CET allows you to import AutoCAD files with the file formats .dwg or .dxf.
There are three ways to import an AutoCAD drawing into CET. You can:
- use the CAD dialog button on the Tools component tab
- drag the drawing in from Windows File Explorer
- select Import Drawing from the File menu
Before using any of these ways, make sure you place a zero point in your drawing, as described below.
Inserting a CAD zero point
Before importing an AutoCAD file, a zero point should be inserted in the drawing area. A zero point determines a CAD drawing’s position in the CET drawing area and corresponds to the zero point in AutoCAD. A zero point is important when multiple CAD drawings are being inserted. If no zero point is established, the drawings may not line up correctly.
To insert a zero point, follow these steps:
- Go to the Tools component tab.
- Under CAD Tools, select the CAD zero point:
- Click it into position in the 2D or the 3D view. The zero point snaps to all components in the drawing by default. To override this behavior, press and hold the Shift key while placing the zero point.
Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+H to select and pan the 2D view to your CAD zero point.
Import a drawing through the CAD Settings dialog or the File menu
Follow the steps below to import a CAD drawing:
- Click the CAD settings icon on the Tools component tab:
Alternately, you can import a file through the File menu in the Import & Export section, then open the CAD settings by double-clicking the CAD plan, or by clicking Settings in the green Quick Properties box.
- Click Import new:
- In the Open dialog, locate the file you are looking for. Select the file name and click Open.
- Select your settings on the CAD properties and CAD layers tabs.
- Click Insert to insert the CAD file into your drawing.
- After clicking on Insert, you will be greeted with a progress bar dialog, there are 2 types depending on your CAD insert with or without external references. The top bar refers to the overall CAD insert progress, whereas the bottom bar refers to the external references (Xref) insert progress. The bottom completion will eventually contribute to the increment of the top progress bar.
Progress bar of inserting CAD with external references (Xref)
Progress bar of inserting CAD without external references (Xref)
Drag & drop DWG import
- In your Windows File Explorer, locate the CAD drawing to insert.
- Click-and-drag it into the CET drawing.
You can access the CAD Settings from the green Quick Properties box, or by simply double-clicking on the CAD drawing.
If you drag & drop a drawing file smaller than 1 MB (or 100 m2) into CET, it will behave like a symbol inserted from a component tab and will remain on your cursor so it can be placed multiple times. When you have finished, hit Esc or move your cursor outside of the drawing area to escape the command.
If there are errors during import, CET will alert you with this message:
This dialog will not block the placement of your CAD drawing, and you can choose to block it from popping up again during the ongoing session.
AutoCAD clipping support
If your CAD comes with a clipping function configured in AutoCAD, importing it into CET should look like the photo on the Left. The photo on the Right is an example of CAD import in CET without the support of the AutoCAD clipping function.