AutoCAD Sketchup Relationship?

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Forum topic by smboudreaux posted 06-14-2011 11:01 PM 1701 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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51 posts in 2590 days

06-14-2011 11:01 PM

I’ve ran AutoCAD for about 15 years now. Most of my projects get designed or modeled in CAD before i hit the shop. Making a cut sheet from CAD models can be very time consuming. I’ve tried using sketchup to model projects and i just get frustrated. Does anyone know if model from CAD (.dwg files) can be loaded into sketchup?

10 replies so far

View tenontim's profile


2131 posts in 3767 days

#1 posted 06-15-2011 12:01 AM

I think you can purchase a program that will change sketchup to .dwg, but I don’t know if there’s one for going the other way. Maybe the purchase version of Sketchup will convert them, but I know the free one won’t.

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1286 posts in 3020 days

#2 posted 06-15-2011 02:37 AM

If you use the older version of sketchup (7) you can have a DXF import but not export.

If you want the real import and export, you need the commercial version.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune:

View smboudreaux's profile


51 posts in 2590 days

#3 posted 06-15-2011 02:53 AM

a dxf import into sketchup is probably what im looking for. you can save as or export as dxf from CAD. The fellas. much appreciated

View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3183 days

#4 posted 06-15-2011 02:53 AM

Why bother learning SU if you have AC? If only to have access to the CutList plugin, then I’d say don’t waste your time. This coming from someone that uses SU a lot. I’ve not been impressed with any of the CL plugins I’ve seen. I know there are many Ruby scrips to hold your hand on some SU functions. I’ve found most of them to be training wheels for things I could learn to do more quickly myself in SU itself. I’m the kind of guy that tends to not use wizards in anything I do though.

As to your having problems learning SU, I have to ask you, how much time have you invested in training tools/videos to use SU? You’d be surprised how many good tutorials there are out there, both free and paid. If the answer is “none”, then I would ask how folks expect to learn SU with no training, but they DO expect training to learn something like Auto Cad. If the answer is “some”, then let us know specifically what you get frustrated with. We can help. :)

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

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51 posts in 2590 days

#5 posted 06-15-2011 03:01 AM

i havent invested a great deal of time with SU. Id guess 20hrs. Ive ran through a few of the tutorials but i didnt find exactly what i was looking for. The struggle i have is with the orientation and program commands themselves. AutoCAD and CAD based programs all have similar functions and features. SU doesn’t appear to be of the same family as AC. its like learning to speak french in german left handed. I love modeling my projects in CAD. Once you’ve built a project on space, building it in the shop is much easier. alot of potential trouble spots become much more transparent. my only real benefit by using SU would be for quicker cut lists. if the cutlist plugins are junk i’m not going to waste my time learning

View rance's profile


4258 posts in 3183 days

#6 posted 06-15-2011 03:24 AM

First rule of SU, once you draw out a piece of wood for your project, make it into a ‘Component’. This keeps them from ‘sticking together’ when you move or resize them, etc. Start by learning to draw a 2×4 (don’t laugh). Then draw another. Now try to move them and place them in different positions in SPECIFIC relationship to each other. What problems does this cause you?

How complex are your projects? Post a pic maybe? Do you have anyone within driving distance that you can sit down with and have them help you one on one?

Let me back up a second and tell you that other folks like the CL plugins so don’t just take my opinion about them. Weigh both sides.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View DLCW's profile


530 posts in 2677 days

#7 posted 06-15-2011 03:55 AM

I’ve been using SU for about 3 months now and I find it a great tool for being able to quickly put a concept idea together for a customer (I even have learned to model cakes as my daughter is learning to be a cake maker). I don’t use SU for cabinet work as I have a program, eCabinets, that I can use to model layouts and then I click a button and all the cutting and milling commands are sent to my CNC to cut all the material. I’d never give up this capability to do the work in SU.

There are many plugins (Ruby scripts) that can make things easier and faster. But they will slow make SU load a lot slower.

If you go here , Joe has put together some incredible SU tutorials that cater to woodworkers. I got going really fast with SU using his tutorials. I tried the Google tutorials and found them lacking and making a lot of assumptions.

Like Rance says – take some time with some good tutorials and play with it. It does some pretty neat things.

-- Don, Diamond Lake Custom Woodworks - - "If you make something idiot proof, all they do is make a better idiot"

View Nollie's profile


146 posts in 2809 days

#8 posted 06-15-2011 05:10 PM

I used Turbo Cad , but gave up . To complicated. I do all my designs in SU and i am very happy. I learned a lot from the Fine Woodworking blog ” Design Click Build ” Go on there web site and click on Design Click Build. You can even ask David to explain you specific things and he would wright a blog to answer you. There are a lot of entries to learn from and is free

-- Leon .

View addvalue's profile


8 posts in 1817 days

#9 posted 06-27-2013 05:04 AM

Hello all. Can someone please contact Dan’um Style for me? I just joined lumberjocks tonight and have to post 5 replies to be eligible to contact him. This is reply #1 to a forum topic. In particular I’m looking for a copy of AutoCad release 14. I just purchased a CalComp Model 1023 pen plotter and finding it nearly impossible to find the software to run it. If anyone can help me, I would really appreciate it!

Also, does anyone know of an alternate software that would work?

Ron / 48(zero) – 695 – 447(zero)
ronaddsvalue@gmail . com

View MrRon's profile


4793 posts in 3266 days

#10 posted 06-29-2013 05:47 PM

I do Autocad. I tried to learn Sketch up, but the command structure of SU is counter to Acad. To learn SU, I would have to abandon Acad which I’m not about to do. I can’t see any advantage to SU if you already know Acad.

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