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Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Open 3D AutoCAD DWG data into Autodesk Inventor

A fellow blogger recently posted a question on his blog about the best way to open 3D AutoCAD DWG data into Autodesk Inventor. Deelip Menezes of deelip.com asked:

"Does anyone know how to import 3D solids from a DWG or DXF file into Inventor as solid bodies? I know that you can import 3D solid entities from DWG and DXF files into Inventor, but they come in as surface bodies without volume."

With this question in mind, I decided to give it a go with a simple AutoCAD 3D DWG as although it's not something I have done for a while, I was convinced Autodesk Inventor could open 3D AutoCAD DWG data just fine.

The key to getting the data in as solids that can be edited and worked on in Inventor is to select to Import the DWG by clicking on the Options button in the Open dialogue and selecting Import rather than Open...

Once you have select Import, hit the OK button and then Open and you will be taken through the DWG Import wizard. The first step identifies the type of file you are opening, you can usually just click next. The second step allows you to view and select the data you with to open.

After you have then selected the 3D geometery you want to import (I just left it set to All, but you could individually select 2D or 3D geometry to import or turn layers on\off) you will then be presented with the Import options dialogue where you just need to make sure you have the following settings set:

If these aren't set by default, just set them as shown above. You can even save the settings to share with other using the Save Configuration... option.

Once you hit the Finish button the solids will be opened into Inventor and in my example, I had three very simple solid bodies in the AutoCAD DWG which were opened as an Inventor assembly that contained the three solid parts that can be edited as required using any of Inventors tools.

As they were recognised as 'Base Features' Inventors Feature Recognition tool was automatically invoked asking me if I wanted to create the intelligent features such as the extrude and fillets.

Have a watch of the following video to see how you can open AutoCAD 3D DWG data into Autodesk Inventor....