Using a drawing from Mechanical Desktop (Autodesk) in Blendr

Gday all.

Our design team use Mechanical Desktop to design some very complicated and VERY accurate mechanical type objects and systems.

What would be the procedure for exporting the files from Mechanical Desktop for use in Blender.

I’d guess they would have to be exported as DXF format? Are there any specific settings that need to be followed for this in Mechanical Desktop? When I attempt to open a previously saved DXF in Blender I’m presented with the same blank workspace as before.

Once I’ve saved to the correct format, how should I go about importing them into Blender?

We were going to use 3D Studio Viz to import the .DWG (Mechanical Desktop) files to add textures and backgrounds, etc for printing and rendering, however the drawings seem to be too complex for it. Eek! Too many splines or something along those lines (I’m not one of the draftsmen and have only had minimal experience with 3D modeling).

Thanks guys, any help would be EXCELLENT.
– DJ

I exported some dxf files in 3ds format from autocad. You should then be able to open them in a package called wings (wings3d.com) which can export to .obj and .vrml . Blender should be able to open vrml format ok.

You can also search for an import script called obj_io_modif232b.py to import as an obj file.

You could also use a program called Crossroads that can open 3ds files and export to other formats.

I found a way to make it work:

  • export in Mechanical Desktop to .3ds
  • import 3ds in Autocad (not mechanical desktop)
  • export in dxf format

This dxf file can be read by blender.

Try searching for Accutrans 3D - it’s free and it supports a whackload of formats. Good options too - eg: export each layer as separate DXF. When you export though, be sure to use the scaling option, because otherwise the models tend to be huge when you import them.

nik