Revit to Sketchup: How to Convert Your Model

It is a common workflow for designers to turn to Sketchup during the early phases of a building design because jumping straight into Revit model often more time consuming. We won’t cover that topic in this post, but rather the less common workflow of going from Revit to Sketchup. We’ll cover some recommended techniques and some common errors to watch out for.

In part one, we covered the process from the Revit side of the workflow, where you prepped your model for export. Now in Part Two, we’ll cover the final steps when importing a model from Revit to Sketchup and cover some common issues.

Import Your CAD Files

In Sketchup, navigate to the File menu and select Import. Browse to the models that were exported in part one and select one to import.

Note that when converting a model from Revit to Sketchup by importing a DWG, Sketchup may throw a vague error stating “Import Failed”. I have notice that 9 out of 10 times, this is due to the AutoCAD DWG version that you exported. Double check that your DWG was exported to the 2007 version as shown in part one.

If you don’t have access to the original Revit model to export the CAD files in the appropriate version, another option is to change the version from AutoCAD. Open one of your DWGs in AutoCAD and run the Save As command. In the Save As window, you can force AutoCAD to save the file to an earlier version using the Files of type dropdown menu (see screenshot below).



You’ll notice that the reference lines that you modeled in part one are aligned with the x, y, and z axis automatically. Those model lines help identify extents of the model, so Sketchup should have a similar insertion point for all of your models. If they aren’t aligned, you still have the benefit of adding the model lines because now you can easily get these models aligned by using them as a reference when importing from Revit to Sketchup.

Continue to import your DWG models as needed to complete your Revit to Sketchup conversion. Don’t forget to use the model lines as a reference to align your models!


Happy Modeling

Exporting from Revit to Sketchup can be a tricky process, but hopefully the steps that I’ve outlined here will help you get over a few technical hurdles.


Do you have any additional tips and tricks when exporting from Revit to Sketchup? Please share them in your comments below.

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