How To Print At Actual Size (1:1) In SketchUp

Although I use SolidWorks for most of my 3D modeling, I still occasionally use SketchUp for creating drawings that will be cut out with a laser cutter. SketchUp is easy to use, and it doesn’t consume as much computer resources as SolidWorks. Below is an example of a drawing in SketchUp that I used to create a layer of Blinky, one of my balancing robots:

start

I like to create paper models of my robots before I cut parts out of acrylic on the laser cutter. To verify that all the parts will fit together properly, it’s important that the paper models are printed at the exact size of drawings.

To print at actual size in SketchUp, follow these instructions:

  1. Choose Camera -> Standard Views -> Top to adjust the camera view so that you are looking directly at the face of the drawing you want to print, as shown in the following image:
    top-view
  2. Choose Camera -> Parallel Projection to produce a flat drawing with no perspective lines:
    parallel
  3. Choose Camera -> Zoom Extents. to make the drawing as large as possible in the window:
    zoom-extents
  4. Resize the window to reduce the amount of white space around the drawing. This step is important because when you print, SketchUp will print not just your drawing but all the space around it too. Thus, if your drawing is a one inch square, but the window shows six inches of space on each side of the square, the drawing will be spread across multiple pages when you print.
    resized
  5. Choose File -> Print.

  6. In the Print option window, uncheck the “Fit to page” and “Use model extents” options. Set both scale values to 1.
    print-options
  7. Verify that the “Tiled Sheet Print Range” shows “Pages from: 1 to: 1“. If is says pages from 1 to 2 (or any other number), your print will span multiple pages. If your drawing is larger than the size of the paper, there is no way to avoid the print spanning multiple pages and still print at actual size.

    NOTE: The “Page size” does not always match the actual page size. In the previous image, the page width is shown as 3.9202 inches, but my drawing measures exactly 5 inches on the printed page.

  8. Click OK.

Your drawing should now print on one piece of paper at actual size. If you drawing is still not actual size, it’s possible that your printer might be scaling the print. For example, my Epson ink jet photo printer prints very accurately (as one might expect from a photo printer). However, my HP Officejet all-in-one printer scales printed drawings by about 0.96 in the Y direction.

Please let me know your results using this procedure by leaving a comment below.

33 comments to How To Print At Actual Size (1:1) In SketchUp

  • John Pritchard

    Hi
    I am using Sketchup 8 and cannot stop it wanting to print multiple pages. I have closely followed your procedure to no avail.
    As a test I have tried to print a 1 inch square but SU wants to print over 2 pages with the square in the middle. It is most frustrating.
    Any help or ideas would be appreciated.
    Regards, John Pritchard.

    • Osman Eralp

      I repeated your test with a 1 inch square. If I skip step 4 in the procedure above, I get the same results you do: Sketchup prints the square on two pages. Perhaps I didn’t explain step 4 well enough. If you email me a screen shot of what Sketchup looks like after you complete step 4, I can check if it looks that same as my test.

      • Marek

        Hi – did john email you the file? I have the same problem. Both “Fit to page” and “Use model extents” are unchecked. I use ledger paper size in Adobe Acrobat, and the part is 137 x 172 mm. The printout is always 2-page, with the actual part taking up a small proportion of each page (i.e., it could fit in a single page 2-3 times). This sounds like a serious SU bug. Any solutions/ideas?

    • jericho

      I did this test too and had the same problem. Solution for me – you have to uncheck BOTH “Fit to page” AND “Use model extents”, as it says in Osman´s text. I only unchecked “Fit to page” and that was my error. Hope it helps.

      Osman Erlap – Thank you for this tutorial! – very helpfull for me.

  • Steve

    Thank you very much! Resizing the sketchup window was what I needed to make it not stretch across multiple pages. It still isn’t printed at exactly actual size, but I don’t need it to be for what I’m doing. The important part was getting it to print on one page and very close to the actual dimensions.

