Exporting sketches without distortion

I often model things in Shapr3D for 3D printing – often miniature environments like rooms. To add detail (like wallpaper), I print out designs on paper to then paste onto the walls.

I would love to be able to use the “export sketches” feature to import DWG files into Illustrator, and use them as templates for sizing the wallpaper.

However, this export function rarely gives me the right dimensions – since the walls of the miniature rooms are rarely parallel to the X-Y axis in Shapr3D. So the program is projecting the sketches onto a plane, and then exporting these distorted images. What I really need is an export of the faces in a way that preserves the true dimensions.

Is there any way to achieve this? Or at the very least is there a quick way of projecting a sketch onto a plane while preserving the original dimensions? Thank you!

I have found dimensional accuracy only occurs when sketches are exported from the Top View perspective only. If I’m going to fabricate parts from an assembled drawing, I must convert each sketch to a Top View, then export each. Then I get accurate fabricated parts.

Thanks! Do you have a quick way to convert your sketches to top view? My sketches tend to be at odd angles, so just conforming them to a construction plane is maddeningly difficult… I feel like I’m missing a trick. (Of course just using “project” messes up the dimensions as well)

I use Project all the time, and haven’t ever had a dimensional issue. I typically create a plane, project the image I want onto the plane. Then drag to select the entire sketch, and rotate it to the Top View. Now, with Isolation, I can view only that top view sketch, export it, and have the parts fabricated.

Strange… I tried that, but still the dimensions are off. Do you need to align the plane with any of the X/Y/Z axes?

Well, I am implying the Top View is looking straight down the Z axis. The plane can be anywhere along the z axis, but it must be flat with the top view. I’ll do a video this evening.

Thank you for the clarification. The problem now is aligning the construction plane/sketch with the XY plane… which is maddeningly difficult, because the sketches (for various reasons) are at strange angles (rotated on several axes). If there was a quick way to align these sketches flat with the XY plane then that would solve everything.

Easier still would be if Shapr3D had an option to export sketches without distortion to the dimensions… maybe they will see this and take note?

Thanks again.

If I was in that situation, I’d create a horizontal plane, then measure the angle between your sketch and the plane. Then rotate your projected sketch that amount.

I have shared with the Shapr3D team, and they have been looking into this. I’m certain it will be solved in the near future.

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Hi there! Sketches from Shapr3D are exported while maintaining the specific plane they are placed in the 3D space. The reason for the distortion is that 2D design tools are not prepared to handle planes that are non-parallel with the X-Y plane and every sketch element will be projected to the X-Y plane without a question during the import.
The only solution is to make every sketch plane parallel with the X-Y plane. The most efficient not so efficient way I think is the following:

  1. Create a simple rectangular/circular sketch on the X-Y plane, this will be the reference for Align.
  2. Create an outline around the sketch to align and extrude it - you will get a planar face that is on the same plane as the sketch
  3. Project the sketch to the freshly made planar face as Edge - there will be a solid body with your sketch as imprinted edges on one side
  4. Align the solid body to the reference sketch on the X-Y plane made in step 1

Just for the record, this is a group of sketches in Shapr3D on several planes:

And the same sketch imported as a DWG to a software that can handle any drawing plane:

ps.: let me know if the workaround is unclear, I’m happy to create a short video


Thank you for this! It is a bit unclear – if you have time to make a video that would be amazing! Thanks.

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Sure thing! It is a bit more steps than I introduced yesterday, but here it is:


Ah thank you!!