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DWG / Import


Import DXF/DWG files to ArchiCAD

by KatalinTakacs, updated 2012-12-28


The DXF/DWG Add-On is installed together with the ArchiCAD package and is smoothly integrated in the ArchiCAD user interface. It allows you to:

open_dwg.png Open AutoCAD drawings as ArchiCAD Project or ArchiCAD Library Parts
File » Open
It is worth to use it if you would like to work on a DWG file as a new project in ArchiCAD.


merge_dwg.png Merge AutoCAD drawings with your ArchiCAD Project file
File > File Special > Merge
You can merge DWG files into the currently open ArchiCAD Project with all the existing DWG Layers. You can decide which content (Model Space or Paper Space) of the DWG file should be merged.
See also: Merge DXF-DWG in ArchiCAD Help

  • smartmerge_dwg.png TIP: Use Smart Merge (round-trip conversion) if you are merging the DXF or DWG file back into the same ArchiCAD file from which you saved it, because it can be exchanged the additional information with minimal loss and interference.
    See also: Smart Merge in ArchiCAD Help


attachXref.png Add AutoCAD drawings as external references (XREFs)
From the Floor Plan, Detail or Worksheet window, use File > External Content > Attach XREF.
XREFs are similar to Hotlinked Modules, except that they are DXF or DWG files and not ArchiCAD files.
It is worth to use it if you would like to import the DWG as one, non editable block into your ArchiCAD project that can be reloaded when the DWG file has been modified. You can detach it after import and to delete all Attributes of the DWG in one step.
See also: XREFs in ArchiCAD Wiki and About XREFs in ArchiCAD Help


externaldrawing_dwg.png Place as Drawing to Layouts or Model Views
File > External Content > Place External Drawing
It is worth to use this method if you would like to use the DWG as a reference file (like Trace), do not want to modify its content in ArchiCAD and would like to avoid to import unused Attributes. The Snap points of the DWG can be detected and the parameters can be picked up in the Drawing. You can customize and resize the placed DWG as a general Drawing.

TIP: If you want to edit the DWG as Drawing element, choose Edit > Reshape > Explode into Current View and then rework the linework and text as desired. This approach has the side benefit that all the components end up on the same layer as the Drawing element, rather than adding multiple layers to your project layer list.


openobject_dwg.png Opening a DWG file as Library Part
File > Libraries and Objects > Open Object
This command will open the GDL Object Editor Window. Here you can browse for any DWG files, then save it as a new object by clicking on File » Save as... command. With this method you can open 3D DWG files.
Read more: How to import 3D DWG files


Block.png Import Blocks from DXF/DWG
File > Libraries and Objects > Import Blocks from DXF/DWG
The Import Blocks feature converts ArchiCAD Library Parts from AutoCAD blocks. The newly created Library Parts are stored in the Embedded Library of the project and can be placed as any other Object.


See also: Opening DWG/DXF Files in ArchiCAD Help


Note: Sometimes the location of imported DWG may differ from its original AutoCAD position, if the DWG file was saved with UCS (User Coordinate System) actived.
In AutoCAD UCS (User Cordinate System) or WCS (World Cordinate System) can be set as origin. ArchiCAD always uses the imported DWG's original WCS and places your project in the calculated distance from ArchiCAD's project origin.
If you have set UCS in AutoCAD, changing the DWG file origin back to world coords (WCS) solves the problem.

As an other solution the ArchiCAD model can be moved to Project Origin with the following way: Relocate Projects Placed Far From Origin


Which one is the best choice to import my DWG file?


Open

Merge

XREF

Drawing

Object

Can Attributes (Lines, Fills) be imported?

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

Can the imported Attributes be edited?

Yes, all can be edited separately

Yes, all can be edited separately

Yes, after Detach

-

-

Can the imported Attributes be incorporated?

Yes, while Open they become the part of the project

Yes, while Merge they become the part of the project

Yes, after Bind

Yes, use Explode command

No

Can Layers be imported?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Can the imported Layers be turned On/Off?

Yes

No

Yes, without detaching

Yes

No

Can the DWG be placed into Model View?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Can the DWG be placed into Layout View?

Yes, the content of Paper Space(s) can be append to Layout Book

Yes, can append Paper Space(s) to Layout Book

No

Yes

No

Do Translator Settings apply to import?

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

Can the file have its own Pen Set?

Yes

No

No

No

No

Can 3D data be imported?

No

No

No

No

Yes


DXF-DWG Translation

How DWG data is imported by ArchiCAD depends on the settings used in the DXF-DWG Translator; this dialog box defines how elements in ArchiCAD will be interpreted when importing DXF/DWG files.
Depending on how the Translator is opened, not all settings will be available. For example, if the dialog box is opened during an Open, Merge operation or is attached as XREF, then the Open Options will be listed, but not the Save Options, and vice-versa. If the dialog box is opened from the File>File Special menu then all options are listed.

TranslatorIcon.png Further details about DXF-DWG Translator Import Settings


Tips & Tutorials


DWG/Import/3D

How to open 3D DWG files in ArchiCAD
2D drawings and 3D models made in AutoCAD can be opened and saved as a library part in ArchiCAD.

DWG/Import/Layers

How to turn on/off Layers' visibility of DWGs placed in ArchiCAD
ArchiCAD 14 introduced a new feature to ease control the layer display of imported DWGs: the layers can be simply managed through the Drawing’s Settings Dialog.

DWG/Import/MatchPenColors

How to Match DWG colors to any ArchiCAD Pen Colors
This tip describes how to import a DWG file with a custom pen color conversion.

DWG/Import/DrawingReference

Tips to Import DWG Files as Trace Reference
Sometimes we get reference files in DWG format that we should not modify. To display two different views concurrently in any ArchiCAD window, we can use Trace Reference.

HowToSuperimpose2dFloorPlanOnto3dModel

How to superimpose a 2D Floor Plan onto a 3D Model
This topic demonstrates a way to place a 2D linear drawing into the 3D model at the exact vertical position of the Cut Plane from which that 2D Floor Plan View was generated.

DWG/Export/CustomLineType

How to export custom DWG Line Type
Currently if a custom shaped linetype is exported to AutoCAD, ArchiCAD will create a linetype that has all the segments of the linetype in one shape definition.
This example describes the export of ArchiCAD's built-in "X" linetype to DWG...

SketchRenderingFromFloorPlan

How to create sketch rendering from Floor Plan
How to show Floor Plans in the 3D Window to create a sketchy look of 2D drawings of ArchiCAD (Floor Plans, Section-Elevation Windows etc.)


ArchiCAD Collaboration Training Guide 8-3

How ArchiCAD teams can collaborate smoothly with Structural Engineers
How to import a DWG file using Xref
How to work with Xref (Xref Manager, Layer Settings, Trace Options)


ArchiCAD Collaboration Training Guide 9-2

How to merge DWG files
How to work with Merged DWG files


Categories: CategoryInputOutput CategoryDwg

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