Exporting as DXF option not functional

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Exporting as DXF option not functional

Postby pauldixon » Fri Mar 17, 2006 2:10 pm

hi guys,
I have just downloaded Design Workshop and am intending to use it to create architectural models for use in 3D Studio Max and for eventual use in the Half-life and Doom game editors.

To check out the funtionality I downloaded an example building in 3dmf format and tried to export it as a DXF file. Unfortunately the option to Export 3D->DXF format remained greyed-out.

Can anyone please tell me how to use this export function, or at least point me in the right direction, webpage/tutorial etc.

Any help much appreciated.


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Postby bytesyze » Thu Mar 23, 2006 2:23 am

Don't bother with 3dmf format. Just save as 3D model in DXF and then open in next application
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Location: Santa Fe, NM

Postby David Owen » Wed Mar 29, 2006 3:25 am

Hi, Paul.

What you encountered is a limitation in DesignWorkshop Lite. DW Lite, can export standard DesignWorkshop models (.dw) as DXF, but DXF export of a saved 3DMF model (or an unsaved Lights & Textures window) is only available in the DW <a href="http://www.cadoutpost.com/cgi-bin/clk?http://www.artifice.com/dw_classic.html">Classic</a> and <a href="http://www.cadoutpost.com/cgi-bin/clk?http://www.artifice.com/dw_pro.html">Professional</a> editions.

Whenever you may have other questions, <a href="mailto:support@artifice.com">please let us know</a>.
David Owen
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Location: Eugene, Oregon


Postby roberto paredes » Wed Mar 29, 2006 12:13 pm

well, the 3D DXF export (export plug-in 1.0)no longer works in Professional (V1.8.3) either (running on classic). ACAD 2000, 2002 or 2004 won't read it either

Anybody else having this problem?
DW has become a "legacy application" and it's "borderline" now...

Any suggestions? ( a OSX version maybe?)

System 10.3.9 on an NT network...
roberto paredes
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Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2004 11:04 am

Postby David Owen » Wed Mar 29, 2006 4:57 pm

Hi, Roberto.

DesignWorkshop still writes industry-standard DXF files, as it has for many years. We're not aware of an incompatibility between DesignWorkshop-generated 2D or 3D DXF files and any version of AutoCAD. In fact, DXF files from DW work fine with most CAD programs, even lots of those that don't support the full DXF file format.

AutoCAD is normally pretty good about importing DesignWorkshop DXFs. But if AutoCAD reads a file without error, and no model geometry appears, then it's possible that AutoCAD is not looking for kind of object geometry when it reads the file.

You see, the DXF file format supports a wide range of object types, ranging from simple triangular planes up to complex object meshes. Some programs (like DW) automatically detect and import all those geometry types. Other programs need to be told what kind of geometry to look for. And still others support some but not all of the geometry types.

The triangular faces tend to be the most universally compatible with 3D programs and DW defaults to that when exporting from Lights & Textures (see below). If you'd like to <a href="mailto:support@artifice.com">send us</a> an example DXF file that exhibits the behavior you described, we may be able to offer some specific suggestions.

Based on your description so far, I do have a couple of more general suggestions for you.

First and probably most important is that the latest version of DesignWorkshop is 1.8.6. If you're using any older version (eg, 1.8.3) with Mac OS 9.1 and newer, including the Mac OS X Classic Environment, you should update to 1.8.6 before going any further. DW 1.8.6 is a strongly recommended update for all DW users, regardless of DXF exporting.

Registered owners can download an update from the Confidential Owners Area at the Artifice web site. If you have already registered for an owners area account, just login here:


Or, to request an owners area account for the DW software you own, just complete and submit the brief Access Request Form, found at:


Second, please keep in mind that there are two separate DXF export commands in DesignWorkshop: one available from a standard (.dw) model window and the other available from a Lights & Textures (.3dmf) model window.

For best results, we recommend exporting from the Lights & Textures window using the "File -> Export 3D -> Triangulated DXF Model..." menu command. This export command uses the DXF Export plug-in and writes broadly compatible, industry standard DXF files.
David Owen
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Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2004 1:34 pm
Location: Eugene, Oregon

Postby Luc Trudeau » Sun Apr 02, 2006 1:05 am

Mr. Owen
I have DWclassic 1.8 (for windows) and would like to upgrade to the latest version.
When I go in the Owners area, I see that I can only download the 1.8.4 version.
Is 1.8.4 the latest version? (You talked about upgrading to 1.8.6?)
Thanks in advance.
Luc Trudeau
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Joined: Thu Oct 28, 2004 11:09 am
Location: Montreal

Postby David Owen » Mon Apr 03, 2006 1:45 am

Hi, Luc.

The latest versions of DW are slightly different between Macintosh and Windows editions. 1.8.4 is the current version for Windows, while 1.8.6 is the latest for Macintosh.

Whenever you have other questions, please let us know!
David Owen
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Joined: Wed Apr 14, 2004 1:34 pm
Location: Eugene, Oregon

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