Using CAD to Walls from an Imported DWG/DXF


Reference Number: KB-00170
Last Modified: February 13, 2019

The information in this article applies to:

Chief Architect Premier or Chief Architect Interiors



QUESTION

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?


ANSWER

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.


To import the DWG/DXF file

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


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


  3. Click Next or Continue to go to the Select File portion of the Import Drawing Assistant:

    Select File - Browse button - Polylines and Boxes options not selected

    • 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.(or Continue if on a Mac)


  4. On the Select Layers portion of the dialog: 

    Select Layers - all layers selected

    • Check all of the layers that you want to import.

    • The Convert Selected Layer(s) drop-down menu allows you to convert the data on any layer into a Terrain Perimeter or Elevation Data.

    • Click Next (or Continue if on a Mac)


  5. Under Layer Mapping:

    Layer Mapping = Chief Architect layers by name selected

    • Move the radio button to Chief Architect layers by name.

      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.

    • Click Next (or Continue if on a Mac)


  • Under Drawing Unit:

    Drawing Unit - Move drawing to the origin selected

    • Select a unit of measurement from the drop-down list.

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

    • Check the Move drawing to the origin option to center it in your plan.

    • Click Next (or Continue if on a Mac)


  • Click Finish (or Done if on a Mac) to complete the Import Drawing Assistant 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. For best results, delete any wall lines or polylines located between interior and exterior wall surface lines. When CAD objects are located properly, you are ready to use the CAD to Walls tool.


    To use CAD to Walls

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

      Convert CAD to Walls dialog with the wall, window, door and rail layers selected as well as two wall types

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

        The conversion process 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 as such should be placed on the same layer as doors.


      • Specify wall types for the new walls.

        To convert CAD lines to a specific wall type, the lines must be within one inch (or 25mm) of that wall type’s width.
        Note: If the same layer is specified as the Wall Layer and Rail Layer, all eligible walls will be converted into railings.

        If the distance between the surface lines is less than the total width of the specified wall type, a copy of that wall type will be created. The width of its Main Layer will adjust so that the overall width is equal to the specified wall’s Main Layer.


    2. Click OK to complete the conversion.


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


    4. 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.