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CAD tip CAD tip # 8532:

Question CAD 
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Q - question

Import of 3D DWF files back to editable 3D models.

A - answer The publishing format DWF is intended primarly for viewing and markup of CAD data; one of its benefits is the protection of intellectual property (rights to the CAD content).

But similarly to scanning texts, paper drawings or 3D scanning, you can also convert (capture) some of the geometrical information from a DWF file. For 2D DWF, the situation is simpler - you can underlay its content as an xref to your AutoCAD DWG file and use it as a "read-only" layer of your drawing file. There are also third-party tools for conversion of vectors from DWF to DXF or other formats.

In case of 3D models in DWF, the situation is more complicated - there is no direct import back into the CAD software. But there are several ways to convert the content of a 3D DWF file to other, editable formats:

  • Autodesk Navisworks - can import 3D DWF files and exports FBX files (can be imported e.g. in AutoCAD)
  • Inventor Publisher - can open/import 3D DWF files and publish them to other formats (e.g. to 3D PDF and then to CAD with the 3D PDF Converter)
  • Deep Exploration CAD - can import 3D DWF files
  • Okino PolyTrans with the additional module DWF/HSF can import and translate 3D DWF files
Please note that the converted 3D model will be only an approximate, mesh representation of the original CAD model.
100% *  CAD 
21.3.2012    43291×  
applies to: DWF/Design Review · AutoCAD · Inventor · Publisher · Navisworks · DWG ·

See also:
Tip 12184:Overview of CAD formats supported in Inventor 2020 (import/export/AnyCAD).
Tip 10303:Overview of CAD formats supported in Inventor 2016 (import/export).
Tip 9972:Create free 3D PDF output files from any CAD software.
Tip 9968:Batch conversion of CAD files from/to the IPT/IAM, STEP, IGES, SAT, Catia... formats
Tip 9546:Error 16390 when reading a DWFx into Navisworks.

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