Page T2.1 . 09 December 2009                     
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    Site Design with SketchUp & AutoCAD

    by Daniel Tal

    Google SketchUp and AutoCAD can be used synergistically to generate detailed site models. The programs are highly compatible; AutoCAD lines can be transformed into SketchUp geometry. Utilizing 2D AutoCAD plans as a starting point for SketchUp geometry is arguably the fastest way to generate a detailed site plan model.

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    This is a quick overview of the general method for integrating SketchUp and AutoCAD platforms while using SketchUp Process Modeling. Part of the method relies on five downloadable custom Ruby Scripts that are essential when working in tandem with both software platforms.

    General Overview

    Creating a model from AutoCAD linework in SketchUp utilizes the same steps outlined for SketchUp Process Modeling, with some minor variations that take into account the origin of the linework. The conversion process has three general steps:

    1. Organize the AutoCAD file.

    2. Generate the geometry.

    3. Convert site objects from AutoCAD blocks into SketchUp components.

    Discuss this article in the Architecture Forum...

    This article is excerpted from Google SketchUp for Site Design by Daniel Tal, copyright © 2009, with permission of the publisher, John Wiley & Sons.



    ArchWeek Image

    A two-dimensional AutoCAD site drawing can be used as a base for creating a three-dimensional site model, such as this one, in Google SketchUp.
    Image: Daniel Tal/ Courtesy Wiley Extra Large Image

    ArchWeek Image

    The AutoCAD file should be simplified so that it contains only the linework needed to create a 3D model.
    Image: Daniel Tal/ Courtesy Wiley Extra Large Image


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