Trouble Importing .DXF Files



I am running into an issue when it comes to importing a .dxf into SketchUp Pro, I saved the .dxf from autocad 2018 down to a 2013 version .dxf so that i can use it on SketchUp Pro verion 2016. I have done this process many times over the past couple of months and I have not had an issue until today. When I go to import the 2013 verion .dxf it just crashes, if i try to save the .dxf to an older version it just pulls in a few pieces of linework but none of my 3D Solids. I purged and audited the dwg prior to making it a .dxf and that still doesn’t work. Any help is appreciated.


Most likely the DXF contains proprietary AutoCAD entities SketchUp cannot recognize.

See this Help article:
Preparing a CAD file for import into SketchUp — SketchUp Help


I have had a number of difficulties importing CAD linework into SketchUp, sometimes similar to what you mention above. Not sure if they’ll solve your issue, but some tips/things I’ve learned:

  • Importing DWGs seems to typically have better luck than DXFs. Honestly have no idea why, but frequently when my DXF comes in a complete mess, the DWG will be much, much cleaner.

  • SketchUp does not like blocks/linked information. if you’re exporting your DXF/DWG and not embedding all links, you may run into issues.

  • There is also a limit to the total amount of linework SketchUp can properly import - anything beyond this and you will get weird gaps, large areas missing or lines all over the place, or even complete failures/crashes. From your description, I suspect this this may be your problem, though I don’t know precisely. Part of why this is an issue is because of my next point:

  • Ultimately, SketchUp is just not a good program to deal with CAD linework. It sucks because frequently we need to use this the CAD for reference. But SketchUp’s tolerances are different and I’ve often had issues bringing in CAD files and lines are off slightly/don’t quite meet up like they should. In particular, SketchUp cannot support the curves that you get from a CAD file. If your curves are heavy in your CAD file, SketchUp will break the curve up into tons of tiny little straight segments. This not only makes the tolerance issue more apparent, but also can make the file import with significantly more lines than it needs to, resulting in the problem listed above with too many total lines.

Depending on what you exported your DWG/DFX from you can have better luck. DWGs created from Illustrator and Rhino seem to work the nicest, I’m guessing because illustrator reduces control points for curves, and Rhino allows you to simplify without actually changing your geometry too much. AutoCAD DWGs can be a mixed bag, depending on how they were modeled. And anything from Revit just sucks to work with as it’s all so heavy.

Long story short, my best advice is to try and keep your DWG importing to a minimum, but if you do, make sure you’re exporting as an old enough version, make sure you embed all information, and keep things as minimal/simplified as possible. If you really need to import a lot of linework, sometimes you may have success importing it in as separate chunks and stitching together/overlaying in SketchUp.