Archicad to SketchUp. Dealing with Archicad model changes

Hi Guys,

Just have a question regarding potential ‘merging’ or smart importing (through addons or otherwise), of updated Archicad models for rendering in Sketchup.

If the Archicad model changes somewhat significantly (or even a bit), it means I have to start over again in a new SU file. Is there anyway to merge or sync only the changes?

Just curious on what people’s workflow is from Archicad, especially when dealing with Archicad model changes.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Deferring my clunky manual workaround to @nnijmeijer's answer using Trimble Connect ...

If you are importing DWG or DXF, the ArchiCAD model would come in as a SketchUp component.
And if have the ArchiCAD origin in the same place as you expect it to be positioned according to SketchUp’s origin, then using the “Perserve Origin” option would place the model in the same place and orientation.

The DWG import will appear in SketchUp’s “In Model” components collection under the name of the imported filename … “MyHouse.dwg”.

So if you leave everything within this imported component alone, and only add SketchUp entities outside it (or in their own groups or components,) you won’y have an collisions of geometry or objects.

Later when the DWG in ArchcCAD is changed and saved to the same filename and path, you could re-import it into the SketchUp model and delete the old imported component.

(Unfortunately, the path of the imported component points at a temporary skp file, instead of the original DWG file, so the Reload… command will not work as implemented.

Perhaps a XRef plugin ?

You can use Trimble Connect for an efficient workflow.

  • Export the ArchiCAD model to IFC2x3;
  • Upload the export in Trimble Connect;
  • Import the IFC model as a reference from Trimble Connect in SketchUp Pro.

If the IFC model changes, this also changes in SketchUp.
For this you use the Trimble Connect Collaboration Manager.

Note: It is necessary that your SketchUp project is also uploaded / linked to the Trimble Connect project. Otherwise the Collaboration Manager does not function.

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In Archicad, save a 3D view that shows your model in the way you want to show it in SketchUp. Then export a SKP file. In SketchUp, do not open the file directly, but import it into your model as a component, and do not edit it.
Now when your Archicad model changes, you can just repeat the export process, using your saved view, and, then in SketchUp you can right-click your imported component and select Reload from the context menu.

Thank you guys very much for the input.

I will try all of the methods mentioned above and see which workflow works best for us.

Thanks again!

HI Guys,

Been playing around with the different options mentioned above. Just have some overall feedback.

  • IFC doesn’t seem to work with any form of editing, the reference model is just a block, which means I cannot edit any of the materials.

  • The component import option suffers similar problems unfortunately. The material channels and maps done in sketchup will all be overriden by the ‘reload’, since it’s essentially replacing the model component.

It looks like the rendering workflow from Archicad to Sketchup is just too clunky, when dealing with changes.

Thanks for all your suggestions though, I may keep looking but I feel like it may be better just to use max and link the fbx file or go with C4D.

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What advantage does moving a model from one 3d SW to another give in this case?

Archicad does not support Vray natively, plus high poly objects are not suitable within Archicad. It’s a drafting software, not really designed for bespoke 3D modelling.

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To be honest, neither are they in SketchUp.

I haven’t played with this for a while, but have you tried it in this way:

  • set your different materials correctly in Archicad, possibly using only simple colours.
  • after importing, don’t open the model and use the Paint tool to apply the materials, but edit the materials imported to add the properties you need in your rendering

I seem to remember that SketchUp won’t override your modified materials after reimport, but I may be wrong.