Vectorworks to Sketchup


I am trying to import a Vectorworks file into sketchup for a colleague at work. I can import the line work as a .dwg, but textures and colors do not show up. Is there a way to keep the textures and colors? When i tried to import the .3ds file, nothing seems to show up at all.

Thanks very much,



Hey @spearsoll,

This is a response found on the Vectorworks Forum site to a user with the same issue

Export from VW as .3ds (check the export textures as either jpg or png). Import 3ds into SU.

Import it into a blank/clean SU document. There is an option when importing to merge coplanar faces which you may want to do.

The scale can be ‘interesting’ which is why it is best to put it into a blank doc and rescale the object. The hierarchy can also be a bit odd so some tidy up work with the component in SU will be needed.

Overall its not bad depending upon the complexity of the object(s) from VW

(Include a 1m (or 1 ft) cube in the export so you can rescale based on that then delete in SU when done)

Hopefully this will work for you.



Thanks. To my knowledge, 3ds files do not import color or texture. Is that correct? When i try to import the 3ds files, nothing happens. the cursor appears as the move tool, as if something were there, but nothing is. At least when i import the dwg, i get the drawing, but without color. Thoughts on this?
Thank you



Admittedly, it has been a very long time since I have opened a VectorWorks file as all of my professional work over the last ten years or so has been completed with SketchUp and LayOut.

You may want to resubmit this question to the VW User Forum as well, in the event that a reasonable response has been discovered in the interim between the date of the original post to that forum’s site and now.



Hi JV,

I am primarily a sketchup / layout person as well, but as i just started at
a new firm, I have had a few instances where issues of compatibility have
come up.

I see that you are a sketchup sage. I was a long time Mac user, but now Im
on a PC and I am surprised at the differences between the materials
screen. Are you on a PC or a Mac?




I used several Dell PC laptop computers for my design and condoc work. I should disclose that I started my firm before the advent of computers had become as widespread as now and initially used an Apple IIe to write specifications, to keep our books and for other written documentation…a few years before learning CAD and using several of the prominent design software packages prior to migrating to SU in the old @Last days.

After becoming heavily involved with CAD, I elected to forego any further investment in Apple systems because at that time just about all of my consultants and most of the competing architects were using PCs, so I never pursued providing professional services with a Mac.



The DWG format does not carry texture information in its definition, even the AutoCad built-in renderer uses Xdata that cannot be understood by any other software to store its materials.

3DS is a finicky (and old) file format to work with. It has limitations to the polygon count of meshes, and requires texture files to be named in the old DOS 8.3 convention.

If your Vectorworks is a recent version, you might have best luck with the Collada (.DAE) format. The 2017 version seems to have an impressive range of available formats.



All good advice. Thanks very much. Time to learn vectorworks.



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