  • Jeff

    Good write-up and exactly what I was looking for. I was quite frustrated being able to design what I want but not able to print it full scale. I had gone through most of what you talked about just didn’t change the scales to 1 and 1. To bad this explanation isn’t in the V8 help documentation. Thanks for your help.

  • Leif Roger

    Hi
    I want to print in a scale of 1:50. but when I opened the Print option window, and uncheck the “Fit to page” and “Use model extents”, I’m not able and adjust the scale. The fields are gray and may not be adjusted. does anyone know why?

  • ijpelaar

    Hi All

    Why sketchup is sometimes such a pain, I want to print a horn shape 46 cm x 52 cm wide on multiply pages but do not now how, it print just on one.

    thanks

  • Demir

    Thanks. Resizing the SU window helped me to not print my small project on multiples pages.

  • MUSTAFA

    merhabalar bu ben dediklerini yaptım olmadı saygılar tüğrkçe bir siteniz varmı acaba

  • sam

    Nice Tutorial.saved my day.Can you explain why page size does not match.
    Thank you

    • Osman Eralp

      Not sure what you mean by page size does not match. If you can rephrase your question, I’ll try to help.

      • Anon

        “NOTE: The “Page size” does not always match the actual page size. In the previous image, the page width is shown as 3.9202 inches, but my drawing measures exactly 5 inches on the printed page.”

  • Hank

    this doesn’t work. sketchup always wants to put the model in the split of multiple pages. sketchup bug or something.

  • Mike

    When I use your method the 2D model that I’m trying to print (over 2 pages) looses a section in the middle. Can’t figure out why.

    I don’y see any way to insert and image to this message

    • Osman Eralp

      I tried printing an image over two pages. Although there is a blank area in the margins of the two pages, if I cut off the margins, the image is the correct size. I created a 5 inch square. 2.5 inches of the square was printed on one page and 2.5 inches were on the other page. Have you tried cutting off the margins and pasting the two resulting pages together? If you do that, I bet the resulting image will be the correct size.

  • Mike

    You may be correct – but not in my case – visualize a 160 x 450 rectangle with a series of 10 drilled holes equally spaced along the 450 dimension. This model , when printed over 2 pages only prints 8 of the 10 holes, therefore, the actual size is not correct.

  • vijay

    I want to print my model which is 50 inches in length and want to the same lenght in 4 pages of A3 paper.i have save it in jpg format.any help.thanks

  • BernB

    Works perfectly using Sketchup 2016 and using mm instead of inches. Thanks.

  • hawkechik

    Wow! Thanks! Just what I needed to print a full size template for a woodworking project. Worked a treat!

  • Thanks! That one little thing .. reducing the white space .. so THAT was the problem!!

  • Alan Williams

    Hi all I am having some trouble printing a 2d sword outline over 2 pages! Sketchup wants to put the sword over 4 pages! I’ve tried reducing the white space but then it just prints the middle of the sword!! Grrrr

  • Mike

    I have an officejet printer and the scaling is way off. When I enter the print-preview screen (file -> print preview) to adjust the scale, all fields were blank!

    Is there no workaround?

  • Matthew Young

    I am having the same issue as some with not having any info available in the print window.
    I also have screen shots but can’t seem to upload them to this page.

  • ilhan keskin

    model kapsamlarını kullan kısmındaki tik i kaldırmama rağmen gri sebebi ne olabilir acaba
    Not:ingilizce pek bilmiyorum 🙂

  • bob

    Thanks man, this issue had plagued me for years. I would eventually get it after messing with it for a long time, and wasting lots of paper, not knowing exactly what I did to get it to come out right. The Sketch Up help instructions didn’t seem to be very clear or helpful. Your solution is very clear, precise, and it works. The secret is the resizing of the window to reduce the excess area around the target. You also helped to clear up the multitude of choices on the print screen, which were also confusing, and not covered well by the help file.

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