There are several posts out there that talk about the options available to get 3D geometry from Revit to Sketchup many of which refer to the *.FBX format..
We have spent a good deal of time ad effort working with outputs from Revit, Tekla, Bentley and many others and have written the consummate IFC importer for Sketchup with results that out perform what you achieve in many other IFC viewers (Tekla Bimsight, DDS IFC viewer)
In writing the iFC importer we now know more than most what the issue are associated to IFC exports from Revit and would be happy to share that knowledge with others so that you can send Autodesk the feedback necessary to affect change in future versions. As such we invite you to get in touch, send us your models* and we will review them, giving you valuable feedback on the quality shortfalls that prevent your data from being reused in downstream processes such as cost estimation, planning and FM.
* We guarantee complete confidentiality, any model shared with us will be removed from our systems after analysis and communication of our analysis results.
There are only a limited number of Sketchup IFC plugin importers out there; each produces varying results.. most failing miserably when file size scale is to large or when tested against exports from different CAD systems..
The SUPerPlan IFC importer for Sketchup is different, it not only handles scale with aplomb but on a variety of tests out performs the ubiquitous DDS IFC viewer to render objects correctly.
Our IFC importer is also built to “clean-up” after the poor quality IFC files generated by the likes of Revit and Microstation so that the data is able to be rationalised and re-used. All too often we are passed IFC’s that fail to demonstrate even the most basic optimisations resulting in exponential growth in files. In a recent example from Revit architecture known to have been drawn by a fully competent technician using all the standard authoring techniques was found to define many identical columns as individual items each with its own geometric definition rather than as instances with each referencing back to a single geometric definition rather than simply applying a transform! Actually when its simply a column the overhead is not that great as the geometric definition defines only 8 points.. however in another sample export once again from Revit but this time using an MEP plugin, the impact was far more visible when inspecting cable trays, pipe bends, duct segments, sprinkler heads and even kitchen sinks! Those objects individually can be highly detailed and complex geometric definitions; not “instancing” these would have a radical impact on any 3D visualisation engine.. but really this is just the start of the problems..
Where objects are not correctly “instanced” and (in Sketchup terms) regarded as individual components rather than instances of a component the ability to calculate and report quantities can be affected (in context of estimation). In many cases there is the possibility to reference object meta data (also imported and reported by our IFC importer) which should healing and optimisation not be used would offer alternative means of reconciliation..
Image shows imported Electrical model with object meta data displayed.