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Importing from CAD to SketchUp, or SketchUp to CAD: Objects Are Too Large or Small, or Scaled Incorrectly


When importing and exporting between SketchUp and CAD, you notice that objects (such as plants or site amenities) in your site design are appearing too large or too small, or are scaled incorrectly. For example, they may be:

  • Too small/tiny/short
  • Too tall/large/huge
  • The right size, but spaced too far apart or too close together



All these scaling issues are the results of a units mismatch between your DWG drawing and SKP model.



1. Check that the units in your CAD drawing are set correctly:

  • Draw a 9-unit line. Is it 9 feet, inches, mm, meters, or cm?
  • Type UNITS in the Command line and press Enter.
  • Compare the length of the 9-unit line with the set units. If they're far off, set the units to what the drawing is actually drawn in.

2. Export your design again using the SketchUp Connection.

3. In Sketchup, go to Window > Model Info > Units. Make the units match exactly what is set in your CAD drawing.

4. In SketchUp, measure something whose length you know (such as a wall or a vehicle). Make sure that known length is correct. If it's not, scale the model to correct it.

5. Import the design into SketchUp again. The plants should now be the right scale, and be spaced correctly to match your design.

If the plants are now the right scale and spaced correctly, but are displaced or far from your model, check that the User Coordinate System (UCS) currently set in your CAD drawing matches the original origin (not moved axis) of the SketchUp model in both location and rotation.

Last modified on Mar 21, 2018


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