Using the CAD to Walls Tool

Reference Number: KB-00170 Last Updated: 01-05-2015 02:54 PM

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors or Chief Architect Lite


I have imported a ­DWG or ­DXF file and would like to convert the 2D lines in to 3D objects such as walls, doors and windows in Chief Architect. How can I accomplish this task using the ­CAD to Walls tool?


The CAD to Walls  tool can be used to convert ­CAD lines in floor plan view into architectural objects. Two or more parallel CAD lines can be converted to both straight or curved walls or rails. CAD lines representing windows and doors can also be converted.

Importing the DWG/DXF file

  1. Launch Chief Architect and start a blank New Plan.

  2. Select File> Import> Drawing (DWG, DXF)  to launch the Import Drawing Wizard.

  3. Click the Next button to go to the Select File part of the dialog.

    • Use the Browse button to browse to the DWG or DXF file's location on the computer, select it, and click on the Open button.

    • Do NOT check “Boxes” or “Polylines”.

    • Click Next.

  4. On the Select Layers portion of the dialog, check all of the layers that you want to import and click Next.

  5. Under Layer Mapping, move the radio button to Map drawing layers to Chief layers by name and click Next.

    All lines that you want to convert to walls must be located on one layer. The same is true for windows, doors, and rails.

    It is helpful to place like items on a single layer with unique layer attributes.

  6. Under Drawing Unit, select a unit of measurement from the drop-down list, and click Next.

    Selecting the correct unit helps ensure that your imported drawing is accurately sized.

    At this stage you may also want to check the Move drawing to the origin in Chief Architect option to center it in your plan.

  7. Click Finish to complete the Import Drawing Wizard and bring the DWG or DXF line drawing in to your floor plan.

After your 2D CAD drawing has been imported into Chief Architect, you may want to make some additional adjustments to their locations. When CAD objects are located properly, you are ready to use the CAD to Walls tool.

Using CAD to Walls

  1. Select CAD> CAD to Walls  to display the CAD to Walls dialog.

    • Specify the source layers to be converted to walls, windows, doors, or rails.

      Conversion works better if lines representing windows and doors are on different layers, although it should still be satisfactory if they are on the same layer.

      In either case, the arc indicating door swing helps to identify a door and should be placed on the same layer as doors.

    • Specify wall types for the new walls.

      To convert to a specific wall type, the lines must be within one inch  or  25mm of that wall type’s width. If two wall types are specified, new walls are converted to the one having the closest width.

  2. Click OK to complete the conversion.

  3. Select 3D> Create Perspective View> Floor Overview  to see the results.

    You can now further customize the 3D walls, doors and windows created by the CAD to Walls tool, as well as specify Room Types, create cabinets and terrain, and place objects from the Library Browser.