SketchUp import formats

by Design Workshop Sydney

When creating a building in SketchUp, the meaurements and dimensions can be introduced through a variety of import formats. We explain all in our SketchUp training courses.sketchup-import-formats
The most common ways we receive the information are as either rough sketches on paper, or as CAD files (either DWG or DXF). Alternatively as PDFs or simple JPEGs. DWG is the native Autocad drawing file format; DXF is a common transfer format when sharing files between one program and another, for example between Autocad and VectorWorks or Archicad.
PDFs (Portable Document Format) are usually the end product when sending to a client. PDFs are relatively small files, but as vector files they have good resolution for printing. Also anyone with a computer can view a PDF. They can’t be edited by the end user, which can also be an advantage. JPEG is a common format used for web display – the file sizes are small, therefore good for downloading, but the resolution is low, so not so good for printing.
The Sketchup Pro version (shipping at approx. $600) allows us to import CAD files & JPEGs. The free SketchUp Make version, however, only allows us to import JPEGs – which are fuzzy and would also need to be scaled up to the correct scale, which is easy enough using the Tape Measure tool.
PDFs cannot be imported by either Pro or Make, but you could save the PDF as a JPEG (in Acrobat or Reader), or use the Windows utility Snip-It (in the Accessories menu) to save the image as a screenshot.
Alternatively, if you have a sketch on paper you can simply draw the floor plan rooms from scratch using the Line tool or the Rectangle tool. Once the floor plan data has been imported we can then proceed to build the walls, etc.
Many useful tips and techniques can be found at the SketchUp website. And see many examples of our own clients’ work on our Facebook page.
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