10 Replies Latest reply on Sep 15, 2009 2:11 PM by Eric Snyder

    Importing a DXF file in Illustrator

    Eric Snyder
      I frequently save files form a drawing in DXF format that gets imported in Illustrator. When they are imported the artist reports that they cannot fill or work with these files very well because they are "disconnected" entities rather than a closed chain. Most often they just need to fill closed sketch entities and print them on a printer. In SW the entities are closed and pass a "Check for feature" test for an extrude but in Illustrator they cannot be filled because they are all seperate entities. Does anybody have any experience with this and have any suggestions for solutions.
        • Re: Importing a DXF file in Illustrator
          Kelvin Lamport
          If the drawings are to be manipulated in Illustrator, you should have better results saving them as .pdf or .ai formats?
            • Re: Importing a DXF file in Illustrator
              Eric Snyder
              I'll try them both again. In the past I have ended up with an empty file with AI. I still think of PDF as an uneditable display file.
              • Re: Importing a DXF file in Illustrator
                Eric Snyder

                When we imported the AI files it Illustrator goes through the "Import PDF" routine. Apparently a PDF files also contains all the info of a PDF. Anyway, the end result was the same as saving and importing as a PDF. It still needed quite a bit of editing. All the entities are disconnected and have to be manipulated.

                 

                I also tried filling the entities with a hatch and SW looks like it goes through the motions of filling them but I get no hatch after it is done. If I add a circle on the same drawing and fill that then I end up with a fill. What I am trying to fill is a sketch that is on a part in an assembly that has been inserted into a drawing. My thought here is if I could fill the entities then we may not need to edit in Illustrator.

                  • Re: Importing a DXF file in Illustrator
                    Kelvin Lamport

                    Double-check to ensure the elements in inserted sketch are actually connected correctly. Either zoom way in to each connection point, or use the Repair Sketch tool to examine the sketch. The Magnifying Glass will attach to the problem connection if the gap size is below the specified setting.

                     

                    Another thing to try is to use the sketch to split the face on the part, and then hatch that in the drawing.

                      • Re: Importing a DXF file in Illustrator
                        Eric Snyder

                        The sketch is in the part. Repair sketch reports "No problems found", even when I crank the gap size down as far as it will go. These are all lines that have been filleted by the sketch fillet tool and then mirrored. "Check sketch for feature" reports "4 closed and no open contours".

                         

                        If I zoom way in I get a video card issue where the lines and the point get separated. I don't know how I would tell if the points are actually disconnected or if the video card is acting wonky. The entities below were created by selecting a face and clicking "Convert Entities". See the floating dot? As I zoom out it looks fine but starts jumping around to different places when I zoom in.

                        disconnected points imaging problem.jpg

                  • Re: Importing a DXF file in Illustrator
                    Charles Culp

                    as far as I know, that is  just the nature of the PDF/AI exporter. They will be disjointed lines.

                     

                    and yes, saving as a .ai and a .pdf will create almost identical files.

                      • Re: Importing a DXF file in Illustrator
                        Mike McLaughlin

                        Charles is right about PDF and AI being nearly identical, since Illustrator's native file format is Encapsulated Postscript and PDF is a subset of EPS.

                         

                        I have the same difficulty importing DXF into Corel Draw (gave up on PDF ages ago), with the added annoyance that straight lines usually have multiple overlapping nodes at the ends, preventing the segments from being joined together to form a closed entity without deleting all the excess nodes. It's usually quicker for me to trace over the imported elements. I had the same issue importing DXFs from Cadkey in the olden days. I'd bet it has something to do with the drawing being a flat view of a 3D object. SWX doesn't remove the overlapping stuff when it exports.