SketchUp is capable of importing two file types from Rhino: AutoCAD (.dwg /.dxf) and 3DS Max files (.3ds). Follow these steps to minimize file size and optimize the model for import into SketchUp.
[ Rhino to .dwg /.dxf ]
Advantages: The model maintains layer information when imported into Sketchup.
Disadvantages: .dwg/.dxf import is only compatible with Pro versions of Sketchup, which requires a license. There are earlier versions of SketchUp (v 7.1) that have .dwg import capabilities for free, but these versions are no longer available through Sketchup’s website (you must search the web).
1. [ In Rhino ] File → Save As or Export Selected → .dwg OR .dxf (both file types have the same export properties).
2. Select export scheme as 2004 Lines, then click Edit Schemes.
3. Under the General tab, select Write Surfaces As: Meshes and Write Meshes As: Meshes. Click Close, then OK.
4. The next dialog box gives you basic control over the model’s complexity. Moving the slider to the left results in a simplified, faceted model, and to the right increases the model’s smoothness. You generally want to move the slider closer to “Fewer Polygons”, but this option can oversimplify geometry to the point that it loses it’s form. For more control over export options, click Detailed Controls.
5. Uncheck all boxes EXCEPT simple planes. The only input you are concerned with is Density. The density scale ranges from 0-1, but your exports should not exceed .25 (otherwise the exported file will be too heavy). The images below illustrate the differences in resulting geometry by modifying the density control.
Original Rhino model: solid sphere and NURBS surface
0.0 Density: 16 Planes
0.05 Density: 44 Planes
0.10 Density: 146 Planes
0.20 Density: 336 Planes
[ Rhino to .3ds ]
Advantages: Can import .3ds files into any version of SketchUp.
Disadvantages: The model does not maintain layer information (however, each Rhino object is separated into components in SketchUp).
[ In Rhino ] File → Save As or Export Selected → .3ds
The first dialog box that appears is step 4 when you are exporting as an AutoCad file. Once again, click Detailed Controls.
Uncheck all boxes EXCEPT simple planes. The only input you are concerned with is Density. The density scale ranges from 0-1, but your exports should not exceed .25. Click OK.