Import your model from your Architecture drawing software

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Revision as of 18:28, 9 April 2008 by Eon (Talk | contribs) (3D)

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It is always a mess to know how put your work out of an app to another. Let review the best way to import your model to Blender from most used Architecture drawing software :


  • Archicad : Export your model in 3DS format from the 3D view. Choose "by material" to have all materials linked. Import the file using the 3DS import script at 'User Preferences View > File > Import > 3D Studio (.3ds)'.
  • Allplan : Export your model in 3DS format from the 3D rendered view. Import your file in Blender using the modified 3DS import script for Allplan.
  • SketchUp : Save your file into the Google Earth 4 format (.kmz). Rename the .kmz file into .zip. Extract the .dae file within. It's a Collada file you can import with Blender's Collada 1.4 importer.
  • AutoCad, AutoCad Architectural Desktop and Autodesk Architecture : There are many ways to do this and you should try both to see what works best for you.
DXF : Importer script ver.1.0 imports 2D and 3D geometry from DXF r12: . People have reported varying success with importing DXF files, see the comments in the 2D section below.
3DS export is to export your drawing from AutoCAD as a 3DS file. This format is well supported by Blender. The command in the AutoCAD software family for exporting to 3ds is '3dsout'. If this gives you an error this might be because since 2007 3dsout must be manually installed. At the Autodesk website there is a 3dsout utility which will add this ability. If you need this function always available you'll need to run the command 'appload' and add the file 'Ac3Dsout.arx' to the Startup Utility. Read the README file for options to make the 3ds file as useful as possible.
  • DWG/DXF through SketchUp. SketchUp 6 can import DWG and DXF files up to v2007. You can use it to produce a Collada file more easy to import.


  • DXF importer script: ver.1.0 imports 2D and 3D geometry from DXF r12:
  • DXF built-in importer: You must provide Autocad DXF version 12 files of the project. A file for each floor, for instance. Since the buildin DXF importer has some coordinates problems with large DXF files, the smaller the DXF file, the better. The CAD drawing to be positioned according with CAD program grid. Blocks and polylines must be exploded. All entities in layer 0. Basically only lines, points, circles and arcs will be accepted by the importer.
  • DXF -> SVG : Another way is to convert you DXF sketches into SVG through OpenOffice. Caution: You must restart Blender between each import to avoid a nasty bug. (Blender import your second file AND your first file again if you don't restart)
  • Allplan : convert the 2D lines into 3D. Then export in DXF.