foot, board measure"). One board foot equals 1 ft x 1 ft x 1 in or 12 in x 12 in x 1 in. A volume in FBM is 12 times larger than the volume in ft³. See also the National Hardwood Lumber Association Grading Rules.
It depends! In OpenCutList, the larger dimension or the dimension of the grain direction is the length of the panel, the other being the width. If your material has no grain (like MDF) it probably does not matter. For material like Baltic Birch Plywood, the grain may run along the largest dimension or across the board.