Jump to content

basic 3d queries

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

I've got some really basic queries on 3d, which I was hoping you could help me with?

I've been using vectorworks on and off for a few years (currently vectorworks 2010 on mac), and am starting to delve into 3d.

I'm modelling some interiors for an extension I'm building, and am getting on ok with the vectorworks side. However, I need to pull in models in dxf/dwg format and from sketchup for things like sanitaryware etc, which are always quite 'messy' when they get imported. For example a bath in sketchup looks nice and smooth, but when it comes into vectorworks it' suddenly lots of polygons and doesn't render as nicely.

My question is this: can anyone recommend a good workflow for bringing in external 3d models in a variety of formats that will import 'nicely' without me having to do lots of tidying up of the models (which I don't know how to do anyway!), and can someone explain why they import in such a messy way - is it with the different ways that programmes create 3d models?

Once the whole thing's composed I will probably then export them to sketchup / piranesi / artlantis to render (depending which one I like best when the time comes to try them out).

If that makes any sense at all, I'd love to hear your comments,



Link to comment

Hi Peter,

Yes, I've had a good look at the VW libraries, but the only decent 3d sanitaryware catalogue I can find is the Kohler one, and it doesn't include, for example, shower enclosures. Incidentally, I'm suprised at how few bathroom mfrs have 3d blocks for download.

As for plug-ins, I don't really know what's available - I shall have a search or if anyone has any recommendations that would be much appreciated.



Link to comment
Hi all,

For example a bath in sketchup looks nice and smooth, but when it comes into vectorworks it' suddenly lots of polygons and doesn't render as nicely.

As you noted; Sketchup models come in as a group of a bazillion 3D polys,

Enter the group (there might be several groups inside) till you get to the polys.

select them all and use Modify>Convert>Convert to mesh.

This usually works and you get a single Mesh object.

After climbing out of the Group go to File>Document Settings>Document Preferences>Display and turn on Mesh Smoothing which is off by default for some reason.

This will usually give a good result.

Sometimes the mesh will still be faceted. If so, you can try Exporting the mesh as 3DS and re-importing it back in.

This will often (but not always) "rebuild" a mesh that didn't work the first time.

Link to comment


Worked like a dream! (well, after a little bit of faffing about...) Thanks so much for the tip. And thanks all for the recommendations of libraries: the hansgrohe one is particularly good.

If anyone knows of any tile manufacturers that offer downloads of their products, that would be great, as I want to be able to show individual tiles with grout lines also.

Thanks again,


Link to comment
  • 4 weeks later...


Here is a workflow you asked for, but its not very efficient. And I'm still left with bigger file sizes than I would like. I'm not sure why its so difficult to convert sketchup models to simple solids.

1. In Sketchup, export the sketchup object to dwg. You must have Sketchup pro to do this.(My version of VW doesn't have the "import Sketchup option)

2. Import the dwg to VW. If symbol results, you can convert the symbol to a group. (remember to select the option 'convert all supgroups')

3. You now have a zillion 3d polys. Select some of the polys and "convert to mesh". (You may have to open up a group to select the 3d polys.)

4. Then select "convert to Nurbs". Ungroup the nurbs after the conversion.

5. Then in the 3d power pack, select "stitch and trim". This creates a solid.

I sometimes get a Runtime error if I try to stitch and trim too many nurbs. You can stitch and trim smaller groups of nurbs and add the solids together after the conversion. Then convert the resulting "solid addition" to a generic solid.

So to recap:

1. Convert to Mesh

2. Convert to Nurbs.

3. Ungroup

4. Stitch and Trim.

Sometimes the geometry refuses to cooperate and you may have to give up on that object.

Please, anyone, give me some tips on this process!


Link to comment

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...