I found out this morning that since the 2011 version 3DS Max has a built in sketchup importer. It works really well – there’s no need to convert your sketchup file to another format, it just comes straight into Max. Problems that I’ve had importing sketchup models to other programs before seem to have been ironed out. Max will convert all the sketchup components into instances and there’s no weird faceting that you usually get.
After spending a few days in Max working my way through modelling and finding it really slow and difficult to get accurate I think I will revert to sketchup for the initial block modelling to get accurate sizes and for speed and then import this into Max to add modifiers and detail.