Convert a SketchUp 3D Model to Revit

We provide many of our models in the Autodesk Revit 2009 format and are working to convert them all. We make the models in SketchUp and convert them to Revit. In the conversion process we make unique materials and layers so that subscribers may modify the color of the architectural entourage. To keep the file size small we individually export from SketchUp repeated parts and them copy/mirror the part with Revit.

(Update: We’ve posted a video showing the process)

Click the link to see the process to ensure that the materials come across nicely.


1)    Open file in SketchUp

2)    Save as another version as to not overwrite the original

3)    Explode model as many times as necessary to remove all nested groups and components

4)    Create a new appropriately named Layer for each Material Color

a. Materials in Revit are listed alphabetically, following the generic to specific will make it easier to find the material

b. Try to keep names short and descriptive

c. Give materials unique FF names due to Revit’s manner of not warning the user if a material name is already being used and just assigning the material properties of a same-named material already in the project file when loading a new family

5)    Separate the geometry by materials into the various named Layers

6)    Check the geometry in each of the layers by turning off all layers and then turning on and off each layer. Note that using ‘Select by Material’ some times gets incorrect geometry if the geometry has one material applied to a side and a different material to the opposite side

7)     Delete all materials in the model so that all geometry has the default material

8)    Verify that all the normals are facing out toward the camera. The polygon color should be the yellow-green color and not the blue color.

9)    Check Model Units : Take note of the set units

10)     Export to a dwg file giving it a unique name such as Mercedes_SLR_noColor, with the export options of AutoCAD 2000 and export faces only. Be sure to not include lines or the revit model will have lines even in shaded-only render mode.


1)    Create a new family selecting the appropriate family type, eg.: a car would be in the ‘entourage’ family (See the document title ‘Revit Family Designations’ for a few list)

2)    Import the dwg file with the following options:

a.     Colors: Black and White

b.     Import units: Select “inches”

c.    Positioning: Auto – Origin to Origin

d.     Place at: Leave as it is

3)    Click ‘OK’

4)    Once the model has loaded verify that it was automatically placed at the origi

5)    Click on Settings>>Object Styles

6)    Click on the “Imported Objects” tab

7)    Verify that the layers made it into Revit.

8)    Delete the 0 layer as its unnecessary

9)    Go to Materials Editing by clicking Settings>>Materials

10)    Delete all of the imported materials

11)    Create a new material for each SketchUp layer (color) by copying the “Default” material

12)    Name each material the same as the SketchUp layer (color) This makes it easy to know which goes with which when assigning the materials and when the family is in a large project file.

13)    Under the Graphics tab, click “Use Render Appearance for Shading”

14)    Click on the “Render Appearance” Tab

15)    Under the heading “Generic Material Properties” click the RBG button

16)    Enter the RGB color values — get these by looking at the original SketchUp model for each material

17)    Use  generic material to maintain a “SketchUp” look -or- pick an appropriate material for glass, metal, plastic and etc.

18)    Click apply and keep adding materials until finished

19)    Click OK to exit Materials

20)    Click on Settings>>Object Styles…

21)    Click on the “Imported Objects” tab

22)    Under the heading materials there should be no material listed for each of the imported layers

23)    Click on the Material cell for the first layer, then click on the ‘…’

24)     The Materials editing box comes u

25)    Select the appropriate material

26)    Click OK

27)    Do the above step #23 through #25 for each of the imported model layers

28)    Once all assigned, verify that each layer has the correct material assigned by making sure that the layer name and the material name are the same.

29)    Click OK in the Object Styles box when complete

30)    Save the model

Quality Assurance

1)    It’s always important to check to the model by loading into a project to verify the scale and how the materials render

2)    Click on the shading display button to verify that all the colors are correct

3)    Render a 3D view of the scene

4)    Verify that all of the materials render properly

5)    If they don’t render properly, return to the family file to see what is up

6)    To test again, load the test Revit project, Updating a family and re-loading it to a project does not update the materials that we’re previously imported. Since the material names are the same, the first materials imported will remain causing your fixed family to render improperly again.


About Formfonts 3D Models

Established in 2002, FormFonts 3D Models has served over 11,000 subscribers. FormFonts 3D Models offers over 50,000 of well-made and with the right-amount-of-polygons models and textures on a subscription basis. Throughout each month we upload new models for download. If you don’t see what you need, request it to be made. We offer models in the following formats: Google SketchUp ® | Autodesk®3ds Max®, Autocad®, Revit® & FBX
This entry was posted in Revit, SketchUp, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Convert a SketchUp 3D Model to Revit

  1. Oliver says:

    Awesome thanks :)

  2. Why are You working with v6+

    • Thomas, Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We are currently using SUv7 and the post has been updated to reflect this. We changed over due to the procedural components having been added in v7. We upgrade versions when a big change is released. Many subscribers don’t always upgrade to the latest and so we want them to be able to use the models too.

  3. s.anwer says:

    i was looking for someone to explain that ,,
    eventually , you were that one :)
    thanks alot ..

  4. Pingback: Converting a SketchUp model to a Revit Family – Video | FormFonts 3D Models

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