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Export VW 2020 to Sketchup - Experiences & Recommendation

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I'm trying to export a 3D model from VW 2020 to Sketchup Pro 2021 on a Mac. I read elsewhere in the forums that .dae files were the way to go, but when I try to import, Sketchup gave me an error message like this:


Missing Textures-

/Users/grahamirwin3/Library/Preferences/MAXON/Renderworks_B4D8C52C/tex/Concrete _Surf Hatch_ RT Color.png

/Users/grahamirwin3/Library/Preferences/MAXON/Renderworks_B4D8C52C/tex/Stucco White _Surf Hatch_ RT Color.png


& the import fails.


I tried a .dwg file, but it loses all the color/texture data which is especially problematic for glazing, as it needs to be converted to transparent on a pane by pane basis. It also left out the slabs in my model and some other plugin objects.


.3ds file imported slowly, and the walls, etc. were extremely faceted, another big job to fix. Very unstable in Sketchup, crashed several times. I ran the "Cleanup" extension on the entire model and it hung up. I was able to run Cleanup on individual groups and it worked better, but took numerous attempts and didn't eliminate all the faceting.


Then I bought the SimLab FBX Importer. Wow! Quick import and very little touchup required. Model is light and fast in Sketchup. The way to go, IM(H)O. Attached screenshots of Design Layer Viewport (final quality Renderworks) in VW & imported model in Sketchup. Has numerous nested groups and components to navigate for editing, but it's a good start.



Screen Shot 2021-02-06 at 12.02.37 PM.jpg

Screen Shot 2021-02-06 at 12.02.58 PM.jpg

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How much did the SimLab FBX Importer cost?


With .3ds, did you try exporting at Low vs High quality to see if that affected the complex faceting you described?


I'm not really much of a SketchUp user myself, but I often get asked by others about the best way to get Vectorworks into Sketchup, and try to advise the best I can.


Thank you for sharing your experiences!

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FBX Importer here: https://www.simlab-soft.com/3d-plugins/FBX_Importer_For_Sketchup-main.aspx


$79. Worth every penny in my estimation. It was a night & day difference in the import quality and the lightness of the Sketchup model. I had the sense that the 3DS model, even if I managed to clean it up, would continue to bog down Sketchup. The FBX model was nimble off the bat.


I did the .fbx export from a Design Layer Viewport in VW which had the individual design layers linked to it. I set the export to the current layer. There are other ways to do it.


Cleanup plugin for Sketchup here: https://extensions.sketchup.com/extension/046175e5-a87a-4254-9329-1accc37a5e21/cleanup³

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I now have a complex SU model with nested groups and components. The walls and floor slabs are split by story, but there's no Vectorworks rendering to mask the transitions. Since each wall is a series of nested groups and components, it is challenging to clean this up. Any advice/insight?

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  • 7 months later...

I'm going to withdraw my recommendation for FBX Importer and SimLab! I bought the plugin in February and used it then without incident. Recently, I wanted to use it again. I opened SketchUp, ungraded as requested, tried to use the plugin and was told it needed to be registered. I couldn't make that work and have spent the better part of two weeks going back and forth with customer service, being accused of installing it on multiple machines and being told to do the same failed registration steps over and over again. They told me I had "one last chance." It didn't work and they've stopped answering my emails. I found a similar plugin from "skimp" (https://skimp4sketchup.com) that seems to be working fine so far...

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I have similar Experiences with SimLab Exporters.


The had the most cumbersome licensing experience from

all Plugins I know.

I bought a DWG to Modo Importer years ago.

It did work, bring in Geometry with proper Face Orientation.


But no Object Names, Grouping or Hierarchy, non-welded

Vertices, so lose 3D Faces and a lot more to improve.


Also would only register to Modo.app,

but you usually have more Modo Versions installed and since

a few years, Modo installs with Version Numbers anyway like


So SimLab will only work for a single installation, not the whole



In 2019 I also tried to install it again and was not able to license

SimLab. Their last answer was :

The provided software keys are invalid, please check your software keys and try again.


So I decided to just forget it.

Edited by zoomer
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  • 1 year later...

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