I am testing the import of sketchup files and I have a few questions - I searched the forum but could not find any answer:

  • when I import the geometry, every sketchup component is imported as an anonymous block, therefore is not editable. how can we avoid this ? is there an option to convert components to editable blocks ?
  • layer colors are not imported from sketchup - is there a way to translate them to bricscad ?




  • 1.
    Is there a way to "name" Groups (Component ?) in Sketchup.
    That may help Bricscad to accept them as "not-so-anonymous"
    and even accept them as Blocks.
    At least Vectorworks tries do do so when chosen in Export Settings.

    I think Bricscad has a general Problem to bring Layer Colors over.
    Vectorworks has options to either export by ACAD Table or True Color
    and I get some colors in. But not reliable.

  • chowluca
    edited April 2020

    Thanks Michael

    • all components have been named in sketchup so they should be imported inside bricscad - but apparently it does not happen. I think it might be the way the import engine in bricacad is structured, as sketchup is a native format holding aninformation that the engine cannot read....
    • because we are opening sketchup native format, we are not exporting from sketchup, simply saving and importing in bricscad. I imagine layer color is a simple instruction so I was pretty struck when this information was not being translated.

    I will run more tests.

    Anyone else having experience with this ? maybe using another format like IFC ?



  • I am not familiar with Sketchup.
    If there is an IFC export or any other formats that Bricscad can read,
    I would try it.

    For me Bricscad IFC import is very good and IFC in general is for me
    one of the best or most lossless conversion option.
    Still lots of cleanup and rework needed.
    So normally I try any possible exchange format and in the worst case
    I try to mix the best results from all into my file.

    I think Sketchup has tons of Plugins, maybe some can also help for
    Maybe a second Translation Software in between that has more
    lossless Sketchup import and export options more suitable for Bricscad.
    Maybe some of the authors of the Sketchup Files could be persuaded
    to try Bricscad Shape instead. OK, that's not the same in many ways,
    but would be perfect for Bricscad BIM.

  • Hallo

    follow up after trying V21 for anyone interested.

    I have been working with sketchup for years now now and the benefits (speed / visuals) of 3D modelling and materials in sketchup are still important for us, at least until Shape can add customizable material maps (material management as of now is very basic).
    I therefore have been trying to test a reliable import process from sketchup to Bricscad.

    Bricscad does import native .SKT files but with some caveats:

    • PRE V21 BC converted Sketchup mesh into solids or surface, converting SU components into ANONYMOUS BLOCKS, which were very hard to manage and edit. This gave inconsistent result which needed to be fixed in many instances. Very time consuming.
    • V21 Bricscad now imports correctly materials _and _meshes, but the downside of this is BC handles meshes very badly, and a process of converting mesh into solids must be done to be able to extract drawings documentation using BIMSECTION and SECTIONPLANE type commands.

    AFAIK there is no way to switch between the 2 import modes (maybe through a preference option or a variable ?).

    Of course this is not so much BC problem, rather Sketchup which uses plain meshes which are a mess to manage in CAD environment.

    The best solution I found as of now is to import workable geometry is using IFC at present but:

    • all materials mapping are lost
    • curved meshes (round columns, sweeps etc...) import as faceted surfaces with very high polygon count - they must be rebuilt to make them manageable for drawings.

    Any input ? anyone able to switch between old and new import mode ?



  • I have no need for Sketchup imports but I get Revit Models or IFC exports.
    So far IFC is the most lossless for me.

    I get at least a few Layers in for further separation.
    I get Materials in (although I have never seen them assigned in Bricscad so far)
    I get geometry in mostly as proper Solids.
    If I get some Meshes in that may have been only Meshes before, they unfortunately
    get some extra unnecessary tessellation (or they were corrupt already)
    And I get all spatial elements and locations and BIM Tags in Structure tree.

    Revit import gives no Layers,
    no Materials (not sure if that is as designed),
    some geometry missing and some destroyed L or T-connections
    But at least also Solids, BIM Tags and Hierarchies ...

    Doesn't Sketchup Pro also exports DWG ?

    DWG would be the best import into Bricscad.
    Unfortunately I get DWG only for 2D Plans. DWG got quite unpopular here.
    While in the past DWG 3D was used mainly as an exchange between non Autodesk
    Apps, with questionable quality. Meanwhile most switched to IFC instead.

  • Do you have access to Rhino or SimLab Composer?

    Importing into Rhino and using its cleanup and remeshing tools may solve some or most of the mesh issue you get from importing Sketchup files. Once the cleaning up has been done you can then export to DWG or import the Rhino file. I used this route for getting triangulated 3D dwg files into Vectorworks as that gave a cleaner result than directly importing the dwg files into Vectorworks.
    Maybe it will work as well for Sketchup files.

    SimLab composer is a 3D rendering program but it does import geometry quite nicely most of the time, though I haven't tried with Sketchup so far. You can download a trial, import one of your problematic Sketchup files into SimLab composer, if it looks ok then export to DWG and see what happens regarding geometry and what is retained regarding properties etc. Maybe you'll get cleaner files into BricsCAD that way.

    SimLab composer is a lot cheaper than Rhino in case you have neither but would like to use this detour if it gives better results than what you get now.

  • And I have to update my Revit vs IFC experiences.
    It is not clear what brings in more Solids.
    IFC has better L/T-connections while Revit brings in Solids where
    IFC has extra tessellated Meshes.
    All Strange ....

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