Importing dwg drawings


I’ve just started with sketchup and I have imported a dwg drawing but it’s all come in as one big items so I can’t manipulate the drawing and make the required changes!!

I’ve tried sketching over the top but the draw function won’t work. Is there a way to set it as a background so I can draw over it or is there a way I can split all the lines? I’ve selected all and exploded but when you move 1 line it’s stuck to the lines next to it!!

Any help would be appreciated.

An imported .dwg will come in as a component. You can open the component for editing (double click with the Select tool or right click on it and choose Edit component.) or you can explode the component.

Before you get too far into it with your imported .dwg file, you should take some time to go through the Fundamentals at Editing components is a basic thing.

You’re way ahead. My dog can’t even hold a pencil.


Hi Dave,

Thanks, I’ll have a look and thanks for the link to the training!

It took a lot of training!!! You got to love predictive txt!!

Before you do too much work on it check that the DWG got imported to the correct size. The import unit is set in the Import Options dialog box (button on the import file dialog) and it should be set to the unit that the CAD file was drawn in.

It is often best to leave the imported CAD file intact, keep it unexploded as a component, and to create your walls etc. on top of it with SketchUp tools like the rectangle, using the CAD only as inference. Then you won’t have to struggle with the small gaps and other errors that commonly appear in sloppily drawn DWGs.

Hi Anssi,

That’s what I’m trying to do. I can import and scale but how do I set the dwg as a background so I’m able to draw on it - as when I try the line tool on it it won’t run consecutively from point to point or let me draw rectangles on top.

Can you upload both your SU file (.skp file extension) and the .dwg file you are trying to use?

Not quite sure what you mean here - is it that it won’t inference-snap to endpoints in the imported .dwg file?

Are you importing a .dwg CAD file or an image file (.jpg or .png)? If the latter, there will be no points in the image for the drawing tools to snap to.

Hi @Eastwood , you can lock the group or component of the DWG lines (normally shows up as a red highlight once this is done) so you don’t inadvertently open and edit the dwg lines and get lost in a swamp of confusion - which can be very easy to do when you’re trying to do things fast when double clicking to open groups of entities etc.

Whilst opening a dwg in SU can be a pleasant experience, DWG files will import, to my knowledge, differently, depending upon which program it was made in/saved/exported from. They are somewhat of an unknown quantity with accuracy, as @Anssi said.

I find it useful to breath deeply and keep calm when setting out with an imported dwg. No way round the tricky bits though. Just take care with axes and small gaps appearing. Keep layers (tags) clear and named, and group or make components of ‘groups’ of entities once you have drawn something.

There’s some stuff which is very basic but should serve you well. Watch the tutorials for basics… they are great. Good luck.