Importing images from CAD to BigPrint

I'm starting with a SketchUp model of a "wellspring" chair that I downloaded from Google 3D warehouse. This chair has some nice 2D shapes to work with. The goal of this tutorial is to show how to print out those shapes.

To get a side profile, first we select:

from the pulldown menus in SketchUp. This gives us a view from the left.

But the view will still be in perspective, so next we select:

This will turn the image into non-perspective 2D, although it will only look 2D if you are looking at it straight on from one of the sides, (which we did in the previous step).

Capturing the screen

Next we need to get the image out of SketchUp and into BigPrint. The easiest way to do this is to full screen SketchUp (or any other CAD program for that matter) with the view you want and push the "Print Screen" button on your keyboard. This takes a snapshot of the image. The image can now be imported into any graphics program by simply "pasting" it.

Next we need to run BigPrint. In BigPrint, we can paste the image by selecting: We now have the whole screenshot in BigPrint.

This method of getting images into BigPrint has the limitation that it only goes up to the resolution of your monitor, although even a small 14" monitor is 1024 pixels across - that would be 1 mm pixels on a 1 m wide printout (or less than a 16th of an inch for a 4-foot wide printout), so it's enough resolution for most purposes.

An alternative method is to export the image from SketchUp under File->Export ->2D Graphic in SketchUp. This allows you to specify any resolution to export. After exporting, you can drag and drop the file onto BigPrint, or you can open it via File->Open.

I wouldn't recommend exporting much larger than 2000 pixels across though - things can get a little slow.

There are several things we need to do next to prepare the image for printing.

We can see that this chair just barely fits across three pages by four pages high

Now let's do a quick print preview of the image. Print preview conveniently allows us to view three pages across. Looks reasonable enough. This chair pattern is ready for printing in full size.

Also see the BigPrint tutorial and Menus details