Posted by Mike Wheeler on November 02, 1998 at 14:34:54:
In Reply to: Newbie question about importing .DXF file (more) posted by David Thom on November 02, 1998 at 10:12:01:
If the DXF file you are importing is a 3D DXF it will import as 3D into DesignWorkshop. It sounds like your software is exporting only 2D DXF files.
A more sophisticated CAD package would export the objects as poly-lines instead of individual line segments. This makes it much easier to extrude them into 3D in DesignWorkshop.
This is something to keep in mind with 2D CAD packages that support DXF polylines. When appropriate, you should make objects as polylines, rather than a set of individual lines. So when you import them to DesignWorkshop you already have polylines which can be directly extruded into 3D.
There are ways to work with the individual line segments in DesignWorkshop. You can extrude them into 3D surfaces by selecting them, grouping them, and entering a Z value in the Object Info window. In addition to shift-clicking you can select multiple objects by using the Arrow tool and clicking and dragging with the mouse to make a selection rectangle. When you release the mouse button all the objects that pass through the selection rectangle will be selected.
The result of this technique will be a surface model, subject to all the pitfalls of a surface modeler. It will be difficult to resize objects, add openings, or do anything in the way of editing the objects. Ideally you want to make these lines into the solid 3D object they represent.
To do this you will need to trace the lines with the Poly-line tool and then extrude the poly-line. I suggest putting the imported lines into a phase other than your working phase to make this easier and keep track or objects. To make this go faster and be more precise turn on Snap To Handles by clicking on the top right icon of the Tool Palette. The icon will change from a cross to a block with a corner highlighted. Now choose the Poly-line tool and click the endpoints of the lines which make up the polylines you want to add. After creating a polyline extrude it by Option or Alt dragging it up or by entering a Z value in the Object Info Window.
After making your extrusions you will probably want to delete the lines that you imported to save space and to get them out of the way.
Please let us know whenever you have further questions.