Creating efficient files for SketchUp from Autodesk Inventor

Hey There,
I have been tasked with converting 42 individual Inventor Assembly (.iam) files into SketchUp (.skp) files. Each model will be an individual file, but since starting this project, I have been struggling to keep the file size down by the time I get it into SketchUp. I have created two different processes for getting my .iam files to .skp:

Process 1: Using SimLab’s SKP Exporter for Inventor (it is a plugin), I export the .iam directly out as a .skp.

Process 2: Using SimLab’s Collada Exporter for Inventor (also a plugin), I export the .iam out as a .dae and then import the .dae into SketchUp and then save the file as a .skp.

Both processes are fairly efficient, time wise, but the file size from the .iam grows about 8x larger once it becomes a .skp regardless of which process I use. I’m a little bit stumped as to what to do next. Does anyone have experience doing something similar, and if so, what was your process for doing this? I would also welcome any suggestions for helping keep my file size down.

Thanks in advance!

What you experience might result from the natural difference between the ways Inventor and SketchUp handle 3D geometry. Inventor uses a NURBS based engine where what you see is generated by 3D splines while in SketchUp everythingis broken down into simple 3D polyfaces. It might be that the only way to bring the file size down would be to simplify the model as far as possible. For instance, small roundings common in manufacturing end up as innumerable small faces in SketchUp. One approach would be to convert the geometry into faces “meshes” in the originating application and then use some polyreducing function to reduce their complexity. I don’t know about Inventor, but, for instance, Rhinoceros has some of this functionality built in.

Thanks for the thoughts and suggestions! I think you are right that the fundamental difference in the way the geometry is generated in Inventor is working against me when converting it. I will try find a way to convert my geometry into meshes with Inventor and see if that helps reduce the file size. Do you happen to know if 3ds Max has a poly reducing function similar to Rhinoceros? I have access to 3ds Max but not Rhinoceros. Thanks again!

Check Skimp:

1 Like

Yeah, if you use your Process 2 with the DAE files, you could import them into SketchUp using Skimp and ensure the file size doesn’t bloat.

For Inventor files, you would probably want to take a look at Skimp’s simplification tolerance setting.