Trouble importing DXF Files

Hello - New here and to SketchUp. I need to get base linework into a SU model (parcels, buildings, roads, parking, etc.). I have have good data in a shapefile format, so I searched here and other places about directly importing shapefiles. Shapefile importer extension appears to no longer be available and even back in an old post the process to use it looked very complicated, so I decided to convert my shapefiles in ArcMap to DXF files. I’m experiencing two problems. First when I import the DXF file is inserted far from the axis, and if I don’t use “preserve drawing origin” the various DXF layers won’t align properly.

My main issue though is that some of the shapefile/DXF files are coming in with depth. GIS staff assured me it doesn’t have a z coordinate, but I tried flattening it in AutoCAD anyway, and it still comes in looking like it’s in 3D.

I’ve attached sample model file…buildings come in fine in 2D, but the driveway layer in 3D.

Am I missing something with the settings when I import? Any help will be greatly appreciated.

DXF Import Test.skp (212.8 KB)



your dxf file definitely had different Z values.
Anyway, once in sketchup, even if you did not manage to flatten everything up in autocad, you can do it in the click of a button with thomthom’s free architect tools plugin : Extension | SketchUp Extension Warehouse

note that you also need * TT_Lib² — 2.7.0 version to make it work

once installed, edit the driveway component, select all and click on the flatten selection button on its toolbar


you can also use native drape tool, after drawing a plane below, but I find thomthom’s tool far more convenient

as for the origin matter, I personnaly always select what’s visible in autocad, to avoid importing frozen/disabled layers by mistake, copy and paste in a new file next to the origin

Here’s the super quick solution;
Set your view to Top
Set your camera to Parallel
Then Export to a 2D DWG file
Start a new SU file and then import your new, flat dwg file
Boom, all items on Zero. :slight_smile:

Edit: added pic

and Boom ! no more groups, tags nor components. I do not recommend this method

I’d never use any layer/block information brought over from any dwg/dxf anyway. I’d put it all on one tag, group it and use it as a reference. I’d then delete these imported items when they’ve no longer needed.
Also isn’t best practice to draw ALL items on untagged and then move to a tag when completed and grouped/component?
Works for me :slight_smile:

Paul, thanks so much for the quick reply. Really helpful, and the ThomThom extensions worked perfectly! I do like that it maintains the tags (layers) and that is helpful to me. Also looking forward to practice with the native drape tool, but agree TT Architect Tools is most convenient. Looks like some other helpful tools in that package I’m eager to try in building a quick 3D base model for existing context. Thanks again!


Hi Sean - Thanks so much for responding! I appreciated seeing an alternate solution to my problem. While I do like to maintain the layer organization, it’s nice to have another way of doing something. I learned a few other things also…never know I could export files out in so many different formats.

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You’re very welcome. Always more than one way to complete a task and different ways works at different times. Take care and good luck.