Autocad 2007

I try to import a DXF file into Blender.
Altough I have seen many threads on the net, none of them gave me a solution.

I’m using Autocad 2007 for architectural design, and wanted to render these in Blender. I saved the Autocad drawing as an Autocad 12 DXF file. When I try to import this file, nothing seems to be imported into Blender.

I purchased a book written by Allan Brito;‘Blender 3D:Architecture, Buildings, and Scenery’ in the hope, this would give me some help. Still no luck.

Any useful advice from you seasoned experts would be very much appriciated.

I don’t know much about the subject ( do a search in the forum, maybe) but Blender can only import DXF lines/polylines, I guess?!
You must “export” 3D objects to other format ( OBJ, 3DS?), and them import in Blender!


This subject has been done to death here on BA, search and you will find. But from what you have said you’re on the right lines.

Are you using the python script or blenders old inbuilt DXF importer?

Are you checking in the outliner to see nothing is coming in or that it may be miles away and clipped out of view.

It’s useful as a start to scale your model so that 1 BU = 1 metre not mm and that you put your model at 0,0,0 before importing. Although scaling down can be done in the python importer menu instead.

Honestly though search BA you’ll have more than enough to solve the problem. :slight_smile:

Thanks Yellow,
I assumed that Blenders build in DXF converter would do the job.
After some digging I found the DXF-3D Importer Version 1.12
I hate to be a pain, but I’m not that familiar with Blender,yet…

If I follow the instructions correct, I should place these in C;\Program Files\Blender Foundation\Blender.blender\scripts
My maschine only seems to have C;\Program Files\Blender Foundation\Blender
Does this mean I can create another file: blender\scripts in here, and point to this file through User preferences-File Paths-Python Scripts?

As you can see i’m fairly green in Open Source.


The dot “.” means that the file/directory is a hidden one!
You must switch it to “visible”!

Wavada, you can just open the .py file in a text window within blender (any panel can be switched to a text window by selecting it from the Window Type menu, the first “button” in its header. Once loaded, hit alt-P and it will execute.

Actually, the script is already included with the latest version of Blender. Just change your view panel to a “Scripts Window”, click on the “Scripts” menu -> import and use that one.

Opening that script in a text window reveals a lot of helpful info about the script and where to go for more info about it.

I’d bet a burger that your geometry already came in, tho and that you just can’t see it due to “clipping” of your 3D view panels. Check the “view properties” of your view panel and adjust its clipping planes. Hit the “home” key and your whole scene should be there. Maybe?


Mzungu, you are right; the script is there.
There is no error message when I import the R12 DXF file, The window indicates thats it DONE! in 0,0361 sec. so probably your right, and the DXF is loaded. I just cant see it.
I lost you with your suggestion of resizing the clipping border. I can see the grid, and beyond, but no model.
Any additional advice, so I can send you that burger?:slight_smile:


Switch your scripts window to the outliner and have a look at what is listed in there, if you see objects named as the layers in your CAD drawing it’s come in and it’s just a scale and location problem of the model in blender

I checked out your web page. The images you created are exactly what I would like to achive. I would also like to create some construction animations.
I still dont have the basic DXF importing mastered. I followed your advice, and the outliner indicates, that nothing has been imported.
Am I at a dead end here, or are there other possibilities?

Wavada, if there’s no listing in the outliner of any extra entities, then go back and check the DXF you generated (by inserting it back into a drawing or opening it…) to verify that it holds the geometry you need. If its okay, then there’s some other issue with the script.

Since you’re on '07 (and not LT) then you should be able to create (extrude) your architecture in 3D in AutoCAD, then export it to 3DS (if this is still possible… its been a while since I’ve been on ACAD…) and import that into Blender.

A third possibility is to use another app in between, such as a translator app or Inkscape. I know Inkscape can import DXF and that blender can import SVG (Inkscape’s output) but I’ve never gone to that length, so don’t know if this would work. Another possibility would be sketchup free. (?)

Sorry I’m not more help… keep us posted on your progress, tho!

Clipping for cameras and views sets near and far cutoff planes for the display of entities. If your geometry’s scaled up to 3000 units and the back clipping plane cuts off display at 300, then you won’t see any of your geometry beyond that point. Hitting the “Home” button in a 3D view pane will zoom out its display to show your whole scene, and once clipping planes have been adjusted, you should be able to see everything you imported, once you get it in there. Scaling things like yellow suggested prior to import will help tremendously.

Are you trying to import 2D or 3D?

Try a simple 2D DXF, a plan or some elevations to start off with.

Try Accutrans to do a DXF to DXF conversion, I know it sounds daft but Accutrans does something to DXF’s that blender likes. :slight_smile:

Also try optimising your DXF, delete any CAD entities that are not required, like dims, text, explode blocks, erase all remove selection to clear hidden orphaned entities, purge and reduce the file to just what you really need in blender.

