This article discusses the necessary procedure for exporting DXF files created on a 2D CAD into SOLIDWORKS. The article also discusses the importance of correctly choosing the importing dimension.
Unlike SOLIDWORKS, models created using 2D CAD software are dimensionless. When creating a line of length X, that length is not attached to a unit. SOLIDWORKS on the other hand scales drawings based on the chosen unit. Scaling a line of length X will differ depending on the chosen units. This is an important concept to keep in mind when importing DXF files into SOLIDWORKS.
Importing Units Vs. Document Units
In order to work with DXF files within SOLIDWORKS, the DXF file must be imported via the DXF/DWG Import wizard. Since DXF file are unitless, it is important to consider the importing unit. During the importing process you will be asked to indicate the units to which you want to import your DXF file. This choice will dictate further scaling in SOLIDWORKS.
Another important consideration is the document units. Documents unit settings control the scaling for the particular document. Examples discussed below will reference a DXF model that is 5 units in length and 8 units in width.
If the document units are set to be the same as the importing units, a unit conversion will not take place. The dimensions displayed will reflect exactly the imported units. In this example, the importing unit was imperial and the document unit is set to imperial.
In contrast, if the document units are set to be different than the importing units, a unit conversion will take place. The dimensions displayed will reflect the converted value. In this example, the importing unit was imperial and the document unit is to metric.
Setting up the DXF Import
To import your DXF file into SOLIDWORKS, begin with a new session of SOLIDWORKS. Once SOLIDWORKS is opened, click File and select Open. Navigate to the location where the DXF file is saved and click open.
Using the DXF/DWG Import Wizard
The DXF/DWG Import wizard will commence automatically. To import follow the steps outlined below:
1. Select Import to a new part as: and select 2D
2. Click on Next.
3. From the Units of imported data drop-down menu choose the dimension you want your model imported in.
5. Click on Next.
6. Adjust sketch settings as you desire on this menu and click on Finish.
Congratulations, now you are ready to import a DXF file from your 2D CAD drawing without dimensioning errors.
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