How to export a Revit model to SketchUp

Revit models can be used in all disciplines in real estate development. But often we need to supply our model to companies for landscaping, for example. They don’t work with Revit, because it’s too detailed for their line of work. So how do we export Revit to Sketchup?

In this article, I will show you how to export a Revit file to a SketchUp model. There are different methods to transfer the model. The method we focus on in this article will be the free method that is built-in Revit. Other methods can be done by 3th-party plugins which are not free.

Revit export to SketchUp methods

The most used method to export a Revit model to Sketchup is to use the 3D-DWG Export method. The advantage of 3D-DWG is that it’s faster with exporting and importing, and it will give you a smaller file size. The other option, a less commonly used method, is the IFC export method.

Before you start make sure that you have opened a 3D view of your model. Also, you will need to have SketchUp Pro. With the free version (SketchUp Make) you won’t be able to import 3D DWG files.


Remove things you don’t want in your SketchUp model to prevent a large model size. You can easily do that using a Section Box and Visibility/Graphic Overrides (shortcut by default: vv) to turn things off.

Method 1 – Export Revit to SketchUp with 3D DWG

This method will use the native Revit built-in DWG exporter. Prepare your 3D view for export with the Solid settings. There are two types of settings you can choose from, that are Polymesh or ACIS solids. The difference between Polymesh and ACIS Solids is, that Polymesh is not grouped while ACIS solids are.

I prefer to use the ACIS solids over the Polymesh method because all elements are grouped and easily editable in SketchUp.

Before we can export the model, we first need to change the Solid settings:

  1. Open the File Menu
  2. Click on the Export tab
  3. Scroll down to the Options section
  4. Choose Export Setups DWG/DXF
export dwg from revit
  1. Modify DWG/DXF Export Setup
    Go to Solids tab > Choose ACIS solids > click OK
modify dwg settings

Now that your 3D model view and export settings are ready we can continue exporting the Revit model by following the steps below:

  1. Open the File Menu
  2. Click on the Export tab
  3. Choose CAD Formats
  4. Click on DWG
export dwg from 3d view
  1. Make sure you export the 3D view en click on Next…
dwg export

Save the file in a convenient location, so we can import it later in SketchUp.

Method 2 – Export Revit to SketchUp with IFC

This method will use the native Revit built-in IFC exporter. But before starting, we can check the IFC settings for some excellent control of categories. When you opened the menu you can assign IFC classes to each category or sub-category. To go to these settings follow the steps below:

  1. Open the File Menu
  2. Click on the Export tab
  3. Scroll down to the Options section
  4. Choose IFC Options
export ifc settings

After you are done with the settings, we can start to make the IFC export through the built-in IFC exporter from Revit. For this example, I used the 3D view in Revit like in method 1, with the standard IFC2x3 Coordination View 2.0 setup:

  1. Open the File Menu
  2. Click on the Export tab
  3. Choose IFC
export ifc
  1. Assign a File name
  2. Take a setup for IFC or modify your own settings (example with IFC2x3 Coordination View)
  3. Click Export
export ifc

Import Revit to Sketchup

Now that we have exported our Revit model to a 3D-DWG or IFC file, it’s time to import these into SketchUp Pro.

Follow the next steps for importing:

  1. Open the File Menu
  2. Go to Import…
  3. Select your exported 3D-DWG or IFC file
  4. Change import Options… (this setting is optional for DWG import, see below for details)
  5. Press Import
import 3d dwg or ifc to sketchup

When importing DWG files you can fine-tune the import options. This allows you to import materials or merge coplanar faces for example.

  • 4.1 Merge coplanar faces: If checked this option will remove triangulated lines from planes (smoother planes).
  • 4.2 Orient faces consistently: If checked this option will orient all faces in a uniform direction. This can be very useful for rendering.
  • 4.3 Import Materials: If checked the materials will also be imported and color your model.
  • 4.4 Preserve drawing origin: If checked the imported geometry will be placed at the defined origin of the DWG file. Tip: if the model is too far from the origin you can uncheck this setting. The model will be set near the SketchUp origin automatically.
  • 4.5 Units: By default, Model Units will automatically check what scale you exported the 3D-DWG. If the scale is incorrect, you can change it with some optional units. The units you can choose from are imperial like Inches, Feet, Yards, Miles, or Metric like Millimeters, Centimeters, Meters, or Kilometers. It’s also possible to rescale the model inside SketchUp.
import settings sketchup

After pressing import it can take a couple of seconds up to a couple of minutes for large models to generate your model. Once completed we can view our models, including the default categories.

example sketchup model

Wrapping Up

Exporting and importing models from Revit to SketchUp can be very useful if you work with other companies that don’t use Revit. These exports can be done with two easy and free methods that come with their own pros and cons. For me, the 3D-DWG export will be the main method because this works very fast and is still very detailed. Don’t forget to set your solids to ACIS solids, because this makes the SketchUp model easily customizable.

I hope this article helped you to make an export from Revit to SketchUp via two different free methods you can choose from. If you have any questions, just drop a comment below.

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