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How to Export DXF from SolidWorks?

What is DXF?

A file with the .DXF file extension is a Drawing Exchange Format file. This was developed by Autodesk as a type of universal format for storing CAD models. The idea of creating this file format is to support the file in all 3d modeling software. They want to make the standard file type in the CAD domain. By creating a standard file type anyone can import or export the file for one software to the other.

DXF was introduced in December 1982 as part of AutoCAD. It was intended to provide an exact representation of the data in the AutoCAD native file format, DWG (Drawing). Autodesk does not publish specifications and makes correct imports of DXF files difficult. Autodesk now publishes the DXF specifications online.

This file format is by default generated in Autodesk AutoCAD if we create the file in it. Whereas nowadays various CAD modeling software has their file format. But they have the option to import the .dxf file in their software. Also, if the file is drawn in other software, designers can export the .dxf file type.

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Need of DXF

This file type is also used for creating 2d / 3d modeling and drafting, and this file is also used in laser cutting. Many engineers, designers, and architects use the DXF file format for 2D and 3D drawings during product design.

There are various online file converters that are available to convert the other file type to .dxf or vice versa. Many software can export the file in various file format. Solidworks we can export the file more than 15 file formats which is the highest amongst the other software.

In this article, we are going to see and learn how to export a cad model in .dxf format.

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Exporting .dxf format

Open the file in Solidworks or the file you are working on. Click on the save icon on top and if the icon is not visible then go to File > Save as.


Give the name to the file and select the exporting location. Click on the drop-down beside Save as type and select the file format is Dxf (.dxf). Then Click on the Save button.

After clicking on the save button you will we the DXF / DWG Output in a property manager. In that, we have the option of Export, what we want to export Faces/loops/edges and another option is Annotation views.

The second option available is Views to export. In this, we can select the view that we want to export in the DXF file. We can select multiple or all at the same time.

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The third option is Output Alignment. In this, we give the alignment to the drawing according to the requirement.

The last option available is Export Options. This option has to sub-options like Single files and Separate files. This option lets the user save the views in a single file or can create multiple files for individual views.

After selecting the required options click on OK.  You will see the preview of the .dxf file. You can make changes if needed or else click on SAVE. The file will save to the location.