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Simplified export to Autocad

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This is an old topic. I have read other threads and watched a few videos.

The VW help that simply shows where to click for an export and "then choose the appropriate options" explains nothing about tailoring the export.


My structural engineers don't want all the extra stuff from the VW 3d model (sheetrock, siding, etc.) - just framing. Is there a simple switch for that?

That is only a partial solution as not everything is a wall but it might help.


The other thing is that layers are all screwed up. My engineer was putting 2nd story things on 1st fl. etc.

He asked for an IFC export but I don't think that helped. He did not think so either. We have slowly and manually through discussion worked out the differences but had not the time to figure out the export.

And he's not too keen on another project with all the effort required to sort out the problems.

There is plenty of work in the industry and structural engineers would rather work with someone who is already in Autocad and just sends them a good working file.

The latest indication from them was that they would need to charge additional amounts to cover for the extra time involved with sorting out file discrepancies - if they took the job.


This is a real problem if one wants to continue to use VW. Anyone with some short, succinct tips or is this really involved to get a more usable Autocad export?

Success stories or whatever much appreciated.

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@Mik This should not be a problem.  I routinely send .dwg files to outside consultants and they really have no clue that I use Vectorworks.


1st choice is 2D vs 3D.

If 2D, then simply prepare sheets with the class visibility set to the desired output and be sure to export with the Invisible Classes are "not exported" selected.  If it's a multistory building and you have separate design layers for each floor, then exporting those as separate files may help.

This will create an AutoCAD Paperspace layout just like your Vectorworks Sheet Layer AND an AutoCAD Modelspace containing the geometry from your Vectorworks Design Layer.  It works beautifully.  As a professional courtesy to your consultant, test this dwg in AutoCAD or at Autodesk's website dwg viewer to insure proper behavior.  Also, send a PDF version of your drawing so they know what it is supposed to look like.


If 3D, then IFC makes a lot of sense so long as all the objects in your file you wish to transmit are properly classified with IFC data.  How well this works is a function of your skill in preparing the data and their skill in importing it.  Generally, it works pretty good.  Just like the 2D process, be kind and check the exported IFC using one of the online tools and send those PDFs.


Once you get the hang of it, it's really simple.  The key in my opinion is using the "Invisible Classes are not exported" once you have composed sheets that reflect what you want.


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Attached is the screenshot. I always thought the engineers needed the design layers to get the 3d model and that sheets were represented enough in PDFs that I send.

Because we have to get all the 2d sheets accurate for a legal description of the project for permits, I figure that's what they should always use to confirm what they are seeing. But they don't want to bother with that and just get right into designing in 3d.

And they are so used to being able to do that w/Autocad.


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