Autocad conversion

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Autocad conversion

Postby Howard » Wed Sep 16, 2015 1:25 pm

I have been avoiding autocad (DWG/DXF) conversions over the last years, relying on pdf's, but I may need to get back into it with upcoming projects. My questions are these: (1) what is the latest version of Autocad that Powercadd translates to and from, and (2) are these versions sufficient to deal with design offices that are using the latest version of Autocad, and (3) will the new future version of Powercadd translate to and from more recent versions of Autocad.

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Re: Autocad conversion

Postby phansford » Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:21 am

Howard -

I'm using PC 9.1.1 (OS 10.7.5).

So for us the answers are:

1) ACad 2010. However for us the best is to ask for our consultants to save back to 2007.

2) No. Most larger firms due to ACad's licensing have the most current or one version back of ACad. At least that's what we experience.

3) Let's hope. :wink:

Luckily my son - who is now working on his MArch - has an newer version of ACad. I typically send him files to translate and covert to PC 9. That's my current work around.
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Re: Autocad conversion

Postby David Scott » Thu Sep 17, 2015 9:34 am

If you do get sent files in a later than 2010 version of AutoCAD, there's a free file converter available from the Open Design Alliance called TeighaFileConverter. It basically looks for .dwg files in a folder, converts them to your chosen AutoCAD version and places those into another folder. It works very well as a batch convertor.

You can get it from http://www.opendesign.com/guestfiles/Te ... eConverter
It requires OS X 10.8 and it runs fine in OS X Yosemite.

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Re: Autocad conversion

Postby Howard » Sat Sep 19, 2015 1:30 pm

Great suggestions and information. We might hope that the new Powercadd release provides integration with the Teigha File Converter.

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Re: Autocad conversion

Postby Howard » Sat Sep 19, 2015 3:40 pm

Related to the discussion of Autocad conversion, I stumbled upon this article detailing work of the Open Design Alliance, creator of Teigha, at:
http://gfxspeak.com/2015/09/08/technolo ... -alliance/

Design technology innovation is alive and well at Open Design Alliance

What started as a consortium to reverse engineer the AutoCAD file format has matured into an essential developer for a variety of design technologies.

Autodesk CEO Carl Bass once called the Open Design Alliance (ODA) “the arms merchant for my enemies.” When he made that statement more than 10 years ago, nobody disputed the claim. Founded in 1998 as the OpenDWG Alliance, the original goal was simple: reverse engineer the .dwg file format used in AutoCAD so Autodesk competitors could read/write AutoCAD drawings.

Today’s ODA is a far cry from the organization that once placed a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal as an act of defiance toward Autodesk. Today the ODA publishes a technology platform capable of serving as the foundation for complete software products, using its open version of the .dwg file format as one of three data formats it actively supports. More than 1200 members use the ODA Teigha development environment to build graphics utilities and full software products for Windows, Linux, and Mac plus four mobile platforms. The ODA’s continued support for the .dwg format has cemented its leadership as the primary data format for 2D engineering vector data. There is at least one application running ODA technology today that has more than 1 million installations, and many more in the tens if not hundreds of thousands. A development value chain is emerging: ODA member Graebert Software uses Teigha technology to publish its own CAD software; it also provides CAD technology to other vendors, including DraftSight for Dassault Systèmes and the new Onshape cloud-based MCAD.

This week ODA developers gathered in Prague for their annual conference. A survey in advance of the conference confirms the wide variety of interests the ODA now supports. Forty percent of member companies need cloud-based rendering; 40% also said they need support for 3D PDF import/export. Thirty percent of the membership wants ODA to support the use of point cloud data in .dwg files, and 30% want support for model-based documentation (MBD) technology, where annotated 2D drawings for the shop floor are automatically generated from 3D models.

Under the leadership of ODA veteran Neil Peterson, members will get what they want. The alliance has just finished an initial implementation of a PRC read/write library; PRC being the ISO standard format for storing 3D data inside a PDF file. The other top interests are also under development.

Cloud technology is today’s holy grail. Autodesk leads the major CAD vendors in supporting it. But it is not trivial to create cloud technology from formerly desktop-bound applications; they have to be decoupled piece by piece from reliance on a single client. With a newer code base and no need to protect the legacy of any single piece of software, the ODA is well positioned to provide its members with the cloud-based technology required of next-generation CAD software.
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Re: Autocad conversion

Postby Don MacNair » Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:20 pm

Another option that I use is the application Draftsight. Many dwg files do not open due to PowerCadd limitations on the Autocad version. I believe this includes anything above Autocad 2010. I find Draftsight, which is a free program, opens any dwg I toss at it and then I save as a 2010 dwg. Draftsight also allows, among many other things, to turn different layers on or off. Helpful to avoid unnecessary clutter in the PowerCadd version.

I am using PowerCadd 9.1.3 on a Mac Pro (Late 2013) running Yosemite 10.10.5
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Re: Autocad conversion

Postby accuplan » Tue May 10, 2016 12:51 pm

I am trying to open a DXF auto cad file. Probably a new release of Acad. In the past with older powercadd versions (4 through 7) i new how to work through the process. Now, powercadd 9 will not even attempt to open the acad dxf file. Needed this to go smoothly to meet a deadline so Im IN A BIND. I see here that Draftsight is a free and good tool to translate files. It would not download, saying something about its a microsoft program that won't work for me. Im on macbook pro with 10.9.5 and pc9. Any ideas. I need to work with engineers cad files.
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Re: Autocad conversion

Postby jcarcht » Mon May 16, 2016 2:56 pm

http://www.3ds.com/products-services/draftsight-cad-software/free-download/

Make certain that you click the "Download for Mac OS X" box.

Also, far as I could tell, Draftsight only works with 64 bit Macs.
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Re: Autocad conversion

Postby Alfred Scott » Mon May 01, 2017 9:29 pm

For anyone who is interested I'm now working on Import DXF with the same overall design and interface as Import Shapefiles.

I'd like to have examples with topo contours with a Z height that you might want handled.

I will have the ability to turn layers off, number of objects on the Layer, etc.

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Re: Autocad conversion

Postby Alfred Scott » Thu Jun 29, 2017 9:13 am

I am well down the road with Import DXF.

While it does an acceptable translation with most files, it is definitely not what you need for a full translation of a complete drawing with dimensions.

It is optimized for dealing with files exported from LIDAR data where you often end up with a file with 250,000 to 400,000 line objects that should be combined into a single object.

And it's also optimized for dealing with files exported from the Concepts Pro iPad app where you can do architectural sketches with an Apple Pencil and iPad Pro. While the drawings look fine, in fact they are all made of polygons with lots of points. The challenge is to filter out the multiple points along the shape for a line, arc, circle, rectangle, etc and also filter out the 10-20 nonsense points that are created in the process of lifting the pencil from the iPad's surface.

I will be happy to get sample files to test, but please send files for both normal and wireframe mode for both DXF and SVG as I will be doing a similar Import SVG.

If your goal is to create a drawing of drafting objects (lines, circles, rectangles, etc) with a single pen size, then DXF is the way to go.

If your goal is to create a 'painting' of varying-width brush strokes with various colors, then SVG is the way to go.

The iPad app has simplify options for exporting, but it doesn't work, but Import DXF and Import SVG in WildTools will work automatically without the need for user options.

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