While Google SketchUp is not a professional CAD tool it has the advantage of being free and, because of that, it is used by a large number of people. Recently, some of my customers where asked by their own customers to supply SolidWorks models for review in Sketch-up format.
There is one problem with this request – none of file formats that SolidWorks can export to are on the Sketch-Up import list. There are commercial converters from SolidWorks to Sketch-up but they come at a cost.
Fortunately, we found a way to exchange data between SolidWorks and SketchUp - just follow this workflow:
1. Save your SolidWorks model as ACIS (.SAT extension).
Note: Make sure that the Options are set as per this image:
2. Open DraftSight. If you have not installed this free 2D Editor, please use this link for doing so:
3. In DraftSight’s command line type: “IMPORTSAT” and press <ENTER>. Locate the ACIS file you saved at step #1 and import it in DraftSight.
4. Save this file again in DWG format.
5. Open SketchUp
6. Import the DWG file you saved at STEP #4.
7. That’s all. You have successfully imported your SolidWorks model into SketchUp.