AutoCAD (.dwg, .dxf) import/export

A binary file format used for storing two and three-dimensional design data and metadata. It is the native format for several CAD packages including AutoCAD.


To open, import, insert, and attach a file as a worksession

1. From the File menu, click Open or Import.
2. In the Open dialog box, select the supported file type.
3. If the import can be configured, click Options to specify import settings.
4. Click Open, or press Enter.

Note: When Rhino opens a non-3dm model, the title bar reflects the name of the model that was opened. When the model is saved for the first time, this model name is entered as the file name.

DWG/DXF Import Options

Import unreferenced layers

Imports empty layers.

Import unreferenced blocks

Imports unused block definitions.

Import unreferenced linetypes

Imports unused linetype definitions.

Convert wide polylines to surfaces

Ignore thickness

Convert regions to curves

Mesh precision


If the mesh imported from DWG/DXF is too big or too far from the origin to work properly as a single-precision mesh, Rhino will import the mesh as double precision.

Double precision

Single precision

Model units

Layout units

Set layer material to layer color

Assigns a material to each layer that matches the layer color.

Always use these settings. Do not show this dialog again.

Saves the current settings and turns off the dialog display.

To turn the message back on

Click Options in the appropriate Save, Export, Open, Import, or Insert dialog box.

Import notes

Polyface mesh and 3DFace entities import as polygon mesh objects. They do not convert to NURBS.
Wide polylines import as surfaces. If the polylines are narrower than Rhino's current tolerance setting, wide polylines import as polylines. Graphics, rays, regions, or OLE objects do not import.
Line widths by layer and by object import as print widths by layer and by object.
Block attributes import as text.
Attribute definitions that are not included in blocks are skipped.
Hatches may not import in the same position relative to objects since Rhino does not support varying the origin.
Off and frozen layers import as off layers.
XREFs are imported. XREF layers with the same names as the base drawing layers are merged. If any of the layers contributing to a merged layer is off or frozen in AutoCAD, the combined layer will be off in Rhino.
If objects in a block definition are on AutoCAD layer 0, their properties will be set to ByParent.
AutoCAD Dimension Style scale (dimscale) is now imported and assigned to the Model space scale in the dimension style that is generated on import.
Images are imported as Rhino PictureFrame objects.


To save as or export a Rhino model

1. From the File menu, click Export Selected or Save As.
2. In the dialog box, the Files of type list displays the currently supported file types for export.
3. In the Files of type box, select the supported file type.
4. In the File name box, select or type a file name.
5. Specify what is to be saved.

Save small

Though clearing the render meshes makes the file smaller, it will shade and render more slowly the next time you open the file.

Save geometry only

Saves geometry objects only. No layers, materials, properties, notes, or units settings are saved.

This is similar to exporting the objects. A new file is made, but it does not become your active Rhino model.

Save Textures

Embeds external textures used by materials, environments and decals into the model.

6. If the export can be configured, click Options to specify export settings.
7. If the file type creates only mesh objects, in the Polygon Mesh Objects dialog box, specify the mesh settings.

DWG/DXF Export Options

Export Scheme

Select the export scheme to use.


2004 Lines

2004 Natural

2004 Polylines

2004 Solids

CAM Imperial

CAM Metric

R12 Lines & Arcs

R12 Natural

Always use these settings. Do not show this dialog again.

Saves the current settings and turns off the dialog display.

To turn the message back on

Click Options in the appropriate Save, Export, Open, Import, or Insert dialog box.

Edit Schemes

Opens the AutoCAD Export Schemes dialog box.

Export notes

Characters that are unsupported by AutoCAD in Layout names are replaced with underscore characters.
PictureFrame and Picture objects are exported as AutoCAD images.

Import and Export Notes

Warning: Surfaces and polysurfaces will come into AutoCAD as either curves or meshes because the native AutoCAD DWG files does not support NURBS geometry.
Block definitions and instances import and export.
Paperspace objects import as Layouts.
Layer names and colors import and export.
Use IGES with the IGES import/export module to exchange NURBS geometry with AutoCAD.
The ACIS SAT file format can be used to export solids to AutoCAD 2000 and above; AutoCAD 2000 ACIS objects are imported.
ByBlock and ByLayer properties settings are translated as ByParent and ByLayer in Rhino.
AutoCAD blocks with attributes are now imported into Rhino as user text. This can be manipulated with the GetUserText and SetUserText commands.

See also


Edit AutoCAD export schemes.

Wikipedia: .DWG

Wikipedia: .DXF

Rhinoceros 5 © 2010-2015 Robert McNeel & Associates. 17-Sep-2015