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I'm trying to figure out how to import an engineering drawing from AutoCAD into Blender while retaining all layers and fills... is this possible? I also use Carrara and it opens files from CAD in this way... I want to switch fully to Blender but, if this feature doesn't exist, I just cannot make the leap.

Any info would be fantastic.

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AutoCAD DWG is a closed proprietary file format owned by AutoDesk, most third party applications cannot open it, other than AutoDesk licensed partners for interoperability purposes. Most Blender addons being free can't allocate the resources or justify paying for licensed importer libraries. Linking to them from open source software is also problematic from the legal point of view, so few open source projects can really open DWG files directly.

There is however a built-in importer for DXF file format, if you can save or export your drawing as text-based DXF file. DXF files are complementary exchange file formats and preserve most (not all) DWG information quite well.

It works fairly well in most cases and should import without major hiccups, though some minor bugs are expected. Fills and stroke widths will not for the most part be preserved, as there is no such structure in Blender. Blender being a 3D modelling tool has no concepts of fills, hatches or line widths.

As of Blender 2.8+ layers are partially preserved, by default all objects belonging to a CAD Layer are grouped together into a single monolithic Blender object. You can optionally turn merging off

For pre Blender 2.8, layers get translated into groups since Blender's current 20 layer system is too limited to accommodate the potentially unlimited number of CAD layers.

You can activate it from settings under User preferences >Addons search for DXF.

Make sure your drawing has no X-lines or Ray objects since those cause import to fail. Also dynamic blocks and other complex structures will likely fail.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hmm..okay, that seems to be all I'm finding, as well. It would be nice if they could add that feature. As I said, Carrara is incredibly dated, but I can import a CAD model (say, a cabinet) and it will retail all the fills, and nurbs so I can at least work from that base. $\endgroup$
    – JordanH
    Mar 15, 2017 at 14:44

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