Switching Between CAD and SketchUp

Hi All,

I use both SketchUp and CAD but I started SketchUp years ago and just started CAD a few months ago. If you use both, is it easier to switch from dwg to skp or skp to dwg? And which is better for basic drawings and for detailed drawings?

For 2D drawing cad is better, you have more control over the layers and lines but for modeling sketchup is more efficient in my opinion. I haven’t used autocad exclusively in more than 10 years, I do almost everything on skp and from there I obtain the 2D drawings I need. If you’re using both softwares at the same time just don’t try to replicate the way of drawing or modeling of one software in the other one, every software has a different approach to do a same task. For detailed drawings both softwares are good, it depends more on the person who makes them than on the software used to do it.


But if, for instance, you need to turn a 3d drawing into a 2d drawing on paper do you draw the 3d model on skp and import to cad to change to 2d? Also can you elaborate more about why I shouldn’t try to replicate please?
Thank you :smile:

I use layout to go from 3D to 2D, is a lot easier for me to model a house for example everything on sketchup then create the scenes of the required views like floor plans, elevations and sections, send it to layout and there work with the 2D plans, than drawing the floor plans, the elevations and sections on autocad everything in 2D it takes a lot more of time to do that. You shouldn’t try to replicate the way of working on a software on another because every software is different ways to do the same thing, it is possible to replicate and get eventually to the same result but probably it would be more efficient using another method.


I see. I do use layout too but there are many things that use dwg than skp like 3d printing etc. or for me, I need dwg files for clients. And I heard that many people use both skp and cad so I was just wondering how they use those two software for different uses. Thank you lots though.

You can export from layout to AutoCAD, there are two ways that layout can export a document, before exporting go to options and at the end there’s the option of exporting the pages of layout to the model space of autocad, or my preferred way that is exporting to the model space only the drawings of your project, scale 1:1, and to the layout space on autocad the pages you did on Skp-layout, it will automatically create viewports to the scale you used on layout with the drawings on the model space.

I do domestic residential exclusively in SketchUp and Layout.

My clients get PDFs and the 3D model and statutory authorities get PDFs.

Involved consultants get linework only DWG exports from SketchUp which nobody has ever complained about - they also get the PDFs for reference.

1 Like

I tried that just now and I’m not sure if it’s because I set something wrong from the options before exporting but it shows as an image from cad. Is that how it is supposed to be?

Oh I see. So do you mostly use SketchUp and LayOut? Is it easier for you to export from skp to cad?

Yep - only SketchUp and Layout - but that works for me.

I accept that for others, their needs, for whatever reason, can’t be met with just SketchUp and layout.

Historically I’ve never managed to work out how to satisfactorily export DWG from Layout – and if it has improved over the years, I haven’t been bothered to try again.

I’ve found it much easier to export DWG linework from SketchUp.

No, it must show the entire layout project either everything on the model space or drawings on the model and the pages on layout, depending on how you set it before exporting.