Java import of sketchup files


im working on a 3d geoinformation system and currenty i try to import skp file format. Is there something i can reuse? Im not a big fan of reinventing the wheel and im sure, something similar has been developed already.

There are three possible ways for me:

1.) Some kind of converter, which converts skp to xml of some kind
2.) Some kind of reader in C++ oder java (C++ would be used with JNI (not my favorite solution)
3.) A java application reading the binary format (obviously i like this solution the most)

Has anyone any experience with this topic or even some java code i can use?

Best Regards,


The .skp file format is not publicly documented, so the way to do it is (2.) to use SketchUp’s C/C++ SDK for reading and writing .skp files. Obviously this is not a pure java solution and also not completely operating-system independent. The SDK is available for Windows (32&64bit) and OS X (64bit).

Thank you for the quick answer.
But is there a ready c/c++ lib for reading/writing skp. I mean a dll or something which i can call with JNI. Anyone has an idea?

Never heard of one…The SDK is a raw interface to the SketchUp file. Another means of access such as JNI would need to be layered on top of this - a non-trivial task.

is it possible to use this C/C++ SDK in a java or c# application or is there a need for some sort of a converter ?

You would need a bridge from C# or java to the C/C++ API. Trimble does not distribute one of their own.

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Can plz explain what u mean by bridge and is it some API that should be downloaded ?

SketchUp can save as Collada, which is already an XML of some kind. Could you just go via Collada?

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By “bridge” I mean a library that provides a way for code written in one language (C# or java in your case) to invoke functions written in a different language, including adapting the data structures used by those functions. I’ve not heard of anyone manipulating SketchUp files from java or C# by bridging to the C/C++ SDK, so you might be on your own trying to create one.

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isn’t it possible to develop a C++ code that obtains data (surface , orientation …) from the skp file and generate the results in an xml file, and use that file by the java C# application ?

Yes that is how you would accomplish it.

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thank you soooo much :slight_smile: one more question is it possible to execute this C++ code from the java code, so that the C++ finish it’s execution and automatically the java application use that xml file that was generated ? sorry for the “too much” questions

Yes, if you write a C/C++ program to export the contents of a SketchUp file, you can write a java program that exec’s that C/C++ program and then uses files written by it. But that’s a general programming question that has little to do with SketchUp or the SketchUp SDK. It’s also a different technique than directly calling C/C++ from within a java program.

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Hi Andreas,
this comes a bit late, but I developed a C#.NET API wrapping the SketchUp SDK so you can use it directly in .NET. Its an Open Source Project, available here:

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