I am trying to export a shapefile from ArcGIS 10 into Autodesk Ecotect Analysis 2011 for solar analysis. I have a shapefile with polygons, and the heights of buildings is stored in the attribute table. I tried saving it as a KML file but Ecotect does not import KML files. Instead, Ecotect would accept any DXF or 3D files (such as 3D Metafile and 3D Studio).

Is there a way of saving 3D files from GIS other than KML?

I tried importing KML into Sketchup and Autocad without success.

Any other idea for exporting shapefiles into a software that can extrude them and save as 3D would help too!

  • How do you convert the shapefiles from ArcGIS to Ecotect? I am trying to do that for solar analysis. Could you explain your solution for me?
    – user7227
    Apr 30, 2012 at 6:54
  • Hello how did you export extruded 3d features from ArcScene to Ecotect. Any suggestion would be helpful. Thanks.
    – user30686
    May 27, 2014 at 20:23
  • Hi, you can export a 3D model from ArcScene using the 'Export Scene' tool with file format VRML (*.wrl), which can be then imported into Ecotect for further analysis. Import a VRML file into Ecotect as a 3D CAD geometry (by going to: File/Import/3D CAD Geometry). It is important to consider the scale of the objects in the drawing, which can be adjusted in this step. In my case, the scale was changed from metres to millimetres by scaling the features by 1,000. I hope this helps!
    – Juanjost
    May 30, 2014 at 20:19

1 Answer 1


In ArcGIS 10...
right click on the shapefile in the TOC (table of contents),
Choose Data>
Export to CAD.

If you have map3d it will import 3d shapefiles and then you have extensive 3d capability in autocad (same as map3d).

  • Thanks! But I dont have map3d. I could extrude the polygons manually in autocad but I work with big portions of cities and want an automated way to extrude them from the attribute table.. any ideas?
    – Juanjost
    Jun 27, 2011 at 19:53
  • the first part was instruction for arcgis 10. did that do what you want?
    – Brad Nesom
    Jun 27, 2011 at 20:03
  • 1
    Thanks Brad! I finally found a solution by using ARCscene to save the 3D that can be imported into Ecotect.
    – Juanjost
    Jun 30, 2011 at 14:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.