CAD Data Interoperability around DXF/DWG neutral format

DXF (Drawing eXchange Format) and DWG (DraWinG) are two file formats commonly used in the computer-aided design (CAD) industry to store and exchange 2D and 3D geometry data. Both formats are widely used and provide different interoperability capabilities between different CAD systems.

DXF was developed by Autodesk in the early 1980s as a file format for exchanging CAD data between different software applications. The format is ASCII-based and is designed to be human-readable, making it easy to parse and manipulate. DXF files are supported by a wide range of CAD software applications, including AutoCAD, DraftSight, and IntelliCAD, among others.

However, DXF files have certain limitations that may affect interoperability between different CAD systems. One limitation is that DXF files do not support the concept of blocks, which are used to define reusable components in CAD drawings. Therefore, some CAD systems may have difficulty handling DXF files that contain blocks. Also, DXF files do not specify a unit of measurement, which means that different CAD systems may interpret the same DXF file differently.

On the other hand, DWG is a binary file format which was also developed by Autodesk to store and exchange CAD data. The DWG format is the native file format for Autodesk CAD software applications, including AutoCAD, and is widely used in industry. DWG files support the concept of blocks, making it easy to define and reuse components in CAD drawings. Additionally, DWG files specify a unit of measurement, ensuring that CAD systems interpret the same file consistently.

Although DWG is the preferred file format for Autodesk CAD software applications, many other CAD systems also support the format as a native format or an interoperability format. This means that DWG files can be easily shared and exchanged between different CAD systems, enabling seamless collaboration and data sharing between teams using different software applications.

CAD Interop distributes several software for viewing and translating DXF and DWG files.