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In addition to 2D drawing, SketchUp Pro can import two types of 3D objects. One would be 3DS files and the other would be AutoCAD DXF. Let me show you some of the differences. Any type of files can be a little bit different, but let's import the same object in both formats and see how it works. So let's go ahead and import Generator.3DS. You'll notice that 3DS files generally come in what are called triangulated, which means that any one of these faces are triangular.
Now, this may be a little bit different than what you expect, but that's pretty much how they will come in. Now if you want to modify this, you can always use smoothing to hide some of the faces. So if I double-click on this and select one of these faces and do, for example, select All Connected, it will actually select that object and then I could just do Soften/Smooth Edges and I can just dial that into whatever I want, and that will give me a little bit of smoothing.
Another way of doing this would be to import this as a DXF. So let's go ahead and just do a File > New and let's go ahead and do another import, and this time I am going to import DXF. So I am going to import Generator.DXF and it gives me some results here and now actually I have to zoom out, and this actually is coming in bigger than the other one.
But notice how this doesn't have those triangular faces. This came in as quads or rectangular faces, and sometimes these are easier to work with. Now again, if you don't like the way this looks, you can always start smoothing. So for example, with this particular object here, you notice how I can select something on this generator flywheel and just do select All Connected. Now, that just selects this part of it. Now, this object was actually created in multiple objects. These are extra objects that are just interpenetrating. They are not really connected but you can also right-click on these and just go Soften/Smooth Edges.
You can see how as I smooth the edges you get something that looks a little bit more how you would expect. And you could also do the same for example, for this motor body here and just go ahead and select All Connected, which basically selects this whole generator, and then we can again do Soften/Smooth Edges. Now when we play with this, you can see how you can just dial it in and as you go down, you can see how some of the details come back in. If we go completely to zero, you can see how everything comes back.
But if we go somewhere between zero and 20, we have something that works pretty well. Those are some of the basics of importing 3D objects into SketchUp Pro.
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