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you hello and welcome in this video we will cover importing dxf and DWG files into vector works over the course of this video we will specifically look at importing the DXF DWG file referencing it saving and importing settings checking the import and touch ups to the end product including resizing objects the first thing we need to do is enable our internal origin markers so we can keep an eye on the origins or the 0-0 location in both world spaces to do this navigate to tools then options and then Vectorworks preferences under the display tab check the box next to show internal origin marker then click OK to save your changes notice that our new origin marker in the center of the document appears to import a DWG or DXF file into Vectorworks and change import options we first need to open one navigate to file import and select import single DXF DWG now navigate to the file you wish to import select it and click open we are now presented with the settings window specifically the primary settings tab the most important thing we need to do here is change the unit settings to match the measurements of the imported file if you don't know it's safe to assume most US files will be Imperial or feet and inches otherwise it will likely be metric if you need to make the Kessel run you can even use parsecs if we choose incorrectly here we can change it later in this example we'll be using determine automatically as most cases this will find out what the units are and add them in for us we recommend determine automatically unless you are able to find the units used in the document to begin with which is the superior choice if you haven't noted or you can find out the units from the document creator go that route instead if not determine automatically leave the set Vectorworks units to match unchecked as most of the time you will want your Vectorworks document to retain the unit system it's already set to convert objects to allows you to set the appropriate setting for your file 2d 3d or both 2d and 3d is usually the best bet 2d 3d conversion resolution can be set to low or medium in most cases the higher the resolution the larger the file size and performance impact for model space set it to this scale and then select scale set it to the same scale as your other design layers essentially this area is just asking what scale to make the design layer that it's going to create I often use one-to-one so I'll select that and click OK an alternate way of importing a DWG or DXF file is to simply reference it referencing is an advanced topic all on its own and will be covered separately in another video next we will cover the graphics attribute tab of the import DWG DXF dialog first navigate to the graphic attributes tab now our first option is colors and line Wade's map colors to line weights can be left unchecked in most cases as this is mostly used for old versions of AutoCAD to get the line weights correctly imported set colors to black and white is self-explanatory so set this to your preference manually scale all - lengths by should usually be checked and set to the suggested length the most readable file in this case one import a solid line when gap is smaller than should be checked and set to the default value to keep the file clean and prevent rogue lines in the document when elements in the drawing aren't perfectly drawn import textures and texture mapping should be checked if you want your textures to be imported as well this will be made available when you have texture data in the DXF or DWG file import layers should be set to classes it's important to remember that AutoCAD layers are equivalent to Vectorworks classes an add prefix that the XF layers can be checked and a value entered to help organize our file here i will use Z so I'm aware that all of my imported layers two classes are Z - something if raise or construction lines are detected you will have the ability to put these objects into the guides class so check this box if it's available and finally the only thing we need to worry about in the objects tab is optionally import points as low sight or symbols low sides usually preferred as it's more suitable for sight model data but you can switch over to symbols if they're more applicable before we close out this dialog let's jump over to the location tab and make sure that we are selected Center first import this is the recommended option and it takes a lot of confusion out of the import process as it shifts the user origin to match the file keeping coordinate values where they should be now chances are likely if you are importing one DXF DWG file you'll probably import more so let's save these settings by selecting save at the top keep it a name I'll name it new settings and then click OK we can call these settings up later by selecting the settings we saved in the drop-down to finish the import process click OK when the import is complete you'll be provided with the window that says import succeeded click OK to continue and if we zoom out we can see that our DXF DWG file has imported fully now that our file has been imported let's check to make sure it was imported at the proper scale to do this go to the dims notes toolset and grab the tape measure tool find something with its dimensions marked in the file or something you know the real-world dimensions of in this file they're a bunch of lengths listed all over so I can use one of those or I know most doorways are something around two and a half to three feet wide click once to start the measurement and move your cursor to the other side you will see the length listed in the data bar that looks right 22 feet 7 inches as is listed right here below it you can press the X key to return to the selection tool if your measurement doesn't match the file we can scale the drawing to match what it should be double tap the X key to deselect all then navigate to modify scale objects check symmetric by distance click on the distance button and then click the beginning of one point and then the end once you click twice the dialog will reappear and after measuring you will see the current distance as updated to your measurement in this case 22 feet 7 inches if I know this distance is actually 30 feet I can put in 30 feet here and it will adjust the scale as needed make sure you check scale text and if it's an option select entire drawing as we want the entire drawing to scale click OK when you're done will ask if you want to scale the entire drawing select yes now that the file has been imported and scaled correctly we should clean it up as importing can often bring in a bunch of duplicate info and classes luckily there's an easy tool to help us get rid of all this extra info and lines while retaining the important pieces navigate to tools purge make sure you have checked components of groups components of symbols and all other objects I like to leave preview items that will be purged checked to see what all was duplicated on the import click OK to purge these components and you'll be shown a list of objects that will be deleted in this case we have a little over 1200 objects that will be deleted
Thanks for your comment Augustus Bassuk, have a nice day.
