How to Convert Sketchup Models to 3D Studio Max

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Sketchup is a 3D modelling software by Google. Sketchup is available in two versions, free and commercial. 3D Studio Max, now renamed 3DS Max, is a professional 3D modelling and animation software by Autodesk used for engineering, architecture, films and games. Converting Sketchup Models can be done in the paid version using the "Export" function. However, the free version does not have the option to export to 3DS Max format and it requires some work to transfer models from the free Sketchup to 3DS Max.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Open the model you want to convert in Sketchup. Open the "File" menu, then to "Export" and then "3D Model". In the new window choose "Google Earth 4" in the "Export type" field. Name your model and click the "Export" button.

  2. 2

    Rename the file you just created from name-of-your-model.kmz to Extract the zip file to your desktop.

  3. 3

    Download the FBX Converter for your operating system from Click on the link in the Resources section and scroll to the middle of the page. Install the software on your computer and run it.

  4. 4

    Click on the "Convert to FBX" tab and click on "Add." Browse to the name-of-your-model.dae in the "Models" directory in the directory created extracting the zip file and click "Open." Click on the "Convert" button.

  5. 5

    Click on the "Convert from FBX" tab, when the conversion is complete. Click "Add" and find the name-of-your-model.FBX file in the same folder as in the previous step. Click "Open." In the "Destination file format" select "3DS." Click "Convert" to have a 3DS Max file.

Tips and warnings

  • 3DS Max version 10 allows importing of regular Sketchup files using an extension available to subscribers.
  • Some DAE files are more difficult or impossible to convert using this method. Check the link in References for another method you can use if this one fails.

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