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DXF/DWG Files (*.dxf, *.dwg Files)

You can import and export DXF/DWG files. The DXF/DWG Import Wizard appears during most import operations. You can also insert DXF/DWG files into part documents.

You can copy and paste entities from an AutoCAD® DXF or DWG file into SolidWorks part, assembly, and drawing documents.

Bitmaps stored in DXF/DWG files in AutoCAD's native bitmap format are not supported.

The DXF/DWG translator supports the import and export of hole tables.


The DXF/DWG translator imports DXF or DWG files, including Mechanical Desktop files, as SolidWorks part or drawing documents, according to the option settings in the DXF/DWG Import Wizard. This translator also imports DXF 3D files without the wizard. In a drawing document, you can import the geometry to the drawing sheet or the drawing sheet format. Entities in either paper space or model space are imported.

Imported entities can become SolidWorks blocks.

When you import drawings, the most popular AutoCAD SHX or True Type fonts are supported, even though you may not have the fonts installed. See AutoCAD Font Support.

If you import a DXF or DWG file that contains a large number of blocks (more than 200), you are prompted to enable the Explode Blocks option. Explode the blocks to improve import performance.

The DXF/DWG translator imports:

  • AutoCAD Mechanical annotations, known as proxy entities, (such as surface finish symbols or GTOL frames) and automatically drawn objects (such as cams and springs) when you import DXF or DWG files as SolidWorks drawing documents. The translator converts these imported items to equivalent SolidWorks objects, or creates them as blocks of primitive geometry, as appropriate.

  • Associative and non-associative crosshatches as area hatches.

  • XREFs in AutoCAD DWG files.

  • DWG files with multiple sheets.

  • A file to a new part as a 2D sketch or as curves in 3D.

  • 3D solids.

When you import DWG files, you can see a thumbnail image of the file in the Preview panel of the Open dialog box. Previews appear for DWG files created by both SolidWorks and AutoCAD. In AutoCAD, the bitmap preview option must be enabled when the file is last saved. The Open dialog box remembers the Preview check box state from the last time you opened a DWG file.

The SolidWorks software fully supports the import of AutoCAD block definitions and instances with properties and attributes.

When you import AutoCAD DWG files saved in paper space (layout mode) as SolidWorks drawing documents, the DXF/DWG Import Wizard converts each AutoCAD viewport into a separate SolidWorks drawing view. Drawing view data is selectable if you activate the drawing view.

Data that does not belong to a viewport is imported to the drawing sheet. Drawing sheet data is selectable if you activate the drawing sheet. If Dynamic drawing view activation is enabled, you must lock sheet focus to select drawing sheet data.

The DXF/DWG translator alerts you to problems encountered when importing a DXF or DWG file.

You can import entire DWG file sheets in native format in SolidWorks drawing sheets, which allows the direct display of the original DWG file entities inside SolidWorks drawing documents. You can view, pan, zoom, and print these sheets. Select Embed as a sheet in native DXF/DWG format in the DXF/DWG Import Wizard.

You can import DXF and DWG files from AutoCAD 2004 and later that are password protected. The SolidWorks translator detects the encrypted password and prompts you for the password. If you export the file back to DXF/DWG format, it is saved without encryption.


The DXF/DWG translator exports only drawing documents as .dxf or .dwg files. When you export a drawing as a .dxf or .dwg file, the drawing's sheet scale is used for the new file. All entities (such as edges, annotations, and assembly components) on layers are exported to the assigned layer.

SolidWorks crosshatch patterns are translated into AutoCAD hatch patterns when you export SolidWorks documents as DXF or DWG files. The SolidWorks software translates the SolidWorks crosshatch patterns as non-associative hatch definitions, and preserves the layer and color of the original crosshatch. The SolidWorks application also supports crosshatch export when you map layers with a mapping file.

You have the option to map only those items whose layers are not otherwise defined when you export SolidWorks drawing documents as DXF or DWG files. All entity types that you can assign to AutoCAD layers through the mapping file support layering in the SolidWorks drawing format.

The DXF/DWG translator supports line thickness, hidden sketches, and auto-centerlines. You can export custom line styles. However, on import, custom line styles in AutoCAD files are not recognized.

You can export colors to DXF/DWG files by layer and by block. Colors are mapped with True Colors for both import and export.

Sheet metal flat patterns. You can create .dxf files of sheet metal flat patterns directly from sheet metal part documents without flattening the model. The words Flat pattern are prepended to the file name.

  • Click File, Save As and select DXF (*.dxf) for File of type.

  • Right-click Flat-Pattern in the FeatureManager design tree and select Export Flat Pattern to DXF/DWG.

You can also export sheet metal entities.

Version Information

The DXF/DWG translator supports importing and exporting of OLE objects through DXF/DWG files of version 13 and higher.


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