Revit to Sketch to Revit to Sketch?!?!

Hi!! SOS. So I need halp! I know you can export a proj into either programs from one to the other BUT I was curious what would happen if ….

A. Finished (to my knowledge) my model on revit
B. Moved to SketchUp, started applying material, furniture etc

UH OH Need to build something back in revit.

Can I export my sketch up model back to Revit and then back to Sketch without losing anything!?!

Vice Versa.

I’m sure there is a better way to say this but my brain is fried.

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What version of SketchUp are you using? Please complete your profile.

Seems to me the best option if you must use Revit would be to build the something in Revit and import it into your project file. Going back and forth between the two sounds like too much work and a recipe for disaster.

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I believe that you will lose any information from the original Revit model once you reimport the geometry data as a generic family. If you just need to change something geometric you would be better doing so in SketchUp. If you need to change something data related, it may be easier to start over in Revit and re export for beautification in SketchUp.

We do our best… but Revit does not play well with others.


There was a session at 2018 3D Basecamp on SketchUp-Revit interaction including third party software to help, but I’m not recalling names and facts just now. The gist of it was that stuff gets lost in translation, naturally. That said…

I did attend a webinar on Rhino inside Revit, and that is an enviable interaction. Biggest deal about it is access to Grasshopper in Rhino to make stuff for Revit that is otherwise not straightforward for it. It would be nice to see this level of interaction for SketchUp, if not with Revit, then a competitor like Archicad?

I believe that was probably Helix. A very cook software making it possible to pass data back and forth. We have seen companies use SketchUp and SKP files to pass data in and out of other formats. This can and does get done via our API all the time.

My question for this would be what is it you do in one that you can’t do in the other.
Why are you building in Revit then Moving it to Sketchup?

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BIM modelling and 3D modelling resemble each other only superficially. In BIM applications, everything conforms to a predetermined framework and every category of objects has its own tool and rules. The application then uses these to generate the 3D appearance of the model. SketchUp has edges and faces, and using things like IFC classification only gives them a name.

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To add, the generated appearance in the IFC (text) files only consist of points and edges, faces and perhaps polyloops, too.
Simpel geometry, like in SketchUp.
If you know how to operate a wordprocessor, one could write ifc-files on the fly like we used to program basic:

The only way to distinguish from which application the IFC file was origined is in the beginning of the textfile:

#1= IFCORGANIZATION($,'Autodesk Revit 2017 (ENU)',$,$,$);
#5= IFCAPPLICATION(#1,'2017','Autodesk Revit 2017 (ENU)','Revit');

That is where SketchUp already fails, btw, it still says SketchUp 2015 in the export:

#5 = IFCORGANIZATION($, 'SketchUp', '', $, $);
#6 = IFCAPPLICATION(#5, '2015', 'SketchUp Pro 2015', '2015');

That’s why we need to use the BIM-tools extension in SketchUp, for export and import:

At the moment, I see the situation as more or less hopeless. IFC is an interim low-level format. You can use it to check that HVAC and electric installations do not clash, but to make the necessary corrections everyone must go back to their respective proprietary systems. Major BIM vendors have decided to promote their own solutions and to conquer the market for themselves so they strive for maximum incompatibility. As a result, everyone in the field has to fight with incompatibilities as the different parties to a project seldom use the same systems. (here in Finland, for instance, Archicad is the biggest among architects, structural engineers mostly use Trimble Tekla and HVAC and electrical engineers use Magicad, an application based on the AutoCad Architecture core)


Thanks for the shoutout @TheOnlyAaron ! Helix 2 is now in open beta, and available for a free trial download:

Here’s an example of the workflow @bakelmion expressed: Align SketchUp 3D Warehouse Component To Existing Revit Model - Helix - EvolveLAB Forum

2022-03-12 - 22-34-37

Hi @BenGuler,

That looks really cool!
I see it’s still in beta. Do you have an idea of the price range when fully released?
Will that tool be able to synchronize only parts of the model (Revit is often crowded with heavy details that Sketchup can’t handle). And talking about details, does it support level of details?

  • The price is in flux at the moment
  • Selective element sync: for SketchUp to Revit sync, you can select which elements to map. For Revit to SketchUp sync, we currently we have a simple integration where only visible elements in the Revit view are transferred to SketchUp. (You could create view filters in Revit to work within this limitation.)
    NOTE: This is the simpler task, and we are focusing on the more difficult part of this process. We can definitely improve this behavior though.
  • Levels of detail from Revit to SketchUp: we currently export the fine settings regardless of the view detail. We could definitely add settings to select this or inherit it from the view.

• SketchUp Blog: Interoperability unpacked: Three tips for an efficient SketchUp and Revit workflow