Importing DWG/DXF into ArchiCAD

There are various methods of incorporating DWF/DXF files into ArchiCAD projects. Each method has its own impact on how the files will affect or be affected within the ArchiCAD project, as a result the user needs to carefully choose the method that will best suite the desired needs of the project in process. Here we will look at the three most frequently used methods of incorporating/importing DWG/DXF into ArchiCAD, and are as follows (i) Merge the DWF/DXF file ( “File/File Special” menu), (ii) Attach XREF file ( “File/External Content” menu) and lastly (iii) Place External Drawing ( “File/External Drawing” menu).

(1) Merge the DWF/DXF file method-  

Screen Shot 2012-12-06 at 3.16.12 PM

(i) when this method is used, you are able to edit and manipulate data imported which means the attributes( Layers, Line types, Fill types) are automatically imported during the merge process.

(ii) Layers can be managed, in-case one needs to turn them ON/OFF, but if the  clean up has to be done, suppose one needs to detach the DWG/DXF file from the project, (s)he will have to delete the attributes individually, e.g. Layers of DWG/DXF file are all mixed up with the layers of the original project.

(iii) The merged DWG/DXF file does not import into ArchiCAD with its own pen-sets, but adopts to pen-sets defined in ArchiCAD, with the merge method DWG/DXF files can be placed on Layouts and resized accordingly. The merged file becomes part of the ArchiCAD project immediately after merging.

(2) Attach Xref method-

Screen Shot 2012-12-06 at 3.16.34 PM

(i) When Attach Xref is used, the attributes (Layers, Line types, Fill types) are created during attachment.

(ii) Layers can also be managed by turning them ON/OFF, but unlike the Merge method above, the layers in XREF are created below the layers of the original ArchiCAD project hence becomes much easier to toggle through them and in-case of detachment of the DWG/DXF file, ArchiCAD offers to delete the created attributes and can be deleted in one step.

(iii) Like the Merge above, XREF adopts to ArchiCAD pen-sets but can not be placed on layouts. It is ideal to use when importing a non editable block of DWG/DXF file into ArchiCAD project which might be detached or reloaded in-case of modifications. The XREF file can be resized accordingly but will become part of the project when the Bind command in the XREF management dialog box is used ( “File/External Content/Xref Manager” menu).

(3) Place External drawing

Screen Shot 2012-12-06 at 3.16.50 PM

(i)  Attributes are not created in this method, the data is handled as a single unit and placed on a single layer.

(ii) Since there are no attributes to turn ON/OFF, it is ideal to use the DWG as a reference file (like trace) where the contents of the DWG/DXF are not going to be modified. In-case of detachment it is easier to delete without worrying about the unwanted attributes.

(iii) Unlike the above mentioned methods, the Place External drawing imports with the DWG/DXF file pen-sets and can become part of the project. The drawing content can also be resized accordingly and its contents can be incorporated into and saved with the project when the explode command is used ( “Edit/Reshape/Explode Into Current View” menu).

For more information on the Import of the DWG/DXF files into ArchiCAD please log onto the following link: http://www.archicadwiki.com/DWG/Import

For Illustration please find a clip below.

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