Interfacing ArchiCad with SketchUp

I am a freelancer, currently working almost exclusively with an architectural firm using ArchiCad.

I have figured out some really cool processes for that firms staff, where i model items in SketchUp Pro, which they can import into ArchiCad as objects for further manipulation and use. Will be happy to share ideas and processes, perhaps others are doing the same and have tips and ideas to share.

We are working on a project an ‘Innovation Centre’ with the client wanting a building with ‘tree’ columns that reflect the incubation and growth of ideas. The architect really struggled to convert curved pipes, so SketchUp came to the rescue …

. This worms eye view shows the 100mm diameter x 8m high ‘tree clusters’ supporting a matrix of laminated timber beams and inverted roof.

I believe the interaction with Revit is not that great, but perhaps someone can enlighten me with any information in this regard too.

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How do you achieve smooth objects? I have basically given up on using SketchUp with Archicad because the import function doesn’t respect hidden or smoothed face edges, all become visible in 2D views. Do you use some other intermediate format?

I don’t have any answers to contribute, but I’d love to know what anyone has figured out. I had Archicad for a while (v7&8), but dropped it in favor of SU instead.

hi, I never thought of that, but have a look at this. The first a SU screenshot, the next screenshot once imported into ArchiCad…does not look too bad

I had not noticed this before, but now that you mention it, there are faint lines visible and also too few segments in the curves.

I will be posting a number of models I set up in SketchUp which the architect imported into AC for a pharmacy project. I tried modelling these in ArchiCad using the Morph tool, but that drove me up the wall!

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You see similar apparitions when you import into Vectorworks Spotlight and create objects out of them.

It might not take very long to create a parametric column like that as a GDL object.

In my own practice, i use SU, but have taught myself to use AC because of my work with the architects I collaborate with. One cannot really compare the two software packages, but they do seem to work well together. These architects are now using version AC v22, and with every upgrade the interaction with SU seems to get better. For those that are interested, will be happy to share workflows with regard to the importing of SU models into AC.

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The rough geometry would drive me nuts. So (on face value) I would eliminate all but 1 of the column features, keeping a location reference for all. Rebuild the first one basically from scratch (a few minutes work) and then copy an array.