How to Convert a SketchUp File

By Bianca James

SketchUp is a computer software program offered by Google that is used for the early phases of design. There are two different versions of SketchUp available for download, the free version and the Pro version. While the Pro version has more options, both versions give the user a variety of file type choices to export or convert files to.

Things You'll Need

  • Free or Pro version of Google SketchUp

Step 1

Open the SketchUp file that you wish to convert. If you need to make changes to the file before converting it, make sure to save the file once you are done with the changes. If your file is ready as is, there is no need to save first.

Step 2

Click on “File” at the top menu bar. You will see “Export” in the drop-down menu. Click on “Export” to see the available export options.

Step 3

Select “3D Model” or “2D Model” depending on the file type you wish to export to. If you are using the free version of SketchUp there will be an additional option to “Get Pro 3D Exporters.” Clicking on this option will take you to the website to Google SketchUp where you can purchase and download the Pro version.

Step 4

Choose from the file types available. If you are using the free version, the 3D option is KMZ, which is a file type compatible with Google Earth. This filetype will enable you to import your model into Google Earth. The 2D options for the free version include JPG, TIFF or PNG. If you are using the Pro version, some of the 3D options include 3DS, DWG, DXF, FBX, OBJ, VRML and XSI. The 2D options include the raster file types listed above along with vector file types such as PDF, EPS and EPIX.

Step 5

Create a file name and select a destination to save the file to. Depending on the file type you chose to export as, this box may also have a button that says “Options.” The options box will allow you to adjust the file size, resolution, rendering options and file compression. After your options are set, click “OK.”

Step 6

Click “Export.”

Tips & Warnings

  • Always double-check your exported file before sending out to clients or colleagues.
  • These instructions can be used for either version of SketchUp software.