How to Export a DWG from Sketchup

How to Export a DWG from Sketchup

Before we get started it’s important to remember that to export a DWG from Sketchup, you need the premium version of Sketchup. It’s a great feature to quickly get views that you can use for renderings, design presentations, or quick sketch ideas. Here’s how to easily export DWG’s and a few tips to keep in mind before you do.

Exporting the DWG

File > Export > 2D Graphic. First, to locate the export option, navigate to “file” > “export” and click on “2D graphic.” In the “save as type” drop down menu, select DWG. In the lower right corner there is an “options” button that allows you to further customize the export options.

export a DWG options
  • There may be DWG version restrictions within the software you are trying to import your DWG file, so you may have to change the AutoCAD year version in the top dropdown menu of the options window.
  • The drawing scale and size section allows you to change what scale the view will be exported at. A 1:1 drawing scale is the full scale. It will export as the same size that it was modeled at in Sketchup.
  • The sections lines options do not apply to this model because there are no sections in the model, but there are options available to customize here if you need to.
  • The extension lines are lines that go beyond the intersection point. You can choose to show or hide those lines.

The most important options for now are to change the AutoCAD version if needed and to export at full scale.

Important Things to Remember Before you Export a DWG

The DWG will not look exactly like what you see in Sketchup, so before you export a view, make sure you have these things in mind:

  • The exported image will capture whatever is in your window. So if you are zoomed in to a certain part of a building, it will cut off the areas that are not in view.
  • To get a flat, top-down view go to “camera” > “standard views” > “top” and set your “camera” to “parallel projection” before you export a DWG.
export a DWG with camera top view
  • If you change the top view to “perspective” the perspective will change based on where the view is. But if you select “parallel projection” the image will remain flat.
export a DWG in parallel projection
Parallel Projection
export a DWG in perspective
Perspective
  • You can export any view from Sketchup to a DWG, including perspectives and sections. Just find the view you want to have in Sketchup and follow the previous steps to export it as a DWG.
export a DWG in section
Section View
  • Perspective views may add more depth to your image, but you can not accurately take measurements from those drawings.
  • If there are other models like trees or landscaping in your Sketchup model that overlap the building, they will cut into the lines of your DWG file. You may want to put theses items in a different layer so that you can turn it off before you export the file.
export a DWG with clipped lines
Clipped Lines from Vegetation

Putting Objects on a Separate Layer

To hide objects you’ve placed on a particular layer, go to the layers tab in the default tray and uncheck the box under “visible” to hide it. In this case we hide the landscape layer. To add an item to a different layer, right click on the item and hit “entity info.” Under the entity info in the default tray, select which layer you want to add it to from the layer drop down menu.

hide landscape then export a DWG

There are many other ways you can export Sketchup files. Check out our other tutorials on how to export as STL or PNG files.

How often to you export a DWG from Sketchup? What do you use your views for? Let us know in the comments!

Happy Hacking!

24 Comments

  1. classboat01 October 17, 2018 at 7:37 am #

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  2. mikemoreno September 5, 2018 at 3:48 am #

    thank you very much, verry helpfull…

  3. jogesh12345 August 14, 2018 at 1:55 am #

    Very effective and informative article.Thanks for sharing such an important tutorial.

  4. FLMIMA August 11, 2018 at 9:20 pm #

    Really helpful website

  5. Rumi July 15, 2018 at 7:16 am #

    I feel very grateful that I read this. It is very helpful and very informative and I really learned a lot from it.

  6. RJennings April 28, 2018 at 6:12 pm #

    Thank you for this website. The practice questions are helpful.

  7. Scott March 22, 2018 at 1:50 pm #

    Taking this test on Saturday. Last 4.0 exam to complete for the trio, then on to 5.0. This site is my go-to place when organizing what materials I’ll be studying

  8. shozab January 30, 2018 at 2:22 pm #

    Hi , very good article.

    thanks for sharing, keep up the good work

  9. dyba January 27, 2018 at 1:08 am #

    Good advice. Best of luck to all!

  10. KendraShirley January 16, 2018 at 4:04 pm #

    This is my favorite site for practicing for my tests! Great advise and super helpful.

  11. reximagetrim January 16, 2018 at 10:37 am #

    Nice post to read. A complete guide that can help all of us.

  12. tylerstockholm December 17, 2017 at 9:37 pm #

    Nice one… very helpful! Thanks!!!

  13. Aartiwalvekar November 21, 2017 at 8:56 am #

    Nice post

  14. Aartiwalvekar October 9, 2017 at 9:45 pm #

    Great post!

  15. Tony August 30, 2017 at 7:07 am #

    In the NCARB ARE 5.0 handbook they reference Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods in both of their example questions for cost estimating. Unfortunately there isn’t a specific chapter on cost estimating, it’s woven throughout the content.

  16. Spencer August 30, 2017 at 1:15 am #

    What is the best reference for cost estimating for PDD.

  17. Amy July 26, 2017 at 3:24 pm #

    Thanks! Great advice

  18. Tony June 29, 2017 at 7:23 am #

    Deciduous trees should only be used for shade (especially in temperate climates). Deciduous trees lose their leaves in the fall and will have little protection against wind in the winter when it is most needed. Likewise, the leafless trees allow solar heat gain in the winter when it is desired, and shade in the summer.

    Coniferous trees are only to be used to block wind and views. Since they don’t lose their needles, they work great for these two items year-round.

  19. Shahid Logan June 28, 2017 at 4:50 pm #

    Hello. My name is Shahid. This comment is for anyone who would like to reply. On the Siteplanning test. To block the wind, can you use a Deciduous tree or must you use a Coniferous tree?

  20. Mike January 4, 2017 at 11:04 am #

    Hi Tony,

    I need to take 5.0 PPD & PDD. Do you plan on posting notes such as “Caroline’s Notes” that you had posted for the various 4.0 exams for either of those sections? I found those notes to be some of the best resources in studying for the 4.0 sections. If so any idea when? Thanks

  21. Stephen October 17, 2016 at 9:30 pm #

    Hi Tony,
    Any updates on the SS exam ? If there’s an expected release date ? Thanks

  22. DesignerHacks October 4, 2016 at 12:11 pm #

    Paige,

    We are releasing practice exams for the SS exam later this fall.

    Best,
    Tony

  23. Paige October 4, 2016 at 11:34 am #

    Will you have SS questions on here at some point?

  24. Daniel September 9, 2016 at 8:47 am #

    Great post, very helpful with the lists of suggested materials, I just passed CDs in July and am taking PPP in November so I definitely needed the list.

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