View Full Version : Problem: I can import AutoCad .dxf but not .dwg

08-07-2005, 02:02 PM
An architect emailed me several AutoCad .dxf files (they are fairly simple 2d geometric parts with no text) that I imported successfully into PartsWizard manipulated and routed.
He tried emailing me exactly the same designs in AutoCad .dwg and I couldn't get them to import into either PartsWizard or CorelDraw, so I think the problem is at the architect's end. I've never used AutoCad so I don't know what to tell him to do to his .dwg files so that I can import them.

08-07-2005, 02:14 PM
Tell him to save his files as .dxf for you. The default setting of AutoCad is dwg and he simply forgot to select dxf when he saved them for you. Dwg is much less commonly read, by programs outside of AutoCad, than dxf.

08-07-2005, 02:57 PM
That's what I did successfully and will probably generally do in the future, but I'd still like to know why .dwg won't import when PartsWizard has emphasized that it is capable of importing AutoCad .dwg

Brian Moran
08-07-2005, 03:21 PM
The problem with DWG is that it is an AutoCad proprietry format and therefore they are free to change and extend it with every new version. This they regularly do, with a recent version introducing a simple form of encryption to deter other software vendors from being able to read the file format. Therefore DWG is a constantly moving target for all non-AutoCad software vendors and unless you receive an updated version of your software (assuming one is available), any software may struggle reading AutoCads 'latest' DWG version.

08-07-2005, 04:13 PM
Thanks for the explanation. I'm an old PR96 owner who bought PartWizard from ShopBot just this last week, which means my "brand new" PartWizard 2.00b (built June 8, 2004 according to the help drop down menue) is already out of date insofar as importing .dwg is concerned. ShopBot should therefore quit advertising or instructing in the manual that PartWizard will import .dwg and I will quit expecting that feature to work. I'm otherwise quite happy with PartWizard and will forever be a loyal and happy botter.

Brian Moran
08-07-2005, 05:34 PM
Hi Don,
I think its a little unfair to say ShopBot should quit advertising PartWizard as being unable to import .dwg completely. The vast majority of AutoCad customers are not on the very latest version so I would think it can import most .dwg files. I don't have a copy of AutoCad, but perhaps somebody who does could indicate if the latest version can save dwg files for 'older' versions of AutoCad. A similar situation has occured with .AI file from Adobe Illustrator where 'newer' AI files are reallly a version of PDF and older files are versions of EPS, a huge difference when it comes to programs being able to import the files. If you know what type of files you can accept you can usually ask your customer to provide the files in a mutually acceptable format.

08-07-2005, 07:09 PM
It's not being unfair to expect to receive what is advertised and included in the manual without any caveat that some newer versions of AutoCad .dwg may not import. I wasted some of my time and my customer's time because I believed my new PartWizard would do what it claimed it could: import AutoCad.dwg. Like I said in my original post, I until today blamed the customer, and it wasn't his fault. Right now I'm not blaming anyone but AutoCad for making .dwg unusable, but once ShopBot knows that's a problem they should let us know so we don't waste our time and embarrass ourselves with good customers.
Two of the main reasons I bought and have stayed with ShopBot are that (1)ShopBot gives a hoot what we think and they seem to have enough toughness of the mental hide to take our constructive criticism as just that, and (2) this forum is the best I've ever encountered and all of you deserve the credit for most of what I know about CAD/CAM, CNC routing, etc.

08-07-2005, 10:05 PM
Autodesk makes qualitative changes to it's software usually every two years. PW will import dwg as long as it is saved in an Autocad version up to 2002. Autocad, being aware of their own system limits, not only gives it's users the ability to save in dxf but also , if your architect client is using Acad 2004 or 2006 to save as dwg in older format. Most Acad users are aware of this as many other softwares that import Autocad files are better able to use their resources elsewhere than the great amount of work it takes to "immediately" respond to Autocads latest or recent changes to it's own code. I have clients who use the "latest and greatest" Acad and in fact have 2006 myself, but to export to PW I use an older format. On the other side of the coin, since my shop computer is running ME I can't even load Acad 2006 into it as it runs only on at least XP. I can't blame PW or it's developers, Delcam, for this either. By the way, as someone who works with architects and designers on a regular basis, I consider those who send a file in only the latest version without even checking with me on what file type works best for my system to be at best lazy and , unfortunately at times, overly elitest. File version compatibility is hardly a new issue in the software world.

08-08-2005, 12:12 AM
Thanks, Dave, for answering my original question.
The architect has been a pleasure to work with and is happy to send me whatever files I want. Now I know that in addition to the .dxf, the AutoCad .dwg up through 2002 should import ok into PartWizard. That's what I needed to know to tell my client and that's the helpful info that would have been nice to find somewhere in PartWizard's documentation. I asked this forum only after doing a word search through both the PartWizard manual and this forum and coming up empty.

08-08-2005, 06:55 AM
Actually this file compatability issue is one of the main PITA's of the manufacturing world. I know of some people that work with a huge CNC manufacturer that figured these type issues where costing them hundreds of thousands in lost time in house a year. They just spent hundreds of thousands more on a custom designed drawing to machine software made just for them to alleviate it. Then Autocad 2005 made importing from outside vendors an issue again.

The whole industry is bitching about these things to the software people and the software people keep getting more proprietary. I wouldn't gripe at Part Wizard too much because all the software companies fight this ongoing battle.


08-08-2005, 03:00 PM
For what its worth to anyone using .dwg etc.
I recently tried to open files from an Arhitectural firm in my AutoCad LT 2002. The files would not open and I realized it was time to upgrade to 2006 or ask the firm to save the files to a older version. I decided to search around for my options and checked in on some DWG CONVERTER programs I ended up downloading a
demo version (15 days for free) $69.95 to buy. http://www.soliddwg.com
I was able to translate the files from the most recent down to: DXF version 12. I was pleased to not upgrade at this time and I would consider Solid Converter DWG for future needs. I did find out that AutoCad 2006 LT will save down to
dxf 12. AutoDesk is going to retire 2002 in Jan. 2006 and that 2002 users need to upgrade before then or pay the full price after the retirement date. With my being a AutoCad and Vector 9.0 user and with all of the the issues of software updates I am wondering about how best to keep up
and when to consider other software. I do wonder what other Vector users think of the latest version of that program or is it better to jump into the PartWizard camp.
My best to all,
Robert Cheal