Example workflows using Export to SketchUp from LayOut?


With 2019, we got a new feature > Export for SketchUp in the DWG/DXF menu in LayOut. I’m curious what workflows people would use to take advantage of this feature? In what situations would you start something inside LayOut in 2D, then export to SketchUp to continue in 3D? I’m sure there are some good use cases, I’m just drawing a blank.


Some people want to use the “Scaled drawing” feature in LayOut to draw a plan and use it as a basis for modelling later on. It is a matter of preference.

It is also a way to produce a 2D CAD drawing out of your document, complete with title blocks etc. Sometimes, with scaling applied in AutoCad, the preferred method for supplying HVAC or electrical consultants with plans to work with. Typically these people insert the architect’s plan into their drawing as an XREF, so that only what is in the model space is shown.


Yeah, I was thinking that might be the case. I guess in my opinion, if I were going to draw something in 2D using the Scaled Drawing feature in LayOut in order to bring into SketchUp, why not just draw it in SketchUp in the first place? What benefit is there of starting the drawing inside LayOut?


But we already had DWG/DXF export (output from either SketchUp or LayOut). What does this have to do with bringing it into SketchUp?


I totally agree.


The way we were thinking of this feature was two fold and Anssi has touched on both.
Address the fact that some users wanted a export to Model Space only for working with consultants vs. creating both Model and Paper Space entities.

Also creating a way for users wanting to create concepts in plan view then transfer those to SketchUp for modeling.

A number of users use the process currently going from CAD to SketchUp for plan work then importing and building from there. A benefit using ‘Export for SketchUp’ is that we are ‘prepping’ the file for SketchUp. Creating push pull-able faces from LayOut fills and patterns, placing them on Layer0. This can be specifically helpful with organic shapes or creating 2d follow me Components.

Here is an example workflow.

SketchUp model in LayOut.

Draw concept over SketchUp model ‘Export for SketchUp’

Import geometry into SketchUp - use Merge Coplanar faces

Push Pull entities.


Hey Trent. Thanks for the example. I guess that’s kind of neat, but I’m still missing the point. It just seems convoluted.

Why would someone start a house model in SketchUp, send it to LayOut, then draw a patio on top of the viewport using LayOut tools, export a DWG via Export to SketchUp, import the patio back into the original SketchUp house model, save. Go back to LayOut, and delete the patio drawn on top of the viewport in LayOut so that the viewport can be refreshed in order to show the patio that is now in the model?

Why not just draw the patio in SketchUp in the first place?


Was this a feature request? Are there any threads you could link to that discuss why people requested it? Might help me grasp the context a little better.


If I understand what you’re saying here, you’re saying there are many users that are starting from something already created in 2D CAD, and they want to build up a 3D model from there in SketchUp, using the CAD as a “base”?

Are you suggesting that it is a better workflow to first, import the DWG into LayOut, then export a DWG from LayOut to be imported into SketchUp, using this new feature???

Why wouldn’t someone just import the DWG directly into SketchUp?

I think I’m seeing a small benefit here, because in LayOut, you have superior curve tools, hence why your example showed the curved patio drawn in LayOut. It would’ve been hard/impossible to do that from inside SketchUp (without using the Fredo6: Bezier Spline extension or similar). Am I sort of on the right track? Just seems like a small use case, especially when it’s easily solved using existing extensions.


I’ve read this thread twice now and still have no idea what this setting does. Does it export everything in paper space, regardless of whether it’s a viewport or not? Does it keep paper space and model space as two separate things but with the same value? How is this making SketchUp play better with the DWG? Is this a workaround for an issue in the SKetchUp DWG importer?

Whatever the setting does I think it needs a more explanatory name. Naming things after what you intend people to use them for is often a bad idea, as users come up with completely different use cases (there could very well be some third party program out there that works best with “SketchUp” DWGs). It’s usually better to name something after what it does or what it is.


Or is it adding some extra metadata, ignored by other programs but used by SketchUp to know how to import the drawing?


When I saw first saw this feature I also didn’t understand the logic of using the file format from a competitor to import LO back into SU knowing you can read LO files with the ruby API and easily can create native SU entitites!


I will try to summarize this so that all comments are addressed. In 2017 we added the ability to export LO entities to Acad placing LO entities to Paper Space and SU to the Model Space. Sense then we have had a number of requests to bring back the ability to export all entities both LO and SU to the Model Space.

That is essentially why we did this with some added benefit for those that do choose to use LO entities in SU.

Handshake between SketchUp and LayOut is very important to us and until we resolve some interoperability snags this was a simple way for us to provide some needed back and forth.



So is there any difference in LO created arcs/curves/circles/splines for export to .dwg? As opposed to an export to .dwg from Sketchup arcs/curves/circles/etc. having #sides to contend with.

Ps…sorry for the lame q’s regarding the .dwg export…as I still haven’t installed 2019…hope to in the coming week


Wow, that’s a really good point. Yeah, why convert to dwg when it could go straight to SketchUp directly using the API?


It’s true, that after reading the contributions to this post, one wonders (especially as an outsider to the insider’s priority list of “we have had a number of requests to bring back the ability to export all entities both LO and SU to the Model Space.”) how this came about.

This makes me so very curious that I can’t contain myself any longer. Who is the person with the list? What and where is the list that we can view these requests based on a popular vote in comparison with other requests for the last several years that mentioned nothing about this feature?

And who decided that the logic described would benefit the community above other inovations and additions that would affect the community as a whole?

I can’t but wonder if this addition is by (contrary to the report of “so many user requests” - my translation of your words) someone who had a sword against the grindstone of his own… and trying to convince us that this addition is by popular demand! Where are the posts on the open forum, SketchUcation or on the Facebook SU wall that shared this as an open concern?

Of all the requests over the years… it seems like the power of a mouse’s squeak… get’s more attention than the lions’ losing their voice over the cry of new additions.

However, since, as you state, this has been brought up enough that investment of development implemented it… please direct us to these enigmatic, but powerful popular demands obviously posted in public where we can all see. I must have evidently missed this chapter in the dev book of open requests.

And no, I’m not playing some devil’s advocate. What I’m asking for is the link(s), page requests, poll or poll results that reveal this was a community request or priority at all. I am VERY interested in knowing how the “one” or the “few” were able to succeed far beyond the non-integrated requests of the most or many for additions to the SU 2019.

This addition just kind of ASKS FOR PROOF that it was a community priority as stated. I, we all trust what is given, of course. However, because we trust you… we trust you will be able to provide us with the evidence or “cries” for help on this. Where is it? When doing a search… no results show up. So… looking forward to you helping us see “that need” expressed. Unfortunately… I missed it entirely. I hate that. Thank you for directing me to the forum and or FB SU page request links so that I might understand “their” need better.


So it could be called “Export to model space”?


if ‘they’ are an enterprise with a couple of thousand network licenses, ‘they’ will have more sway…

and no one will be allowed to disclose who ‘they’ might be or even if ‘they’ exist…






you can read LO files with the ruby API and easily can create native SU entitites!

Matt, am I reading this right? So… from LO to SU… dwg would be imported without an SU conversion? Or am I missing something?


Can someone elaborate on this? How exactly do you do this?