- Glynis Ide, Staff Member
all of the folks welcome to another megabits Friday coffee break a short session on tips and tricks on getting the best out of your software this morning I'm going to be looking at importing importing various different types of files this is a really important subject because always very often we have to work with other companies and we need to be able to read files from them and export files to them this morning we're going to look at import only all the import options are contained on your file menu under import and the most common ones of course will be d excerpt from DWG and these are fairly straightforward the only word of warning I'll give you here is that the majority of d excerpts that you're going to be reading in are going to be up to date and that's a reason why you should keep your vector work software up to date because the file translators in each update of vector works are upgraded and maintained to translate dxf and DWG x' as current files so if you are having problems importing dxf and DWG s just check which version of vector works you're running another one on this menu just going down a little bit of course is is rebbit which was introduced to a couple of years ago and is being constantly updated as well i have c is another important one i have c is international foundation class it's a really useful way for instance to export from archicad let's have a quick look at what's involved in ifc this is a war and when you basically draw a war it automatically assigns an ifc record here under data in the object information palette so the standard class is IFC war standard case if you draw something that is not for instance a standard object to plug an object from here since slabs walls roofs etc windows and doors you are able to assign an IFC class so what I've got here I've got column and it doesn't have an IFC record if I attach an IFC record here I can go down the list that's offered which is a simple list or the full list and I can assign a column there and that will then appear in the object information palette now the IFC record is an important part of BIM and there are certain tools you can use some free tools to automatically go through a 3d model click on the object and see it's full BIM data one of those is Sallee berry it's a free download have a look at it it's quite useful for accessing this type of information let's take a look at some of the other aspects of the import process let's clear this up a really important import is your PDF now we can import PDFs and the great thing about Vectorworks importing a PDF is that we can pick up the snap points so as long as your pdfs being drawn in a cad based program you can pick up the snap points automatically now there is a trick on this nuts when you're importing just make sure that the snap to geometry is ticked here otherwise you won't snap to the geometry so this enables me for instance to automatically pick up this snap point here at the corner of the room and pick up the snap point in the other corner down here and from that you can use that create objects from shapes and you can create walls or whatever you want from there now there is an also a useful feature with this and what I suggest you do when you import is that you assign the PDF page to a class we haven't got a class here so assign it to a class called PDF that enables you to turn the PDF off when you've actually taken the data and the snap points and information you want another useful feature here is that very often you probably don't want to work on the whole drawing you might for instance just be drawing the kitchen so you can click on here on the PDF go edit crop select the rectangle tool and just isolate the area here which you're going to work on so we now have that area and we can start drawing in that specific area only the PDF still there it just is hidden by the crop so we'll delete that and we'll take a look at another import facility okay go look now at importing image files because we can import images from let's say Google mapping Google anything there this image is of an area in Hamilton and as a landscaper I'm needing to do some work on certain aspects of this plan so I'll import that image at this point in time that I don't know what the scale is of anything on this drawing and I'm gonna need to scale it this is really important to allow me to work on it at a scale that I that I select so the tricky it would be to go to site and measure some specific objects that we can see and I'm going to look at these car parking spaces because they're pretty easy to identify so what we do is we go to the modify menu scale objects and we scale by symmetric difference so I'm gonna look here at the current dis and measure this parking space it says that it's 712 millimeters but I know that it's actually two thousand four hundred millimeters two point four which is the standard car King parking space size it'll now ask me if I want to rescale the whole drawing and the answer to that is yes so that drawing is now scaled to the correct scale and you'll see that if I measure this distance now because the parking space is on an angle I'm going to use the unconstrained linear dimension tool I'm going to select the first mode and it won't be totally accurate because of the pixel clarity on the picture but I'm just measuring across there now and it's near enough to 2.4 as you will see so I have been able to scale the drawing like that which is going to make it much easier to work on so I can start to do my landscape design on any facets of this picture I want to move on now to another aspect of importing which is called shape files shape files are generated by the council's arc GIS system there are really useful sort of source of data for you because not only do they contain lines and that they also contain a wealth of information in a database so we import the council fake files through the import facility again import shed files and I've got to be looking at some data from the Wellington City Council here and it's called the building footprints shaped file and it's going to import it into a new layer and you can assign it to a class if you want to but what I will say to you about these is that these files are all geo-reference so you may not actually see it on your screen when you import it but if you select it and let's Center on their that is the shapefile representing something like 50 meters either side of the road from thee from the Beehive which incidentally is not shown on the shapefiles and it goes through lapped and key through will is straight and through Menace more through to Courtney place what we're going to do though is we're going to select all of those and use the tools records and we're going to use a command here called modified by record there is a field attached to the database that I've imported called the elevation record so we're going to extrude that and we're going to extrude the selection and because it's in millimeters we're going to multiply by a hundred a thousand and what we eventually have have is a 3d model of central Wellington as easy as that folks that's just some of
Thanks Lawerence your participation is very much appreciated
- Glynis Ide
About the author
I've studied great ages archaeology at Texas A&M University-Kingsville in Kingsville and I am an expert in interpretive sociology. I usually feel lonely. My previous job was automotive glass installer I held this position for 10 years, I love talking about martial arts and word search puzzles. Huge fan of Jillie Mack I practice kickboxing and collect bicycles.
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