It is possible to import a project you have already created in another program, such as AutoCAD, into SketchUp. This feature allows you to directly import AutoCAD drawings and DXF files into SketchUP as backgrounds on which you can draw your new SketchUp project. This video tutorial teaches you how to Import an AutoCAD Draw into SketchUp for Interior Design.
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To start an interior project in SketchUp, you may already have at your disposal a plan that has been done in another CAD program. SketchUp can import quite a few different file types. If you are using SketchUp Pro, you can import AutoCAD drawings and DXF files into SketchUp and then use them as backgrounds to draw on. If you don't have the professional version, but the free SketchUp version, you won't be able to take advantage of this until you upgrade to the Pro. Before you begin in SketchUp, though, it's a good idea to open up the AutoCAD drawing and eliminate details that you don't need.
In this case, if you look at this CAD drawing, you notice that there are plumbing fixtures and some other details that we just don't need to draw walls with. If you look at this drawing here, you'll notice that this one has been cleaned up, and it has been ready to go into SketchUp. A lot of the details have been eliminated, and the purge command is being used in order to get rid of anything else that might be in the drawing that we don't need. So we would go ahead and save this and then use that within the SketchUp drawing.
So let's go ahead and close out AutoCAD. And we're not going to save this. When you fire up SketchUp, what we're looking for, first of all, is to start with a simple template, feet and inches. We're going to go ahead and use that. And it opens up, and you get to see, basically, a horizon line and a green background. We're going to set it to the top view. So we're going to come up here to top view and set it. We don't need Suzy there, so we're going to get rid of her too, so we're going to just delete her.
We're going to go to the camera pull down, we're going to make sure that it's set to parallel projection right now, so we're looking straight down. We're going to also create a new layer. So we're going to go over to Layers. We're going to create a layer called Background. And we're going to make it current. So that we're set up with having the background current, it's time to import the AutoCAD drawings. So we'll come over here to File, and we're going to go to Import. Notice that under Files of type, there are a whole list of file types that SketchUp will be able to take.
In our case, we should have it set to the AutoCAD files. The other thing is, is that if you go over to Options and you look at that. If you have any issues with geometry, which we don't, you can basically fix it there. The other thing is that if you want to make sure your scale is correct, you can set it up either in inches or feet or any of these other ones. Currently, we're going to set it up into feet, and press OK. We're going to pick up the 1419 House Walls, and we're going to click on Open.
When you do that, it imports a number of things. Notice here, it went ahead and put in layers. There's some blocks, lines and some other things. We're going to hit Close. And you might not see anything right off the bat yet, so we're going to come over here down to Zoom Extents, and there it is. So we are in pretty good shape with that. Now let's take a look at one other thing. Come over here to Layers. You'll notice that it brought in some AutoCAD layers, there is Defpoints and anno plot.
Let's go ahead and click on the anno plot, and we'll just get rid of that. And the same thing with Defpoints, we'll get rid of that too. Now, the last thing that we're going to do, we're going to make sure that this set of walls has been placed on the background layer. Because if we click on something, you'll notice that it's currently on the A-wall Exterior layer. So we're going to come in and just window everything. And we're going to check it to make sure that it goes on to the background. Now we'll come up here and make sure that Layer0 is current.
And then we'll just test it to make sure the background is working correctly, so we'll just go ahead and click On, and Off. Now, if you go ahead and you try to click on the exterior, you'll notice nothing happens, and the same thing with interior. Mainly because what we've done is we've moved the geometry over to the background layer, so we can turn it all on and all off. So, you can import many types of files into SketchUp. If you have SketchUp Pro, you can import AutoCAD drawings and DXF files.
As a procedure, open the Autodesk file first and clean it up using purge to get rid of any other drawing objects that you might not want in the SketchUp model. Make sure that you create a layer called Background. And then import the AutoCAD drawing into that layer. Verify that the import is on the Background layer. You may have some layers transfer over from AutoCAD that you can use in the SketchUp model. Like what we have here. We can use these again. Wall exterior and wall interior.
- Drawing 2D floor plans in SketchUp
- Selecting the right template and tools
- Creating components
- Cleaning up walls and creating door and window openings
- Using x-ray views when adding doors and windows
- Using layers to manage your views effectively
- Capturing materials to use in your design
- Applying materials to components
- Exporting your drawing as an image