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Get Started with CNC: A SketchUp Sawhorse

I’ve always been a fan of digital fabrication. You can often find me geeking out over 3D printing, laser cutting, and did I mention stuff with lasers?

One staple of my digital fabrication journey has been CNC. To me, CNC is one of the most useful forms of digital fabrication. You can make small stuff like circuit boards, but you can also make big stuff like housesand furniture.

I remember when I got a welder, one of the first projects I did was weld together a little cart for it. When I got my first 3D printer, one of the first things I printed was this little Marvin alien. Whenever you get a new tool it’s always nice to have a proven, easy, and useful starter project. I realized that there’s not really a go-to starter project for people interested in CNC. This was my motive for this sawhorse: to create a great first CNC project. This meant it had to be useful, cheap, and easy to build.

SketchUp Sawhorse

The sawhorse is a shop staple. Apprentice carpenters are often tasked by their experienced teachers to build these as a test of skill. Around my shop, I had several plastic sawhorses in various states of failure that needed replacing.

Enter the “SketchUp Sawhorse.” I designed this sawhorse to be simple, strong, and easy to fabricate via CNC. It was designed entirely in SketchUp and CNC milled on a ShopBot. Here are the features and specs:

SketchUp Sawhorse

The project is designed to be milled out of just about any ¾” plywood. All you need is a 3’x4’ sheet to get one sawhorse, so that means you can get two with room to spare out of a full (4’x8’) sheet. The joints are designed to accept any ¾” plywood even if it varies a little in thickness.

Alternatively, you can also grab elements of the sawhorse and plug them into scrap space in other CNC projects. Just stockpile the parts until you have enough to make one. We’d love for you to build one of your own and show it off. Below is a link to everything you need to make one yourself at a makerspace, your school, shop, or even 100kgarages.

An inseparable pair of SketchUp Sawhorses awaiting their next jobAn inseparable pair of SketchUp Sawhorses awaiting their next job.
Orbit around and get a good look at the SketchUp Sawhorse.

About the Author

When Eric isn’t using SketchUp, he’s turning his models into real world objects. Anything from Maker Benches, 3D prints, full size buildings, and even geodesic domes.

Profile Photo of Eric Schimelpfenig