Converting Sketchup models for use in Max
--- Edit ---
This is a better workflow, I won't get overly prescriptive here, as the linked video does a fine job. If they ever take it down I'll update this.
--- Original post ---
I thought I'd share a workflow that's gotten me around an annoying problem, in case anyone else out there is having the same issue.
Max supports Sketchup files natively, but only up to version 8 - the reader will crash if you try to import anything newer. For a while I used to ask clients to export a version 8 file but as you can probably imagine, they'd frequently forget, and it became tedious to keep asking them to resend things, not to mention that it wasn't very professional.
I found earlier versions of Sketchup Make and Sketchup Pro could be licensed for free if you weren't actually using the software in a professional capacity, which for a long time got me out of trouble. I could use Sketchup to simply save the file down to version 8, import it into Max and begin the equally arduous and monotonous task of making the geometry renderable.
With the release of Sketchup 2018, those days seem to have come to an end.
For now what I've been doing is uploading the model to 3D Warehouse
(There's a private option I recommend you tick.)
You can then re-download your uploaded model with options to save it as far back as version 2014, which then allows you to then open the file in an earlier version of Sketchup, to save it out to version 8, to bring into Max.
I'm aware that's convoluted, but it works, and in practise it only takes a couple of minutes once you get the hang of the workflow.
I hope that helps, and if I ever get a better solution to this common problem I'll be sure to document it once more.