Draft DXF

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Description

Draft DXF is a software module used by the Std Open.svg Std Open, Std Import.svg Std Import and Std Export.svg Std Export commands to handle the DXF file format.

Screenshot qcad.jpg

Qcad drawing exported to DXF, which is subsequently opened in FreeCAD

Importing

Two importers are available, which one is used can be specified under Edit → Preferences... → Import-Export → DXF. One is built-in, C++-based and fast, the other is legacy, coded in Python, slower, and requires the installation of an add-on, but can handle some entities better and can create more refined FreeCAD objects. Both support all DXF versions starting from R12.

3D objects inside a DXF file are stored under a binary ACIS/SAT blob, which at the moment cannot be read by FreeCAD. Simpler entities like 3DFACEs, though, are supported.

The following DXF objects can be imported:

  • lines
  • polylines (and lwpolylines)
  • circles
  • arcs
  • splines
  • ellipses
  • layers
  • texts and mtexts
  • dimensions
  • blocks (only geometry. texts, dimensions and attributes inside blocks will be skipped)
  • points
  • leaders
  • paper space objects

Exporting

There are also two exporters. The legacy exporter exports in the R12 DXF format, the C++ exporter in the R14 DXF format. Both formats can be handled by many applications.

C++ exporter

The following FreeCAD objects can be exported:

  • All FreeCAD 2D geometry such as Draft objects and sketches.
  • The legacy exporter exports 3D objects as flattened 2D views. The C++ exporter is able to export straight edges from faces of 3D objects, curved edges are only exported if they are on a plane parallel to the XY plane of the global coordinate system. Note that a DXF created by the C++ exporter from 3D objects will contain duplicate lines.
  • Compound objects are exported as blocks.
  • Texts.
  • Colors are mapped from objects RGB colors to autocad color index (ACI). Black will always be "by layer".
  • Layers are mapped from group names. When groups are nested, the deepest group gives the layer name.
  • Dimensions, which are exported with "Standard" dimstyle.

Legacy exporter

The following FreeCAD objects can be exported:

  • All FreeCAD 2D geometry such as Draft objects and sketches.
  • 3D objects are exported as a flattened 2D view.
  • Compound objects are exported as blocks.
  • Texts.
  • Colors are mapped from objects RGB colors to autocad color index (ACI). Black will always be "by layer".
  • Layers are mapped from group names. When groups are nested, the deepest group gives the layer name.
  • Dimensions, which are exported with "Standard" dimstyle.

Installing

For licensing reasons, the required DXF import/export libraries needed by the legacy version of the importer are not part of the FreeCAD source code. For more information see: FreeCAD and DXF Import.

Preferences

For more information see: Import Export Preferences.

Scripting

See also: Draft API and FreeCAD Scripting Basics.

You can export elements to DXF by using the following function:

importDXF.export(objectslist, filename, nospline=False, lwPoly=False)

Example:

import Draft, importDXF

Polygon1 = Draft.makePolygon(3, radius=500)
Polygon2 = Draft.makePolygon(5, radius=1500)

objects = [Polygon1, Polygon2]

importDXF.export(objects, "/home/user/Pictures/myfile.dxf")
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