What's the best or no loss ways to export/ convert Sketchup Files to Solid Works and/ or other CAD formats?

Whats the best or no loss ways to export/ convert Sketchup Files to Solid Works and/ or other CAD formats?

For example whats a good way or file format to do so for people who use:

  • Solid Works (sending rough ideas of mine to someone for proper designing)
  • Fusion 360
  • Free CAD / Libre CAD

I’m new to the space and know folks in different maker groups who use different tools for different tasks.

I tend to explore libraries (esp Sketchup Warehouse) to find items of interest and then play with it - sometimes inside, or at times in one of the other ones based on community/ group preference.

Essentially being able to take “effort” from one format to another tool would help.

PS: Free is preferable :slight_smile:

If you figure it out, please share. It’s one of our biggest hassle with the software. We have a product-development-team that works with Sketchup at lightning speed and we have a “sheet-metal”-construction team that works in Solidworks to make what we come up with happen. We are constantly struggeling to import/export between the two programms.

The best way we have figured out so far is:

From Sketchup to Solidoworks:

  • Export to DGW (3d) → import in SolidWorks

From SolidWorks to Sketchup

  • Export to Step
  • Import in Rhino
  • Export to DWG
  • Import in Sketchup

This has the best results in terms of geometry / components so that you can actually work with it in Sketchup. I tried a million other ways but always come back to this one.

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I presume you are doing this as a hobby. Some of those applications will import SketchUp files.

If you need to export as @napperkt shows, you’ll need to use Sketchup Pro or at least SketchUp Go. The free web version won’t give you those export options.

No free but effective in both directions

Muchos Gracias!

I’ll have to try some of the above suggestions in the coming week/ weekend to see how that plays out.

Will try and report back. Any tips welcome :slight_smile:

I am coming back to this space after ages so kinda a novice given how long its been.

After reading some more it seems hard to convert depending on how things are “geometrically modeled” fundamentally.

Did you mean convert from Sketchup to DGW (couldnt not find what this file is) or DWG (3D) for Solidworks ?

Also, came across this Collada format and Transmagic as a converter (paid software).

Thoughts on the above please :slight_smile:

Obviously DWG is meant here.

The Rhino route in the quoted post has too many steps. Rhino can export to SketchUp (.skp) directly.

Are there any examples of this online? Video or tutorial? How do you use it?


How is this supposed to work? I exported from Sketchup Make 2017 as a 3D DWG and I am unable to get the import to work in SW.

Most youtube videos around it talk of using the DWGs & T F L Views to redo using Solidworks.

Anyone else know of this as I feel a bit lost on this.

Is there a set of videos / tutorials you can link to that “shows” what you seem to be doing (that way I can be sure of following the same steps).

SketchUp Make doesn’t export to DWG. It is a Pro feature.

What do you mean with “work”? I don’t use SolidWorks but if an object is not a solid in SketchUp it will not be a solid in the DWG export. How SolidWorks handles non-solids is a mystery to me.

File > Export > 3D

Does seem to have it. Make 2017.

File > Export > 3D Model… > *. DWG

(as was suggested by the first answer above).

  1. Work - When 3D Model from Sketchup is exported as a 3D DWG - I was hoping to have it as is when importing in Solid Works. (as suggested by @napperkt )

  2. When you say an object is not a solid in sketchup, what do you mean? Its an item I pulled from the 3D Warehouse.

  3. Since you and I are not experts in Solid works I was hoping someone who has done the interchange between the two - who I tagged @napperkt might shed more light and detail out what they suggested and how it works out (in terms of steps) as I tried it and failed.

again, SketchUp is a polygon modeler with everything made of edges and facettes (aka mesh) even grouped ‘solids’… whereas a NURBS(pline) modeler as e.g. SWX deals with spline-based solids and surfaces… nothwing which can be simply converted by just saving/reading to/from a CAD data interchange format.

For converting the NURBS solids/surfaces from SWX you may want export them to the STEP format and use the ($) SimLab STEP importer plugin (trial avail.) for importing into SU Pro by converting them to facetted meshes… once fragmented the smooth, spline-based surfaces/solids are obviously gone, i.e. no way back to SWX.

A solid in SketchUp is a group or component where all edges connect to two faces, not more or less, and form a closed container. When exported to DWG these are converted into AutoCad solids.

Export from SU as 3D DWG
Import this file to FormZ
Export geometry from FormZ as SAT or STEP file and open in SW

A few years ago I used the stl format to get my 3d solid models from SketchUp into Solidworks if I remember correctly. Output from SketchUp was stl, maybe something in between was used as well - can’t say. It was a machine part and it needed to be very accurate. In SketchUp the measurements were scaled by 1000 just to be sure.

The people who continued the work in Solidworks had to make the whole design from scratch - only using the imported SketchUp-stl model as a reference. Under the hood these programs like Solidworks are totally different and use a much much higher precision for curved shapes etc (parametrics).

Architecture models mostly / only have straight lines so for going to 2d freecad / librecad I expect the dwg/dxf output from SketchUp is fine.

Reading this thread, I’m getting a headache and spinning in circles here…
What @maxB said makes the most sense to me so far.