SketchUp: 2D Drafting and Printing From SketchUp

This week I’m making a couple board games but before I can make them I’d like to make a couple templates. That way I will be able to use the templates over and over to create more board games in the future. The templates start out here in SketchUp. Creating 2d templates is pretty easy but unfortunately SketchUp doesn’t have an excellent way to print or export only what you want. For that I typically use the Snipping Tool in Windows to grab a quick image of what I need. For plans that require higher resolution images I normally use the Export 2D Image tool in SketchUp. Then I open the image in an image editor and work from there. Here are a few of the shortcuts I frequently use:

  • Ctrl = adds a copy command to the move and rotate commands
  • Q = rotate
  • R = rectangle
  • T = tape measure
  • D = dimension (this is a custom keyboard shortcut I set and is not included by default)
  • M = move
  • Space Bar = selection command
  • Triple Click = when triple clicking a piece of model space geometry it selects everything in model space that is connected to that item
  • Double Click On Component = enters component edit mode
  • G = Turns selected model space geometry into a component
    • H = Hide
    • U = Unhide all
    • D = Dimension



  1. I know you said you didn’t use the CNC and might even get rid of it, but this is a perfect use for it. Instead of “Xs” draw circles and using a drilling tool path and a round nose bit. Skip the template and make as many boards as you want whenever you want. You might even save enough space not storing templates to have room for the CNC.

    For marble games I use a 5/8″ round nose bit with a 1/4″ drill depth.

      • I’m a CNC man but I am also a woodworker. What you have done for people who don’t have a CNC is show them how to use “free” sketch-up and most common woodshop tools. I am impressed, as I followed you through the process in sketch-up. I was mentally designing along with you with Vetric Aspire software for CNC. So, if you don’t have $8-10,000 for a decent CNC and years mastering the software and you want a “widget” board. “Jay’s way” will let the average woodworker enjoy free technology with Sketch up and their existing shop tools.

  2. Man! You really do work this program. Keep up the great work Jay! You make it look simple in which it is to a pro as yourself. With that being said you’re making it simple for your viewers as well. Thanks for your insightful, inspirational input to the world!

  3. Hi Jay. Thanks for the tip on BigPrint. I have been doing something similar to what you descibed when needing a hard copy of a drawing. Excellent!

  4. Very easy on the Mac…Command + Shift + 4. Then, drag a marquee around what you want to clip. When you release the mouse button, that selection is saved to the desktop as a png file.

  5. In my “day job”, I have to send screen captures a lot, without any good software to do so. What I usually do, is:

    – Use the “PrtSc” (or however Print Screen is abbreviated on your keyboard), which will “Copy” your screen
    – Control-V to “paste” the image into whatever you want. If you want just the jpg, you can paste into Paint (free). If you want a printable document, you can also paste right into Word or any document editing software.

    You may have to “Crop” the image a bit to get rid of some excess imagery, and there’s also other short cuts, like Alt-PrtSc to only capture one Window which is particularly helpful when using multiple monitors. But, once you get the hang of it, *I* find it pretty easy. If someone has a software they’re good with, it may be beneficial to try this if you don’t have/don’t want to learn Photoshop./Gimp/etc.

  6. Jay, I enjoyed your video on the game board template. Something that you might try that would make things a little simpler would be to set the lower left hand corner as 0,0, or zero, zero. Then make all your dimension lines start from there. Across the bottom would be 0, 6, 11, 14, 17, 28. Up the left side would be the same starting at the bottom. What this does for you is allow you to lay your measuring device of choice across the bottom and make all your tick marks at once. No need to measure the 11, then the 3, then the 3. This minimizes the accumulated errors in each start and stop. You may already be familiar with this, but maybe not.

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