Sketchup Pro Layout 2018 Export to Autocad DWG Issue:
Don’t get me wrong, I love Sketchup. As an Architect I find the low cost, the ease of use and flexibility to make design changes quickly make it my 3d design tool of choice. I also have Revit, but for everyday Residential Architecture I find Sketchup wins hands down. I regret ever upgrading to Autodesk’s Revit. It costs me more money each year on subscription than Sketchup does as a one off purchase and I hardly ever use it. My Autodesk AutoCad however still plays a big part in my practice. It is much quicker and more accurate than Sketchup for producing Measured drawings, demolition plans and pretty much every other type of noted plan except for roofplans. I use Sketchup for Elevations and Perspectives and also as the base for my roofplans due to the low detail level required. I draw all my other plans and section details in Autocad as it is much quicker and I already have a library of details built up over 20 years that allows me to cut and paste.
Export Issue from Layout to Autocad DWG format:
Because my Architectural practice uses both Sketchup and Autocad for what they are best at doing we need to export from one format to the other. Autocad is great for speedily adding notes and dimensions. As these are the last things you need to do on a drawing it means my work process requires me to export my Sketchup Layout drawing as an Autocad DWG and then Import this (actually attach as an xref) into Autocad in Model space. Once the layouts are in the model of my Autocad template drawing I can then embellish them with whatever notes and dimensions I need in both Model space and Paper space as required. This worked well until Sketchup changed the export procedure in version 2017. All Sletchup layouts (saved skethup views composed into individual layout pages) used to be able to be placed in the Autocad model in their entirety. Unfortunately this is no longer possible and the images now import as one continuous line of images. The full Skethup layout page formatting is only visible in Autocads Paper space layout tabs. This causes me a few problems. Autocad when opening a sketchup layout generated drawing always issues warnings. There is no easy way to import Paper space layouts into another drawing so this means that I need to use the Sketcup generated Autocad drawing as my base. I would rather start with my Autocad template and import the Sketchup drawing as I then have a clean start with all my layers and styles and no warnings. Unfortunately I then lose all the page layouts…. Grrrr…..
Text size in exported tables problem:
Sketchup Layout 2018 allows reports to be generated. This is a great (and hugely time consuming) feature, but unfortunately when exported into Autocad the tables are unreadable. The text size is out by about a scale of 100 and so produces a huge blobby mess across the drawing. Deciding to try the new “Generate report” feature I spent one day preparing a Model of my building and 3 days editing and re-organising the way I worked. If you want the report (window schedule in this case) to be both meaningful and accurate you cannot be sloppy. How you create and name your components and groups, what you call each individual instance and how these are nested is all important if you want an accurate output. It really needs a much more critical and analytical approach than what I had previously been using. I am sure that once everything is set up and I have done it a few times it will become easier, but I am unsure that it will ever be quicker than just drawing up a window schedule in Autocad the old fashioned manual way.