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import dwg fault

michael john williams


Recently when importing DWG files from a surveyor a message on Vectorworks 2020 this message comes up:


'this is a Civil 3D file and Vectorworks might not be able to fully import its specific tasks. For better compatibility export this file as a DWG from inside the Civil 3D application'


What does this mean? Are we not importing all of the dwg drawings? Are some items missing?


Is there a problem with Vectorworks? Or is the Auto CAD drawings not being sent correctly?


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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

There is no DWG import fault - we just want to inform you, that DWG files, directly saved by Civil 3D, may contain pure Civil 3D objects, like our plugin objects, which a regular DWG reader might not be able to present properly - i.e. we will receive as info only the object bounding boxes and will create them instead of the real graphics. This will be a correct import, but may not be what you expect to see. From inside the Civil 3D there is a possibility to export the drawing as DWG - and when this command is used instead of the direct save as, complex Civil 3D objects will be saved with their full graphics and we will import it. Of course, if there are no such objects, import will be absolutely identical in both cases.

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Thank you Nina for your help.


The surveyors say they do not use Civil 3D:


'We are all a little stumped at the moment, we don’t own a copy of Civils and we only work in the latest versions of AutoCAD so we are not sure why you are getting the errors.


We will look into this further but we only work in 2D AutoCAD so im currently not sure where the errors are coming from when you import.


We create the drawing from the pointcloud but any 3D elements are “flattened” so there won’t be any 3D elements within.'


So I don't know what the solution is.

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

@michael john williams, this is what the regular AutoCAD 2020 gives to me when I try to open the DWG there:




I do not know what AutoCAD version is using the surveyor, but there are some custom objects in the DWG. That is why we show the dialog in the beginning of the import too. For this exact DWG I did not see any graphics differences whatever option I chose from the above dialog - to not show proxy graphics, to show it or to show bounding boxes. Imported in Vectorworks graphics is identical to the graphics inside AutoCAD too.

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