Lack of precision in DWG export in LayOut


A contractor requested that the outputs of our projects also be provided in DWG format. Initially, this was not a problem since both SketchUp and LayOut have the ability to perform the export. However, we noticed a specific issue with LayOut. The export to DWG directly from the documentation has a precision problem with the drawings. Attached are some screenshots. Is this a software issue or something we are doing wrong in the workflow? Is there a way to resolve this?

It is impossible to assess what you are experiencing without seeing the original LayOut and DWG files. The dimensions shown in your screenshot seem accurate to the 6th decimal.

One tip: When modelling, turn off Length snapping (Model Info>Units).

LayOut and DWG files:

In the SketchUp model, the precision is correct, with no fractional values after the decimal point. However, in the LayOut exported drawing to DWG, there are fractional values. All LayOut views are scenes in parallel projection correctly located in SketchUp. All LayOut scales are also correct. I really can’t understand why there is imprecision in the exported file.

I haven’t hunted through all of your dimensions. I just randomly picked one. The left end is anchored to the corner of the wall but the other appears to be anchored to some random point along the border of the lawn. I rendered the viewport as Vector in hopes I’d be able to see some point there.

Maybe I’m misreading your drawing but that dimension seems like it ought to be anchored to the other corner of the wall like this.

If that’s the case and that’s not an outlier, it would account for the apparent imprecision of your dimensions. I also note you have Auto Scale disabled for Dimensions. Why is that? Since you are dimensioning to the SketchUp model you should leave Auto Scale turned on.

In the SketchUP Model you have Length Snapping turned on. As @Anssi points out, that can be a source of errors in the model.

A couple of side notes. First, it wouldn’t hurt to purge your SketchUp file of unused content.
Screenshot - 4_2_2024 , 9_30_11 AM
I did that and it reduced the file size by about 20%.

Also, I note that you are modifying the Camera properties for the scenes in your LayOut viewports. There really isn’t any need to do that but since you have done it, be very careful not to reset the Camera or click on Reset All in the SketchUp Model window. If you do you will create more work for yourself. Here’s before and after results of resetting two of the viewports.


That’s the problem of software, when you export from LayOut, the dimension will not precise. We make a comparison table between export methods to DWG/DXF.

xx. vbo_sketchup_cad_compare_options (en).pdf (260.5 KB)


Thank you for the tips, @DaveR !

These unused materials and tags are part of our template. We advise our staff not to delete elements from the template until critical project decisions are finalized. The materials are related to a dynamic component that automates area statistics using the FACE AREA(“materialname”) function. Since each material represents a type of area (private wet areas, private social areas, bedrooms, etc.), we have many materials in the standard template. The same goes for layers. Not all layers from the standard end up being used. Therefore, we usually only purge components. Do you have any tips on how we can purge materials without losing the template standards? (Previously, we had a standard folder with these materials that was added to the collections. But with 20 architects working together, the high number of times we have to format computers and manually relink the collections was making the process unfeasible. That’s why we decided to insert these materials directly into the template model).

Regarding editing cameras directly in LayOut, I’ll be honest that I never quite understood how that happens. In general, it’s not part of our workflow to do this. We always bring saved scenes from SketchUp. Since the files go through many hands in the development process, one or another person (probably an intern, lol) ends up making changes. Is it possible to lock this functionality to prevent errors?

Finally, based on the feedback from @Cyentruk , there is no solution to the issue of precision in DWG files exported via LayOut, is that correct? Would it be ideal to reorganize our workflow to export these files directly from the SketchUp model?

I see.

At least with the two viewports I showed, it looks like the user double clicked into the viewport and panned the camera to make the desired part of the model fit within the viewport. The better option would be to just drag the edges of the viewport as needed after setting the scale for the viewport.

Yes. In Preferences>General you can untick the box for Enable SketchUp model editing. Then the viewport can’t be opened to adjust the camera. Since that feature was added a version or two back LayOut ships with that box unticked. That prevents the user from getting in there hopefully without understanding the implications. In my experience most users who edit the Camera position in viewports in LO really don’t understand the implications, though.
Screenshot - 4_2_2024 , 12_30_34 PM

There are a couple of other things that can result in the Camera showing the reset button. They are manually choosing a standard view and/or manually ticking the Ortho box. Neither of these need to be done if the scene is already set up with Parallel Projection and the Standard view which in your model was done correctly.

1 Like