SketchUp and Rhino are both popular and their files sometimes need to be transferred back and forth. Explore the conversion from SketchUp to Rhino files in this brief guide.
3D modeling software, such as Rhino and SketchUp, allow users to create and alter 3D models for design and 3D printing. But their file types tend to be different. SketchUp natively uses .skp files and Rhino uses .3DM files.
Rhino files are used to describe models based on NURBS geometry. NURBS, or non-uniform rational basis spline, is a method of representing curved surfaces in models, which makes it perfect for the design and 3D printing of real objects.
On the other hand, SketchUp files, or .skp files, use wireframes to represent an object along with the ability to save components for use in multiple models. Given the difference in how these two programs represent models, a conversion is necessary to use SketchUp files in Rhino.
But why would I need to convert files from SketchUp to Rhino in the first place? SketchUp has a huge community of free 3D objects on 3Dwarehouse but you may be more comfortable editing a model in Rhino. Alternatively, SketchUp is particularly adept at bringing a model to life using images that overlay a model such as topographical images like one would see in Google Earth. Importing these into Rhino is much easier than trying to create them in Rhino natively.
So now that we know why we want to convert, what are the next steps?
Opening SketchUp files in Rhino can be a straightforward process. The main thing we need to check is that units are similar from SketchUp to Rhino.
What happens if I use trimmed planes?
The model imports similarly, but due to the mathematical conversion, trimmed planes conversion takes longer for complex models. However, the advantage is that trimmed planes are easier to edit in Rhino since this is the format that is used natively by Rhino rather than a mesh.
Why can’t I just import directly from file?
Technically, you can choose “Import directly from file”, however, this method doesn’t give you as many options during import (it only shows you the last dialog box), which can be problematic for complex models that require special options.
What can go wrong?
When importing .skp files into Rhino, one thing that many people forget is that any geometry (including hidden geometries like construction and cutting planes) will show up in the imported Rhino file. Since we selected “Linked” during our import, we can simply delete those objects from the SketchUp file, resave, and update our model in Rhino. Alternatively, the unwanted objects could be deleted directly in Rhino as well.
Overall, opening a .skp file in Rhino isn’t so difficult. As long as you keep in mind units and any construction planes you use, you should have no problems using both programs to design models and obtain the benefits of both.
A simple method exists for converting a SketchUp file into Rhino file by exporting the former as a DWG and then importing it into Rhino. This method can be done using the following simple steps:
mergeallfacescommands in the command line on the models to ensure they transfer well. This conversion process may be easier to accomplish by using these commands on one model at a time.
It should be noted that there are many methods of converting a SketchUp file into other types in order to import them into Rhino, as Rhino can import .dwg, .dxf, and .stl.
The more direct import method is recommended if the time-saving method leads to less reliable results through the multiple filetype conversions. Nevertheless, with these methods, you should be able to bring SketchUp files into Rhino with relative ease.
Feature image source: blackspectacles.com
License: The text of "SketchUp to Rhino: How to Import SKP Files in Rhino" by All3DP is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
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