Adobe Illustrator and SketchUp


Greetings brethren ~ I’m building a gate in Sketchup that has a series of scroll work. It was a challenge in SketchuUp to get the curves to flow naturally so, being more comfortable in Illustrator, I did the line work. I’m now having trouble exporting the AI lines into SketchUp. I tried creating the file into 3ds and Cad without success (my 3ds is from 2005 which may be a problem) Any suggestions??.


What CAD format? Exactly what is the problem you’re having? Maybe you could share the files?


export a dxf from AI and import into SU…

or write some ruby to create a points cloud and draw between the dots…



Hey guys ~ I think the problem with me is that, 1: I’m using AI CS (old), I can export the AI file into 3ds max ok, but in 3ds max I can only export a file from 2005. I don’t think SketchUp Pro 2018. can even read a file that old. The same goes with a .dxf export out of my 2005 version of 3ds.

I’d be happy to share the vector work with you in exchange for a file export that works in my version of SketchUp…


what are your AI export options?

or attach the .ai file [may have to zip it]

PS: sorry for nicking your avatar, but I’m writing a concept extension and have been looking for small B&W .jpg’s to test it…



The file is here in DropBox:


It would be great if AI was directly exportable to SketchUp. AI is my in wheelhouse…


That’s actually pretty slick…I know nothing about Ruby


I just ran this through pstoedit, but haven’t tested it at all…

ironGate.skp (106.5 KB)

EDIT: there is one missing edge, and You should over draw the straight edges to remove the segmentation, before extruding…

on a mac the command was

pstoedit -f dxf /Users/johns_iMac/Downloads/ /Users/johns_iMac/Downloads/ironGate.dxf



I thought Illustrator could do dxf/dwg, but my current installation isn’t working (long story). I recently used PowerCADD for drawing bezier curves and then imported them to SU via dwg format. The curves do get converted to line segments in the process.


I’m sure the latest versions do but I’m using the first CS…it’s about 13 years old


Have you tried the .skp I converted?



Yes it can, but you need the Pro version to import it.

Prior to exporting, in Illustrator, it might be a good idea to add a rather large number of control points to your curves and then to straighten the segments between. SketchUp often messes up this part when importing.

Another thing to check is the export and import settings and units. It is often to be recommended to use a larger than life import unit (see behind the Options button in the Import dialog) when importing Illustrator artwork.


Yes…successfully imported. You really are a sage aren’t you? Cheerio!


no problem, consider it payment for your avatar…

but I’d rather teach you to fish…

have a look at pstoedit for your flavour of windows…



I do this all the time, perhaps on a weekly basis. Just export a .dwg file from Illustrator, and you should be able to import that directly into SketchUp at actual size. I’ve had no conversion issues doing this. The only thing I have to do draw a rectangle around the art and intersect with the linework to create faces. There’s some manual work getting rid of counter spaces but it works.


Just draw in illustrator and export as DWG. Then import into sketchup.