Converting IFC SketchUp to native Tekla

As it happens, I’m spending the week with my Tekla colleagues this week in Helsinki. Among the set of things we’re working on is the data exchange between SketchUp and Tekla Structures. So any thoughts you have about how this should work would be timely and welcome.

Broadly speaking, IFC is not typically used by any modeling tool as a means for editable data exchange; instead, IFC is a ‘destination’ format appropriate for use as a reference in other modeling applications. Consequently, when you place a SketchUp model in Tekla Structures, it cannot (easily) be edited further.

It sounds like you were hoping there would be a way to place a piece of steel in your SketchUp model and have that automatically be recognized as a piece of steel in Tekla? Can you talk more about the workflow you’d like to be able to follow?


SketchUp’s ifc export is outdated and won’t work.
(Import is also outdated)
Use the ifc manager to export

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Thank you John for your Answer,

I (really) hope you will find a top solution for you … and me :wink:

I’m just trying thing with several softwares inluding TEKLA and Sketchup (that i love since a long time).

I can do thiings with SU, easyer than with Tekla (e.g Things that we can do quickly with profil Builder or Shape Bender … that are difficult to do with TEKLA … for example) …

The only thing i can do at the moment ton contournate the problem is, exporting from SU as IFCPLATE, changing it in TEKLA … but it’s fastidious and the axes are moving from face to rear, top to bottom … so it’s not the best way to generalize it in a forkflow…

We stay in touch if you want.


And Thank you Jack,

I’ll read you link with attention :wink:

@MikeWayzovski ikeWayzovski
I’m back after a quick test SU to TEKLA.

The structure BUILDING > STOREY > ELEMENT is ok … like in SU but quickly …
but what about the properties of the elements ?

Is it possible to add attributes so that Tekla Can undersant that an IPE 400 is a IPE 400.
In my test, i have the same issue that before … and my IPE become an element with the bounding box dimension :s …

i suppose you know this but … it’s something that can be done really quickly with SU than TEKLA (or impossible …)

Are you enjoying the weather? :rofl:
(I am not a great fan of winter but a slightly frosty weather with sunshine would be preferable to a 4-month November)

That is of course what every BIM user dreams of, but I am afraid it isn’t going to happen soon. Even the major packages like Revit and Archicad don’t talk too well to each other (there are basic differences, Revit using solid geometry and Archicad faces).

Hard but no impossible … with mapping for example

possible with TEKLA, BOCAD, REVIT, CADWORK but not easy nor perfect … (and SKETCHUP ?)

If you’re interrested, here is a link on TEKLA’s website (it’s about Defining the settings for profile mapping of IFC objects)

Have a nice day

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Make SketchUp respect “true” solide objects (only front faces outward) plus the ability to give these objects an extra material attribute to mimic being a true solide. Nobody is going to know, nor the converter program, that SketchUp is “just” a surface modeler in this regard. It’s only an extra check in SketchUp on SketchUp Solide Objects and the acceptance of an extra attribute, say steel or brass or wood or whatever material.

SketchUp already does this. Solid groups and components export as solids to DWG/DXF. The other available export formats, including IFC, do not support solids.

Thanks for all your post… And about Aerilius’s Attribute inspector ? Someone use it?

For now, only attributes of Dynamic components (library), IFC classifications and advanced attributes are are natively exported ( not correctly, though)
You can edit and add, but it is not coming out. So while they could be usefull inside SketchUp, other software has no direct access to them.
We need clear guidance how to add universal libraries to Objects and how to export them correctly.

Meanwhile, the IFC is constantly developing and SketchUp needs to keep up with them, or it will loose contact with the aec-industry

HI John and everyone
Just to tell you that I’ve posted another subject… For your discussions with your colleagues


What if Profile Builder could export to an editable Tekla format? Would that be useful to you? Sounds you are already using PB for structural modelling in SketchUp.


Hi Dale, when can I test it !? :grin:

. Do you think that would be possible? Yes, it could be useful for me…

Hi DJ - we have recently started working on an ambitious structural steel extension for SketchUp. It’s far from being ready to test but if you sign up by clicking the link below, you can get more news on the development. We’ll also be reaching out to our list to get their input on what features they want in this plugin. If there is enough demand, we would definitely look into creating a link between SketchUp and Tekla.

Sign up here if you are interested in a Structural Steel Plugin for SketchUp. We will be leaking out more info about this project in the coming months. Stay tuned!

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Hi Dale and thx for the info, I’m impatient to test it :smile:… I’m not only working on Structural steel and I’ve already contacted your team to talk about TEKLA and PB last year when I bought PB3 :wink:… PB to TEKLA would be great!!! I Stay tuned and if you want to contact me about this… You’re welcome!

Best regards

Ah! Yes, I looked up your ticket from last November. You had spoken to Brian. Well, hopefully with our plugin, you won’t even need Tekla…OK, now I’ve said too much :wink:

(Don’t forget to sign-up above)


I’ve already signed up before my preceding post :blush: wow… And hello to Brian! :wink:

HI John… What about your week? Good news maybe?