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Eliminating the 3ds Max x32 Error When Importing SketchUp Files

Have you run into the x32 error when importing a SketchUp file into 3ds Max? Read on for an easy fix, something that we wrestled with recently while trying to import a SketchUp file into 3ds Max.

3ds Max 2016 / 2017 error when importing SketchUp files - x32 Reader terminated unexpected...

3ds Max 2016 / 2017 error when importing SketchUp files - x32 Reader terminated unexpected...

In our case we've got architects working in SketchUp 2017 / Revit 2017 and visualization artists working in 3ds Max 2016 (though 2017 has the same issue). We had a recurring problem where a particular SketchUp file refused to import into 3ds Max. Every time it'd generate the x32 Reader error above! I ended up stripping the file apart until I found the offending object. However it wasn't corrupt geometry, materials or textures that turned out to be the issue. It was the name of the component! In this case I'm not entirely sure where the component came from - there are clues in the name that suggest it came from Revit however where the component came from isn't the primary issue. You can name a component anything you'd like but the name specifically is the issue here. 

"Steelcase - Universal Storage - Lateral File - 1_5 High - Proud Wood - Drawer_Drawer - 24_ D x 36_ W-2188320-3D - Prev _ New Construction View#2"

A simple component with a critical flaw - a name that's too long (144 characters). Ensure your SketchUp components have names less than 128 characters in length if you want to import your .skp file into 3ds Max 2016 / 2017.

After some trial and error it became clear it wasn't any special characters that were to blame, it was merely the number of characters in the component name! The name above including spaces is 144 characters long and it turns out the 3ds Max SketchUp importer will only accept component names less than 128 characters in length. Stripping about 20 characters off the name results in a successful import!

So if you work for an AEC firm or you have Revit, SketchUp and 3ds Max in your pipeline take a look at the component names in SketchUp. Shortening up those names can make all the difference!