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Import/Export and Edit DXF Files

ShapeDesigner integrates a tool for importing Drawing Exchange Format (DXF) files, extracting and structuring data. This is useful when you want to extract a certain part of a drawing to be used in another tool such as a Finite Element Analysis software. With ShapeDesigner you can:

  1. Extract the interesting part of the DXF file you need for your analysis.
  2. Structure DXF files as a collection of polylines or polygons, with or without holes.
  3. View and print DXF file without need for AutoCADTM Professional.

Extract Data from the DXF file

Once the DXF file has been imported in ShapeDesigner, you select the elements you wish to keep. You do this by selecting with the mouse on the image or by navigating the drawing's meta information. Figure 1 and 2 below illustrate a before/after scenario where part of a DXF file is extracted. Click on the image to get a larger image.

Structure the DXF file

Sometimes (often?), the content of DXF files is not structured correctly to be imported easily. For example, shapes and sections may be drawn as a collection of non contiguous line. ShapeDesigner allows you to structure these files almost automatically. Simply select a starting element and ShapeDesigner will navigate the data to form closed polylines. ShapeDesigner also allows you to specify which polylines are holes. See the Interactive Demo (ShapeDesigner Integration) in the right sidebar for an example of how this is done.

Export the DXF file

Once your DXF file is well structured, you may save it in its original format (DXF) or you may chose the MechaTools format which is very well suited for import into other tools.

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