importing architectural dxf's?


hey folks, i’ve got a potential freelance gig rendering out some cubicles in 3d and making them look pretty. i have the dxf and dwg files which i think are straight out of autocad but its tough to figure out what’s going on, it seems like i’ve got some flipped faces, etc. any tips/ideas/thoughts on how to clean these up, figure out what’s what, etc.? i’m new to c4d so this is a bit challenging to start with :slight_smile: thanks.



I have done a good bit on DXF importing in to Cinema and I have to say it is usually difficult. Sorry. I love C4D, but this is not a strong point.

What kind of luck have you had so far? I say this because my experience has been that getting a file in to C4D has everything to do with what is in the file, line types, DB calls, even the DXF version. I have had the same drawing open when saved in version 2000, but not 14. It should be the other way around?!?

My best luck has been to manipulate the drawings in AutoCad, or LT, or even Sketch in to logical items. Your AutoCad drawing may be for the cubicle, desk, filing cabinet, etc. Break them down in to new/different files with nothing in them but the splines your need. Then put the objects back together in C4D. I haven’t had any trouble with flipped faces, you may need to ‘Align Normals’. I think you have to do this before you ‘connect’ the splines. I do run into occasional scale differences though.

Good luck. I would love to hear how it works out for you.



i have had to import the dwg or dxf into illustrator, clean it up as needed - then import that into c4d. then i just use it for tracing. it’s too broken into pieces to be of any worth other than tracing and starting over.


dont make me get my rant box out again


thanks guys, its actually not as painful as i expected it to be on the importing side, the models are pretty simple and coming in fairly cleanly. the biggest problemis really just figuring out which end is up, what’s what, materials, etc. the drawings are broken up into different 3d pieces and labeled somewhat but i don’t necessarily know what a “panel - wmgmt” is :slight_smile:



Tried deleting this copy of my post but can’t find out how, only able to edit the damn thing !!


Hi fig

Sorry if I’m stating the obvious but what’s stoping you asking the creator of the original what this means. They use them to tell the different components of the item but have to abbreviate them no doubt because of the length of description in the files.

If they get difficult or bite your head off they are not worth dealing with in my opinion.


totally logical and understandable question :slight_smile:

the problem is i’m doing this for a design firm who’s doing other design work for the people who actually make the cubicles, i don’t have a direct contact there. working on that now tho, i sent a quickie test render to my contact at the design firm showing that its not real clear which end is up and seeing if we can get some more info.

and i totally agree, if it gets difficult its not worth dealing with. problem freelancing unfortunately it that it has to be worth dealing with sometimes when its the only gig you’ve got :banghead:



Understand completely, being freelance myself. Got to take what’s available sometimes to keep the cash coming in.

It usually means they don’t want to appear stupid or lacking in their knowledge of the client, sometimes it’s even an ego thing. But my arguement is always you’ll look even more stupid presenting the wrong thing.

Good luck


Hey fig, just thought I would check back and see how your project turned out. I also wanted to clerify, were you able to import the dwg as a 3D object or just a 2D wireframe?


i’ve sort of arrived at two solutions, one was an acquaintance of mine taking the dxf file thru max and doing some clean-up there to get a usable object for me to use in C4D. i also played with taking the dxf into formZ and it actually brought it in quite cleanly and let me export as a very usable obj file. there are a few minor glitches in the way it imports where there seem to be some missing/flipped/etc. polys that i’m trying to learn how to fix in formZ, but at the moment that seems like it may be my best option.

as far as the dwg i wasn’t able to import that at all, C4D told me it was an unknown file format and wouldn’t do anything with it :banghead:



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