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convert vectorworks to sketchup

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I'm no expert, but I built a simple model consisting of walls, door, window, roof, slab, and trees.

I just exported to dwg and my design layers appear in sketchup and CAD as layers.  No textures showed up though.

The same model exported via 3DS has textures and sent the image prop too...but no layers 🙂

Neither export shows classes as layers.  Depending on how complex the model, perhaps you create a temporary export file where you could move your items from "classes" to "design layers" in order to get the desired result?  Not that it sounds like a desirable workflow.


**Unless you set it up per the attached image.  Then you get Mike said, VW classes as CAD layers, VW Layers as separate CAD files.  Actually works pretty good.

export layers and classes.png

Edited by jeff prince
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Export from VW as .dae (collada)


Not sure you want the layers to follow. Layers in Su are very different to layers in VW. In Su they are for visibility only and to have objects scattered across them will cause you problems in the long run.


Good luck though

Edited by barkest
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Don't use 3ds - as 3ds for some reason throws the walls all over the place. IFC works pretty well, but its a pretty lengthy process. Last way is through obj. 

You need a free 3rd party plugin for sketchup though. If any of them use sketchucation - tell them to download quad tools from the sketchup plugin database. That imports obj format, and pretty well as well might i add! 


Just my two cents.

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Thanks for all your help.


I have now tried several times to export to dwg in 3 d to no avail. Whilst Vectorworks 3D shapes and rectangles are seen in the dwg file in 3D walls and roofs are only in 2D.




The last attempt was to set up a dedicated viewport / sheet as an export drawings. Sheet No 200. Turned on all the relevant layers on in the vp, such as ground floor, first floor, roof, and floor slabs. Then exported just this one vp with the following settings.





Each layer came out as separate dwg drawings. However still walls did not come out in 3D.





The black background images are views in DWG True view





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What happens if you check "Decompose 3D symbols and Groups" - does that help?  I'm guessing you're having problems with plug in objects not translating, but I'm not sure if that check box will address this.


I have also gone to an iso view (to reveal all hybrid 3D) and then select all and then Convert to group (Cmd + K) before exporting, but that is a last resort.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee
On 10/3/2018 at 4:23 AM, michael john williams said:

Vectorworks advised to export to Collada and then import into SketchUp.


I have exported and a folder is created but it is empty! There is no file. What are your thoughts?

I would recommend exploring Collada exports further. This is how I have exported in the past to Sketchup (and other applications) and the recipients have reported the best results with Collada files.


I just tried a Collada export again and it worked without issue, similar to @barkest. A folder is created and within it is a .dae file of my Vectorworks model. That .dae file imports into Sketchup fine.

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  • 7 months later...

My daughter used VW once 6 yrs ago for a project at Uni creating 19 .vwx files (520mb) of the rooms in our house.  Her Educational licence expired long ago but I'd personally like to use those files in something like Sketchup to visualise a conversion idea but I can't justify the expense of VW just solely export the file in another format.  I wondered if anyone can advise or assist me in resolving this dilemma?

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Thanks for your reply.

Edit. I do need the basic Walls, windows, doors, floors, stairs, ceilings and Roof, but it would also be good if the other items in the file were included.  As you'll see from my second reply below I've discovered one file contains everything.

Edited by Dick Bailey
To answer the specific question I was asked, I realise I hadn't do so.
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I Googled, "VW file viewer" and found the viewer so I was able to use it to review the files and I found I only need one 59,659 KB file which contains the following objects shown in the organisation dialog box.  Can this be converted?



Edited by Dick Bailey
Simplify reply.
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Hi, Barkest.  Thanks for offering to look at converting this for me.


Here's a link to the file: https://www.dropbox.com/s/wxt9dstp3hj02qk/house with all walls and stairs_9-Backup-20130508040357.vwx?dl=0 


Further up this topic Micheal John Williams said "Vectorworks advised to export to Collada and then import into SketchUp."  which Zoomer endorsed saying "I also had positive experience with DAE export for 3D Exports." and Neil Barman added "I would recommend exploring Collada exports. This is how I have exported in the past to Sketchup (and other applications) and the recipients have reported the best results with Collada files.   A folder is created and within it is a .dae file of my Vectorworks model. That .dae file imports into Sketchup fine."

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Further up this topic I suggested dae 😉


Unfortunately the process is not a straight conversion. Su does not like windows and doors although sometimes you can un-group, make them a solid addition and they work. I find its quicker to just make an opening. Therefore your doors and windows don't exist but there are openings in the walls where they would be. Having said that the walls in the attic were solid subtracts so the doors were faked and you will not have 'holes' where they would be. Roofs and dormers are notorious for not converting. I took away the dormers and made the roof a solid addition so that worked fine, so no dormers but holes where they would be. The stairs had to be un-grouped and made in to solids although there were issues with intersecting geometry on the lower floor handrail so that has been deleted. I recovered as much as I could but budgeted an hour so its a pretty decent job. Su file cleaned up before sending.


I did convert one door so if its a standard size you can copy it around (make it a component first).


Good luck


Attached: image in Su, Layers converted (the visible ones), the Su file saved as 2017.


house xray.JPG


house converted.skp

Edited by barkest
  • Like 1
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Further up this topic I suggested dae 😉

So you did, sorry for not crediting this to you.


Thank you so much for all your work, I think an hour of your time was very generous.  I'd wrongly assumed it would be just an 'Open' and 'Save As ...' task.  You've clearly gone to great lengths for me which I greatly appreciate and will be a great help.  I think this will be quite adequate for my purposes.  I'm afraid at 72 I'm not as agile on unfamiliar systems as I used to be.  Cheers 🍻

  • Like 2
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  • 7 months later...

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