How to Unfold Faces in Sketchup Using the Sketchup Unfold Tool

unfold sketchup

Need help turning your Sketchup 3D model into a flattened version for printing? Maybe you want to get a close up view of some custom joinery, or have a scale model of a large building, or maybe you just want to make some fun shapes! By using the Sketchup unfold tool, you can quickly take a 3D model and turn it into a 2D template that can be used for printing or laser cutting. This handy tool gives you an alternative way to make a model without having to cut each face out. Here’s how it’s done:

How to Use the Sketchup Unfold Tool

Window > Extension warehouse. First, open whatever model you want to unfold in Sketchup. Click on the extension warehouse button in the top menu bar. If you do not have the bar for any reason, you can still access it by navigating to “window” and selecting “extension warehouse.”

Sketchup unfold extension warehouse

Search “unfold.” A new window will pop up. Use the search bar in the upper left corner to search for “unfold.” If you don’t already have an account, you will have to create one in order to download the extension. It’s simple and it will give you access to great tools like this one!

sketchup unfold search

Unwrap and flatten faces. Click on the “unwrap and flatten faces” option. When it opens, you will have to log in if you are not already. Then install it by using the red install button in the top right corner. The image on the left of the window illustrates how this tool will turn a 3D model into a flattened plane.

sketchup unfold unwrap and flatten faces

Right click > Unwrap and flatten faces > Unwrap and flatten. Once you have the extension installed, all it takes is the click of a button to use the sketchup unfold tool! Right click on your 3D model and hover over “unwrap and flatten faces” to select “unwrap and flatten.” A message may pop up warning you that errors may occur. Don’t worry, just press “ok” to continue.

sketchup unfold unwrap and flatten
sketchup unfold warning message

That’s it! You’ve successfully used the sketchup unfold tool and you now have a flattened version of your 3D model that you can print out! If you want, you can use the line tool to add tabs on the edge of your faces. This will give the printed version another surface to use for gluing or taping and make the model more secure. Make sure the angle of the tab is greater than 45 degrees so that you can easily tuck it under the other faces! After you print it, just fold along the lines that connect each plane to create your 3D model.

sketchup unfolded model
sketchup unfolded model tabs

The Sketchup unfold tool is a great way to turn your digital models into paper versions that can be used for presentations, visualizing, or just for fun! This is just one of the many tools you can use to speed up and simplify using Sketchup.

We would love to know what kind of shapes you are unfolding, let us know in the comments below! Still want to learn more? Check out all of Sketchup our tutorials here. You can find something for every level from beginning to advanced.

Happy Hacking!


  1. allstarcarpetandtiles June 24, 2019 at 10:31 am #

    Great tips. I’m bookmarking this page. Its a great resource to keep. Thanks for sharing.

  2. hamzakhan17826 May 19, 2019 at 7:16 am #

    Ok sure, I will follow your steps before going to do exams. I hope your article will help me more.

  3. karlmistos May 14, 2019 at 10:41 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this. I’ll definitely share this with my classmates at de la salle zobel.

  4. classboat01 October 17, 2018 at 7:37 am #

    Hello there and thanks for your information, I have certainly picked up allot new info from right your post. You are also provided information about best tips for exam,Which is very helpful to me and other people also.

  5. mikemoreno September 5, 2018 at 3:48 am #

    thank you very much, verry helpfull…

  6. jogesh12345 August 14, 2018 at 1:55 am #

    Very effective and informative article.Thanks for sharing such an important tutorial.

  7. FLMIMA August 11, 2018 at 9:20 pm #

    Really helpful website

  8. Rumi July 15, 2018 at 7:16 am #

    I feel very grateful that I read this. It is very helpful and very informative and I really learned a lot from it.

  9. RJennings April 28, 2018 at 6:12 pm #

    Thank you for this website. The practice questions are helpful.

  10. Scott March 22, 2018 at 1:50 pm #

    Taking this test on Saturday. Last 4.0 exam to complete for the trio, then on to 5.0. This site is my go-to place when organizing what materials I’ll be studying

  11. shozab January 30, 2018 at 2:22 pm #

    Hi , very good article.

    thanks for sharing, keep up the good work

  12. dyba January 27, 2018 at 1:08 am #

    Good advice. Best of luck to all!

  13. KendraShirley January 16, 2018 at 4:04 pm #

    This is my favorite site for practicing for my tests! Great advise and super helpful.

  14. reximagetrim January 16, 2018 at 10:37 am #

    Nice post to read. A complete guide that can help all of us.

  15. tylerstockholm December 17, 2017 at 9:37 pm #

    Nice one… very helpful! Thanks!!!

  16. Aartiwalvekar November 21, 2017 at 8:56 am #

    Nice post

  17. Aartiwalvekar October 9, 2017 at 9:45 pm #

    Great post!

  18. Tony August 30, 2017 at 7:07 am #

    In the NCARB ARE 5.0 handbook they reference Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods in both of their example questions for cost estimating. Unfortunately there isn’t a specific chapter on cost estimating, it’s woven throughout the content.

  19. Spencer August 30, 2017 at 1:15 am #

    What is the best reference for cost estimating for PDD.

  20. Amy July 26, 2017 at 3:24 pm #

    Thanks! Great advice

  21. Tony June 29, 2017 at 7:23 am #

    Deciduous trees should only be used for shade (especially in temperate climates). Deciduous trees lose their leaves in the fall and will have little protection against wind in the winter when it is most needed. Likewise, the leafless trees allow solar heat gain in the winter when it is desired, and shade in the summer.

    Coniferous trees are only to be used to block wind and views. Since they don’t lose their needles, they work great for these two items year-round.

  22. Shahid Logan June 28, 2017 at 4:50 pm #

    Hello. My name is Shahid. This comment is for anyone who would like to reply. On the Siteplanning test. To block the wind, can you use a Deciduous tree or must you use a Coniferous tree?

  23. Mike January 4, 2017 at 11:04 am #

    Hi Tony,

    I need to take 5.0 PPD & PDD. Do you plan on posting notes such as “Caroline’s Notes” that you had posted for the various 4.0 exams for either of those sections? I found those notes to be some of the best resources in studying for the 4.0 sections. If so any idea when? Thanks

  24. Stephen October 17, 2016 at 9:30 pm #

    Hi Tony,
    Any updates on the SS exam ? If there’s an expected release date ? Thanks

  25. DesignerHacks October 4, 2016 at 12:11 pm #


    We are releasing practice exams for the SS exam later this fall.


  26. Paige October 4, 2016 at 11:34 am #

    Will you have SS questions on here at some point?

  27. Daniel September 9, 2016 at 8:47 am #

    Great post, very helpful with the lists of suggested materials, I just passed CDs in July and am taking PPP in November so I definitely needed the list.

Leave a Reply