Importing DXF fails

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Importing DXF fails

Postby javaguy on Mon Aug 23, 2010 8:44 pm

I'm using MB 1.6.15 on an up-to-date Microsoft Vista system. I'm trying to import a DXF file created with Serif DrawPlus X2. When I try to do the import I generally get nothing on the MB project. Around 10% of the time, I *do* get a miniature of the DXF content. But, not knowing how to deal with it (one time, the MB4 is in inches unit and the DXF was created for millimeters) I started a new project, properly configured. Wouldn't load again.

To wit: The file from DrawPlus was created first in AutoCad 2004, then AutoCad 2000 format. No successes 2004 format, a "now and again" in 2000.
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Re: Importing DXF fails

Postby evande on Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:21 am

Sorry .dxf import from Serif is not working for you. Can you attach a file made with Serif to an email to us? We will try to test it's properties. Serif can save as: windows metafile and that may be more reliable than the Serif attempt at .dxf
Did you try importing the dxf file directly from Autocad without first using Serif? I did not see a mention of that.

When you import the file into Model Builder Change your units to meters. Units menu is in the top menu bar. Then check the dimension on the imported file. You can type in the dimensions you want your imported plan to be in the material dimensions boxes.
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Re: Importing DXF fails

Postby evande on Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:28 am

I just googled "serif save as .dxf" and found comments http://forums.serif.com/showthread.php?p=516062
that suggest Serif does at times have trouble with .dxf
Serif is not a native .dxf format program and may be an issue there. Check the serif forum please.
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Re: Importing DXF fails

Postby javaguy on Tue Aug 24, 2010 6:56 am

Please find for your consideration the attached ZIP file. It contains:
1) The DXF that doesn't display. This is created by Serif DrawPlus. I don't have AutoCAD.
2) A JPG created from the DXF file.
2) A WMF created from the JPG file by WinTopo.

Neither the DXF or WMF work in my MB project.

PS -- after trying the import, the vertical scrollbar flashes at me. What is it trying to 'say'?
Attachments
Apt_2_Window_B.zip
The files here are: The vector file created by Serif DrawPlus X2, a JPG extracted by DrawPlus, and a WMF created from the JPG by WinTopo. Nothing works in MB.
(43.01 KiB) Downloaded 227 times
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Even a native Windows Vista WMF file doesn't work

Postby javaguy on Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:27 am

I searched my hard drive for WMF files. Among many files, it found grid_(cm).wmf, from c:\windows\winsxs\x86_microsoft-windows-tabletpc-journal... Another failure. I tried other WMF files and haven't had a success yet.
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Re: Importing DXF fails

Postby evande on Tue Aug 24, 2010 8:41 am

tried opening your .wmf with Corel Draw 14, crashed Corel without opening the file.

So went to Corel Draw 12 which opened it successfully. We will need to study the issue and get back to you.
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Re: Importing DXF fails

Postby evande on Tue Aug 24, 2010 4:01 pm

made a change to Model Builder to enable the .dxf you sent us to import correctly.
Link to update: http://www.modeltrainsoftware.com/modelbuilder.html
For your future .dxf creations use the same setting(s) in Serif to save to .dxf as the setting used in the file you sent to us to test with.

Just of general interest, there is another program that can create .dxf from .jpg or .bmp or .tiff files it is free ware:
http://www.wintopo.com/wintopo-free.htm
There is a hand button on the top toolbar, hover over it, it will say "one touch vectorisation" click it . Then go to "file" > "save vector image", you can select .dxf in the save as choice. .wmf did not work from this program though

Also in this 1.6.16 update is the new brick editor with visual interface for selecting brick designer patterns and styles.
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That was fast! Plus other things

Postby javaguy on Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:02 pm

10 hour turnaround on fixes. Hot stuff!

When I go to the update web page, the download link says 1.6.16 but the downloaded program says 1.6.15. What version is downloaded? I'd like to avoid the turnaround of getting a CD here.

While waiting I decided to rebuild my project using just the Paper Tools. Both of the Serif and Paper Tools are hard work. It turns out that Paper Tools is nicer for this task because the DrawPlus software keeps adjusting the exact destination coordinate some.

Some comments about Paper Tools:

* Working with metric (print size) doesn't go so well. I asked for vertical lines at 2 cm, tried copying and wound up with lines at 2.5 cm. Don't know what happens here. I restarted with English units and no more translation problems.
* The lines drawn seem to have gaps at the end, and are drawn offset. The attached PDF shows one of my pages. Not the gaps between the lines, and how they aren't meeting at the corners. The dimensions given are supposed to join. Fortunately for horizontal and vertical, the offset is consistent.
* The angle lines are offset again, and that causes any vertex to be off to the left some. I'd have to adjust my angle lines to get a visual center with the offset horiz/vert lines.

I gotta use this thing, though, because it saves tons of sketching and reworked drawings, and lets me make variant buildings. These will be used for WW2 skirmish games in 1:72.
Attachments
Apt_2Win_A.zip
Side view of apartment. Note the vertex is offset.
(6.98 KiB) Downloaded 250 times
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Re: Importing DXF fails

Postby evande on Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:52 pm

download link says 1.6.16 but the downloaded program says 1.6.15

where does the download say 1.6.15? I checked the downloaded file properties and did not see a version number. When you run the MBUpdate.exe and check Help>About model builder what does it say? It could possibly be a server lag but not likely to be by now. Let is know
1) if you have 1.6.16 when you check help?
2) if your .dxf now imports?
3) have you downloaded any .mb4 files yet? You can convert files you open to 1:72 , watch video #4 "Changing Scales" http://evandesignsmodelbuilder.com/videos2.php
If you want buildings you do not really need the lines you are working with drawing. You can design a building right onscreen.

We are unaware of a paper tool issue with metric, thanks for pointing it out. We will download and check over your pdf. Can you please attach the .mb4 that the pdf was made from? It would be easier to view that.

The paper tool vertical lines are not "true" lines, as they have a white area around them. You need to line the vertical line up with the top ruler to get the true position. I believe this is the offset you are speaking of. Or use the filled rectangle instead of the line. Or use a piece of vertical trim instead. Model Builder is raster not vector. I am not sure what is meant by the angle lines causing vertex offset.

You may be better off with either Serif or Wintopo continuing to make and import .dxf
The big advantage of Wintopo is that it can convert scanned drawings you mention or jpg etc that you draw with something else into the .dxf format. Wintopo may be the best for what you are trying to accomplish.
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Re: Importing DXF fails

Postby evande on Wed Aug 25, 2010 8:23 am

I think I should better explain what we meant earlier by "server delay".
We host downloads on Amazon's Cloudfront, a CDN. Files are downloaded to end users using a global network of edge locations, which enables faster downloads. When we update/overwrite a file here, it takes time for the edge locations to check in and make the change to the file stored there. The furthest locations away from Amazon's home base can sometimes be up to 24 hours behind in checking in for updates.
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