How Do I Export an AutoCAD File to Sketchup?

How Do I Export an AutoCAD File to Sketchup?

AutoCAD and Sketchup are both popular software used in the field of architecture and design. While AutoCAD is known for its precision and technical capabilities, Sketchup is praised for its user-friendly interface and 3D modeling capabilities. If you have an AutoCAD file that you want to work on in Sketchup, you can easily export it using the following steps:

Step 1: Prepare Your AutoCAD File

Before exporting your AutoCAD file, make sure it is properly organized and cleaned up. This includes removing any unnecessary layers, blocks, or entities that you don’t need in Sketchup. It’s also a good idea to merge any overlapping lines or entities to avoid any issues during the export process.

Step 2: Save Your AutoCAD File

Once your AutoCAD file is ready, save it in a format that is compatible with Sketchup. The recommended format is DWG (AutoCAD Drawing). To save your file as a DWG, go to the “Save As” option in the “File” menu and choose the DWG format from the list of available formats.

Step 3: Open Sketchup

If you haven’t already done so, open Sketchup on your computer. You can either use the free version called “Sketchup Free” or the paid versions like “Sketchup Pro” or “Sketchup Studio”. The export process is similar for all versions of Sketchup.

Step 4: Import Your AutoCAD File

To import your AutoCAD file into Sketchup, go to the “File” menu and choose “Import”. In the dialog box that appears, navigate to the location where you saved your DWG file and select it. Click the “Import” button to proceed.

Step 5: Adjust Import Settings

After selecting your DWG file, Sketchup will display a dialog box with import settings. Here, you can choose how you want your AutoCAD file to be imported into Sketchup.

You can adjust options like units, layers, and colors. Make sure to review these settings and customize them according to your requirements.

Step 6: Complete the Import Process

Once you have adjusted the import settings, click the “OK” button to start the import process. Depending on the complexity of your AutoCAD file, this process may take some time. Be patient and let Sketchup finish importing your file.

Step 7: Explore and Edit Your Imported Model

After the import process is complete, Sketchup will display your AutoCAD file as a 3D model in its workspace. You can now explore and edit your imported model using Sketchup’s tools and features. Feel free to make any necessary adjustments or modifications to suit your design needs.


  • Layer Organization: To maintain a clean workflow in Sketchup, consider organizing your imported AutoCAD entities into separate layers based on their functionality or visibility.
  • Component Creation: If you have repetitive elements in your AutoCAD file, consider converting them into components in Sketchup for easier editing and management.
  • Purge Unused: After importing an AutoCAD file into Sketchup, use the “Purge Unused” feature in Sketchup’s “Model Info” menu to remove any unused entities or components from your model.
  • Save Frequently: As you work on your imported AutoCAD file in Sketchup, make sure to save your progress frequently to avoid losing any changes.

By following these steps, you can successfully export an AutoCAD file to Sketchup and leverage the strengths of both software in your design workflow. Enjoy the flexibility of Sketchup’s 3D modeling capabilities while benefiting from the precision of AutoCAD’s technical tools.