AutoCAD Interchange (DXF) Files

 
 
 

DXF files are used to import and export objects to and from AutoCAD and other programs that support this file format. Most commonly, DXF files are used to import and export modeling data to and from CAD programs that have support for DXF but not DWG files. The topics in this section describe how to work with the DXF format.

Keep the following in mind when you are creating your DXF geometry, and when you are deciding whether to convert by layer, color, or entity:

Entities that are frozen or turned off are ignored.

The successful unification of face normals depends on the welding of coincident vertices. Sometimes, depending upon the precision of the model as it was created in AutoCAD, the vertices may not be close enough to be considered "coincident." They will not be welded, and the faces will not be properly unified. In this case, increase the Weld Threshold value in the Import DXF File dialog.

Converting by layer can result in objects consisting of many elements. In certain cases, some of these elements may have all of their face normals flipped the wrong way. You can detect this in 3ds Max by turning off Backface Cull in the Display panel, or by rendering the objects. Use the Normal modifier to correct this.

If you do not want to flip normals, you can either use 2-sided materials, or turn on the Render Setup dialog Force 2-Sided option.

If you are loading a large scene containing thousands of entities (such as 3D faces) and have chosen to load an object by entity, the conversion can take a long time. It also produces a huge number of objects to handle in 3ds Max. To avoid this, organize your DXF file so that these kinds of entities are grouped by layer, then make the conversion by layer rather than by entity.

  • Importing DXF Files

    If using a DWG file is not an option, the DXF file format is the next best method of getting design data to and from 3ds Max. Most commonly, DXF files are used to import and export modeling data to and from CAD programs that have support for DXF but not DWG files.

  • Exporting to DXF Files

    DXF files are used to import and export objects to and from AutoCAD (and other programs that support this file format).