This tutorial will show you how to export a Revit file to SketchUp, while keep all of the building components separated by groups and layers. There is a plugin for Revit that will automate this process, although it has some severe limitations. See the end of this post for more details.
Step 1: If you’re Revit file has topography in it, enable the section box in 3D view, and crop out any part you don’t want.
Step 2: From the file menu, go to export > options > exports setups dwg/dxf.
Click on the solids tab, and select ACIS solids.
Step 3: Hit OK, and return to the export menu > CAD formats > DWG. Make sure you are in the 3D orthographic view when you export the model.
Step 4: Import the model into SketchUp Pro. Here is what my model looks like after the import.
Step 5: The first thing I did was delete the section box side surfaces and boundary lines. Then I grouped the topography, and deleted the vertical surfaces that ran against the foundation of the house. In the layers panel, I removed the C-TOPO-MAJR AND MINR layers, while deleting the contents with them, since I didn’t need the topo lines. The edges of the grouped topography was then softened/smoothed, and I switched the SketchUp style to Shaded with textures for a cleaner look. All cleaned up, my model looks like the image below.
Step 6: The good thing is that all of the building components are separately grouped, and organized onto corresponding layers. The bad thing is that the geometry inside each group is on the same layer as the group. It is best practice in the world of SketchUp to put the groups into their own layers, while leaving the geometry inside the groups on layer 0.
Step 7: This isn’t much of an issue if you’re only going to be looking at the model, texturing it, or using it for rendering purposes, but if you are going to make additional edits to it in SketchUp, I would recommend changing the geometry inside each group back to layer 0. This can be done in two ways. The first is by going into each group, selecting all the geometry, and changing it to layer 0. The second method is to delete every layer but layer 0 (move the contents to the default layer), make a new set of layers, and assign each group to the new set of layers. I personally prefer the second method, because it is a bit less work than the first, and since I was going to rename all of the layer anyway, it made sense to create them from scratch.
I would also suggest using the layers panel plugin for SketchUp, which enables you to group layers together, just like most CAD or 3D modeling programs can do. For example, you can group a set of layers that contain every part of the first floor of a building, and call it first floor. Then you can easily toggle everything on the first floor with one button click, instead of toggling every layer individually. You can read more on how I use this plugin in my SketchUp Layer Organization for Architectural Modeling post.
The plugin rvt2skp can export a Revit file to SketchUp for free. It is able to transfer over materials to SketchUp (additional alterations made to textures, such as transparency, stain or tint, are not carried over). The exporter groups Revit geometry by face, and it is triangulated. This means that components cannot be modified easily, due to the grouping of surfaces, instead of volumes.
Additionally, the model exported as a DWG file results in 39,453 edges and 16,522 faces. The same model exported with the plugin results in 59,082 edges (50% more) and 28,365 faces (70% more). This can be a problem for already complex buildings, which become even more complicated.