Imported dxf file not overlapping with 3D location

Dear all, this is the first time using Sketchup and I appreciate any help so much. I have to do 3D rendering of a road and bridges etc that will be constructed in the future for evaluating the environmental impacts.
As the first step, I have the route designed in Autocad and I imported it to Sketchup Pro 2020. However, it is georefernced in UTM of my zone and when I check the preserve origin box while importing, I cannot see where it is located in Sketchup at all! It is there because I see the layer name but I cannot find it. This is a big problem because when I use add location and import a 3D terrain, they will not overlap. I need to put this route on its correct location on the 3D terrain and also make it to follow the terrain elevation in the right way so I can design the details on it later.
When I don’t check that box, I can see the road lines near the origin, but it does not get located on the imagery I import from Trimble and specially it is flat and does not follow the terrain pattern.
I also have contour lines that I can use instead of the add location option if it helps.
Do you have any suggestions for me please? Thanks.

It is common for geolocated DWG maps to use the actual coordinates in relation to the origin of the mapping system, so your imported geometry is possibly somewhere hundreds or thousands of kilometers from the SketchUp model origin. SketchUp cannot work reliably with that big coordinates, so your best option is to untick the “preserve origin” box and place the import at or near the model origin. This is common for most 3D BIM/modelling applications.


Thanks for your reply. I did the same as you said and moved the CAD file of the road next to origin. I then made a terrain from the add location tools, moved the CAD file over the terrain and I used the drape tool in Sandbox to put the road on the terrain. I need to have a 3D design of the road so I tried to use push/pull to make the routes of road seem like reality but it does not work. Im sure there must be a way for this and I am just not familiar enough with the tools yet.

If you want to create a more realistic road over a hilly terrain


Thanks so much @mihai.s.
My CAD design has both sides of the road already, if I cannot use the tool you suggested, is there a way to use those 2 lines to demonstrate the width of the road in 3D in another way? I know push/pull works with surfaces so how do I create a surface from 2 parallel lines on a terrain so I can push it up a certain amount? Thanks again

You’re welcome!

With PushPull you can push only one face at a time. For a surface (even flat) created from several triangles, you will be able to use Fredo6 JointPushPull.

You could do that, but none of the options will create roads close to reality. On a hilly (mountainous) terrain, the road keeps its horizontality but still follows the curves of the terrain.

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Thanks again. The first attached image the CAD file I have.

So, to make a surface from these 2 lines, I should draw a line at the two ends to make it a polygon? Because I faced problems actually making a surface between these 2 lines. Is drawing 2 lines to close it the right way?
And then according to your reply, I should use stamp in the sandbox tool to make it seem realistic on this terrain, not drape.

Is that correct? It is my first time and I lack the basics I guess. :pray:

If the two ‘lines’ are made up of continuous segments (no gap) and are in the same plane, then joining them at the ends should result in a face.
I’ve presented you three possible work options, it depends to you and what you want to achieve, to choose one of them.

You could also start learning the basics from here:

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Thank you.

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Thanks for your help. I tried to follow your suggestions. Unfortunately, I get an error every time. It is couple of hours that I am trying to put this road on my terrain and I’m not successful.
I attach the skp file here. I need to use ‘stamp’ tool in sandbox, drape is not correct for me. The road has to be horizontal all way and not changing with the terrain.
road_stamp.skp (2.2 MB)
I will appreciate any help so much.

Your road it’s a group inside another group. Just explode it once and Stamp tool will work.

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Thank you very much. I feel so stupid. I’m sure my problem is solved but I repeat what you did and I get this image instead!!! The width that is stamped is so much bigger than what you obtain!

You could set that, right after you activate Stamp tool

Road over terrain: road_stamp(SU2017).skp (2.7 MB)

I set the offset as even 1m, but it does not change ! Your stamp was perfectly on the edge of the road.

Thanks. It is great that you sent me this file. But I need to understand what I am doing wronf because I need to do more.
But it seems it not very fit to terrain like drape tool ,no? Also, very nice the lines on the road, what is it?

You must hit Enter after writing the new value.

Thanks @mihai.s.
I did press enter! Really I did but it does not change. :blush:

I explain why it should not be exactly over the terrain but with some distance. Because this road will be constructed with some bridges under it. Those parts that seem like a valley on the way, there will be a bridge and the road will pass over it.
Actually I am asked to show those bridges in 3D design . That’s why I wanted to first model the road so the empty spaces under the road gets shown and I can put the model of the bridge there. Like the model you sent me, the road is so close to the ground like the drape tool.

Yess they have them all! :blush: So I was wondering how to put it on my road

All roads has those lines

I have already shown you how to do it in the third animated Gif of this message:

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