How to Convert SketchUP Files to AutoCAD (.dwg) Files - Part 2 - New for AutoCAD 2013
Part 1

Overview ---- Body ---- Conclusion

The Problem

SketchUP does not provide an option to export to .3ds, .dxf or .dwg unless you purchase SketchUP Pro.  What do you do if you don't want to purchase SketchUP Pro but would like to use some of the content provided by SketchUP users in AutoCAD or AutoCAD Architecture?

Illustrated to the right I show Autodesk's new SketchUp Import application that you can download and install, free of charge, for use in AutoCAD 2013 and vertical applications such as AutoCAD Architecture 2013.


The Solution - Get to the Application, Download it and Install it

Inside AutoCAD 2013, type "Exchange", use the "X" button on the upper right side of the control bar or use the Welcome screen (type "Welcome") to access the Autodesk Exchange - Applications website.  You will be prompted for a User Name and Password.  If you don't have an account, make one.  If you already have an account with Autodesk for their discussion forum you can use the same account information.

Illustrated to the right I show where I tracked down the location of this application on my Vista 64 OS.  I found it under the "C:\Users\Admin\AppData\Roaming\ Autodesk\ApplicationPlugins\Autodesk SketchUp Import.bundle" folder.  Apparently this is the location for all applications now.



The Solution - Importing .skp Files

After you have installed the application you won't notice any changes in AutoCAD 2013.  I looked around for any new icons and found none.  I also checked the list of file types under "Import" and found no .skp file options; a little disappointing.

To import a SketchUP file in AutoCAD 2013 you have to type "importskp" which will activate the "Select SKP file" dialog illustrated to the right.

The Solution - Importing .skp Files - Render Materials

Illustrated to the right I show one of my recent design studies that I put together in SketchUP and imported into AutoCAD Architecture 2013.  The big surprise was discovering that the Autodesk application translated the SketchUP Materials.

I tracked down the location of the translated render materials as: "C:\Users\Admin\AppData\Local\Autodesk\ACA 2013\enu\SketchUpTexture"

The scaling of the materials does not appear to come through correctly in my tests and when I began making adjustments in the Materials Editor, I got all sorts of bizarre results ranging from dramatic scaling changes to major mapping distortions.

The Solution - Downloading .skp Files

To download a SketchUP file into AutoCAD 2013 you have to type "getmodel" which will activate the Trimble 3D Warehouse website illustrated to the right.  I was not able to drag the .skp file directly into AutoCAD but I found using the download button produces the desired results.

The End

I think it is fantastic that Autodesk finally recognized and accepted that SketchUP and .skp files are probably in every office that uses AutoCAD.   I see places where some improvements could be made to the importing process/results but it works and that's a major step. 




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