View Full Version : CAD files into LW?

07-03-2006, 07:40 AM
does anyone know if there is a way to bring in or convert auotcad files(.dwg files) into modeler?

I have a client who gave me the cad files...of course I said "sure I can work from these"... I downloaded autoCAD and opened them up??? I can see the floor plan but am not a cad user, so the program is totally forien to me

any ides? thanks!


07-03-2006, 08:01 AM
burvis, I use Rhino3D as a middleman;

1) in autocad: export into .3ds format
2) in Rhino: import the .3ds file
3) in Rhino: export to .lwo

ofcourse, you have to have Rhino;


07-03-2006, 08:12 AM
don't have rhino... thanks anyway

07-03-2006, 08:26 AM
Yo, Burvis...

I do alot of acad to LW stuff, but only models. I don't think you'll be able to do anything with lines or text.
What you may be able to do is print the drawing to a file, like a pdf or jpg, bring that file into LW's backdrop and work from there.
What does the acad drawing you're working from consist of?

07-03-2006, 08:40 AM
Just did a quick test. I don't have a plot device that allows me to plot to pdf or jpg. Apparently you have to buy those.
However, you can export the drawing to an EPS file, open and convert that in Photoshop to whatever file type you want. Works quite well.
Didn't look to see if LW will work with EPS directly...

LW doesn't seem to like the EPS file.
Tried also exporting to bmp, but the resolution was too low to be useful.

07-03-2006, 08:52 AM
Look here for free dwg to dxf converter. LW will then load the DXF.


07-03-2006, 09:06 AM
dear burvis

1- Export EPS from autocad
2- Import EPS to Adobe Illustrator
3- Export EPS from Illustrator with AI 8 (eps 8) settings
4- Import EPS to LW

or 2nd method

1- Export DWG from AutoCad
2- Find DWG to DXF converter (there are MANY! commercial or free) and convert DWG to DXF
3- TRY to import DXF to LW (some converters sucks some dont you have to find yourself)
4- RIGHT AWAY save that DXF file and make it Native LWO. Otherwise you may end up with 400 MB of DXF file which cant load or even move anywhere.
4+ That s why when you Export from AutoCAD (try to clean or delete unnecassary lines within Autocad)


PRAY with me for Viktor's ultra promising LWCAD2 which has native DXF importer from Autocad into LW.


PRAY with me for http://www.binaryartsinc.com/products.htm
Jon's plugin. Actually it was like DWG importer but now it looks like working with Chief Architect models. I hope it also converts native DWGs into LW.


pass the client get the commission .. :) no just kidding...:) if you need any extra help we are really here:)


07-03-2006, 02:17 PM
Liquidpope, I highly recommend "PDF995" as a free plot-to-PDF utility. I've gotten PDF files that are as good as the real-deal Distiller output we use at work.

07-03-2006, 04:31 PM
Trust me when I say, be patient, LWCAD 2 WILL deliver!!!!

07-03-2006, 04:41 PM
Trust me when I say, be patient, LWCAD 2 WILL deliver!!!!
I'm really hopeing on this! I have a friend who may be able to put alot of work my way but I have to do a demo for him so I'm waiting for LWCAD 2.0 to come out which is waitng for Lightwave 9.0 to come out, from what I have heard :rolleyes:
Just hope it can import the CAD files cleanly :)

07-05-2006, 11:21 AM
I've done quite a few AutoCAD drawings to LW. (I'm a CADD designer, with 15 years experience with AutoCAD and Micorstation.) Obviously you have 2D CADD drawings. The way I do it is follows:

1) Convert your AutoCAD drawings to 3D AutoCAD models. For a floor plan this would be: a) convert the lines into a closed polyline b) extrude the closed polyline to a solid
2) Export the elements you want to a .3DS (3d studio) file. This is an export feature of AutoCAD.
3) Lightwave reads .3DS files.

This will give you a crude, but scale accurate (depending on your Units settings) model to start with. To create a complex model, this method in addition to using image files as backgrounds in modeler, will be necessary.

07-06-2006, 08:00 AM
We do a lot of file translation in PolyTrans - handles most formats. PC only, though.