Walk through the 2D interface for DWG and DXF files.
- [Instructor] Of all the processes that we come across when importing geometry into SolidWorks, creating a new SolidWorks drawing from imported 2D data is one of the easiest options. You can see here a drawing that I have created as a DWG file that I downloaded off of McMaster-Carr. I'm going to go ahead and open this up in SolidWorks and convert this to a 2D SolidWorks drawing which will then be native of SolidWorks and a little bit easier for me to handle down the road. Let's go ahead and go into SolidWorks. We start like in any other processes by going up to our open dialogue box and navigating to the part that we want to bring in.
So, here we can see the DWG file and just a note, by selecting the DWG file type from the drop down window here we can filter out so that only DWG files are shown. So if you have a big directory filled of DWG files or a mix of files, that can be handy. We go ahead and click open and SolidWorks brings up another prompt specifically for DXF and DWG importation. So you can see here that I've got the option selected to create a new SolidWorks drawing.
Now we have two options when we do this and each of them is different. So the first one, and more direct option, is to just convert it simply to a SolidWorks entity. So this is done so that you can just bring those line items and point items in and just literally lay them down over a SolidWorks format creating, essentially, a sketch in your SolidWorks drawing. Now the other option is a little bit more complex and usually done when you want to link a SolidWorks drawing to an existing drawing that may be updated down the line.
Let's say, for example, that you have a vendor that uses only DWG format files, but they update them frequently to reflect changes or ECOs. With this option, you can link to that original file so that every time you open up your SolidWorks drawing, it'll automatically update the DWG based off of the changes in the other file. For now, I'm just going to move forward with the converting SolidWorks entities. This is going to be the most common practice. Here you can see that we've been given a quick preview of what's going to happen when we convert.
Now if we zoom out a little bit, the red line shows the extense of our drawing. Inside this white outer line is all the geometry that we've been given. This is a very simple drawing so there's only one layer, but if there were multiple layers we may want to go through and selectively import each of them, none of them, all of them, some of them, it depends on what your intention is, but that can all be done here. Let's move on to the next tab. Here we can adjust fonts. If there's a specific font that SolidWorks can recognize.
We can also change our units from inches to millimeters or any other unit that we want to use. For this example, I'm going to stick with inches. The next and most critical part of this project to get our scaling right is to select the correct paper size and then adjust the scaling properly. So for this, I believe that a B size is going to be closest to the original native file format and down here I'm going to change my scale from one to two and we can see this hasn't worked out exactly as I would like, so I'm going to go back, change that to a C landscape and one to one.
That fits pretty well, so we're going to stick with that. The last thing I want to do is adjust where this drawing is inside of this. Now you see that I could just grab it and drag it wherever I wanted, but let's say I want to do something a little more precise, down here the geometry positioning gives me the option to center it in the sheet or move to a specific position, but in this case, I'm going to center it in the sheet and typically that's what you'll want to do. Now, let's hit finish and see what we get.
Now, because it's converted this file, it'll give you a summary report if there's any errors that come up. Now, what it's noticed is that one of the dimensions displayed has a different actual value than what's measured and let me show you what that means. What that means is, a dimension like this one for example, five and 13 sixteenths, well it reads five and 13 sixteenths if you were to go in and draw a sketch line approximately that same length, it may not get that same value.
You can see in this particular example it is right, so that's not the dimension that's off, but one of these dimensions is off by a certain value. You'll always want to go through and double-check. Now you can see if I zoom in that I literally just have a sketch laid over my drawing sheet, so if I want to I can edit it, drag, drop, do whatever I feel like. Any edits that I create though, I'm not going to be able to undo, so be very careful when adjusting this.
Drop that line back approximately where it was and there you have it, that's how you easily convert a DWG into a SolidWorks drawing file. Now the same process will be used when you're converting a DXF file down to the very step and your results should also be the same. Typically when working with DXF files, your results can be a little bit better because that's your universal or non-vendor specific file format.
- Opening files from different versions of SOLIDWORKS
- Importing models from online sources
- Importing 3D files
- Importing 2D files
- Exporting 2D and 3D files