See how that goes. Just to give you a bit of encouragement, I import and model from 2D DXF’s (AutoCAD 2009 -> R12) daily, it does work. :slight_smile:

I can also recommend Accutrans, although usually DXF to either OBJ or Collada.
If your model is anything like a Revit one with many curves or pipes, you may also need to go one step further and section the file into smaller pieces and export one at a time.

I drew up a quick 3D DXF, to see if it would be imported in the first way.

This actually shows up in the Blender Outliner, so its loaded for sure.
All the layers are on. I just still cant see it in the 3D window

It must be an Border clipping/Scaling issue.
I’ll hopefully make some progress today.

Run a quick test…

2D DXF files import with no hassel at all.:yes:
I would like to import 3D DXF files, otherwise it would take away the purpose of 3D modelling, doesnt it?

View > View Properties > Clip End

That’s if you consider modelling in AutoCAD superior to blender or any other 3D software i guess. :slight_smile:

Architectural modelling in vanilla AutoCAD 2007 i’ve never had the desire to do :slight_smile: or is it a specific version for architectural work?.

Good to hear you’re on your way.

Attached a screen shot.

In the acad window from left to right: A cube, Polyline+offset, Polyline+offset(extruded), and a polysolid.

In the Blender window only 3 poly lines seem to be imported.Seems to me that only the Polyline+offset, and the polysolid are imported.

When I rotate the view, even these seem to partially disapear, like they are hiding under the Z plane.

yellow, I use Acad for Architectural design, plan views, elevations, etc
From these dwgs. I could easily create 3D DXF files. My intention was to create rendered images/animations in Blender from these DXF files. Acads rendering/animation abilities are not great.


Try Accutrans for your 3D DXF’s or better still as others have suggested convert to .3ds or .obj far better in blender.

When I rotate the view, even these seem to partially disapear, like they are hiding under the Z plane.
That will be your scale or distance from 0,0,0. As said before try to get the corner of your model at 0,0,0 then import and make sure it’s 1 BU = 1m not mm.

yellow, I use Acad for Architectural design, plan views, elevations, etc
From these dwgs. I could easily create 3D DXF files. My intention was to create rendered images/animations in Blender from these DXF files. Acads rendering/animation abilities are not great.
Getting your 3D CAD data into blender is one thing but are you aware of what you will then have? A triangulated model with quite a bit of cleaning up to do before you can unwrap your model nicely to texture it. Sooner or later there will be a need to UV map textures, nothing worse than seeing repeating image textures over a expanse of roof or wall by just using original coords.

So your general workflow is to design and draft in 2D then model into 3D and not visa versa, which is cool that’s how we work too, there’s not enough time to model in sufficient detail in 3D to get 2D plans and eles etc far faster 2d -> 3D for viz when the design is nailed. :slight_smile: SketchUP for sketchy design visualisation when the design is fluid.

If you’re going 2D -> 3D in CAD, I’d suggest forgetting the 3D importing and work from 2D plans and elevations in blender, you see many tutorials on extruding up 2D plans although…

Personally I prefer to drag a plane over a 2D elevation import and just use the plans as reference, especially if the elevations vary in relief and different materials, then loop cut the plane and use the dynamic snapping tool to move and snap the loop cuts into position using the CAD data to snap to.

Maybe one day the loop cut tool will let us cut exactly where we want using the dynamic snapping and also let us cut how many times we want sequentially instead of forcing us to guess/estimate number of cuts first or keep having to go back into the loop cut tool if you do the cuts one at a time, you’ll see what I mean if you go that route. :slight_smile:

Then use the solidify python script to extrude the walls out correctly.

You can also be more efficient, things like using the mirror modifier if you have the same detail repeated, linked duplicating and i think bevelling works far better on clean meshes.

Also it’s far better modelling arches like windows in blender using a half circle and scale, extrude, nice clean meshes and no nasty tri’s to unwrap, texture and render later.

Cheers yellow,
I’ll take your advice and try to 3D model in Blender from an imported 2D DXF.

If you haven’t already check out the work by BbB, he kindly did a excellent tutorial on modeling from photos, using loop cutting, the old courtyard I think it was called.

The loop cutting approach is great when we don’t have a CAD survey for existing buildings which are up for conversion or redevelopment and we have to get by with a few photos and a few on site dims, the same modelling approach can be used as with 2D CAD imports.

You’ll notice that the DXF imports are verts and edges. :slight_smile:

So you could/can model straight from those, ie pick four verts of the CAD data hit the F key and turn it into a face, or select two edges and make a face, but you would also notice that some faces you create don’t look right and you end up having to keep making the object ‘Set Solid’, I think this is to do with the normals being in different directions from the import, there’s probably away to correct them but I have gone the loopcut route instead.

I might use the CAD import directly for small additional details but not the majority, also without more CAD like functions in blender you can find there’s a shortage of verts in the right places in your import to allow you to model everything accurately taking the direct approach.

Best of luck.