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  • Staff

Apps: Designer
Platforms: Windows, macOS and iPad

Affinity Designer now supports both DWG and DXF export, available from both File->Export and the Export Persona.

It's important to note that both these file formats are primarily concerned with vector outline data, with limited support for many of the features Affinity offers. However, it's been a heavily requested feature particularly as it means outlines created in Affinity can be easily exported and consumed in various CAD applications as well as utilities for things such as vinyl cutters, plotters and CNC tools.

Because of this, as well as some of the other fundamental differences in the file formats such as layer structure, while both import and export of DWG is now available we do not consider this a format which is suitable to round trip in Affinity. Or put another way we would not recommend collaborating with an AutoCAD user on the same DWG file.

Within export we do offer various options on how to deal with some of the unsupported features / differences in the file format:
image.png
 

Layers
All entities in DWG/DXF belong in a layer. There is always a default “Layer 0” in a valid DWG/DXF file. Affinity also has layers. This setting determines how Affinity layers are mapped to DWG layers, and therefore which DWG layer an exported item belong in

image.png

Gradient Strokes
Determines what to do with strokes with a gradient fill applied, which DWG does not support.

image.png

Gradient Fills
Determines what to do with fills with a gradient fill applied

image.png

Bitmap Strokes
Determines what to do with strokes with a bitmap fill applied, which DWG does not support:

image.png

Bitmap Fills
Determines what to do with fills with a bitmap fill applied, which DWG does not support:

image.png

Pressure Strokes
Determines what to do with strokes with a pressure profile applied, which DWG does not support:

image.png

Overweight Strokes
Determines what to do with strokes with a line weight > 2.11mm, which DWG does not support:

image.png

Dashes Strokes
Determines what to do with strokes with a dash pattern applied. DWG does support dash patterns; however DWG dashes do not scale automatically with line weight, as they do in Affinity. 

image.png

Scale dash patterns
If any line weight adjustment is made to an exported curve (e.g. it is clamped to the 2.11mm maximum), you may expect the dashes to stay the same length, or you may prefer them to scale automatically as they do in Affinity. The former is similar to AutoCAD’s behaviour - when you change an entity’s line weight, it does not recompute the dashes, which is effectively the opposite of Affinity’s behaviour. If “Scale dash patterns” is on, Affinity’s behaviour is used, so dashes will be scaled down if the line weight had to be scaled down.

Apply drawing scale
When enabled, the drawing scale is honoured. If you export an rectangle that is 1 inch wide and your drawing scale is 1:10, the rectangle will be exported 10 inches wides. Note that Affinity documents support multiple drawing scales within the same document, which cannot be honoured in a DWG/DXF file, so only the first/common drawing scale is applied.

 

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Known Issues in this feature
A list of unresolved issues for this feature, reported by users

Released Fixes
A list of issues for this feature, available in the current beta build

  • AF-1871 - Setting DXF/DWG options in the Export Persona and saving with History will corrupt a document [Fixed]
  • AF-1809 - DWG/DXF Export options not available in Designer Persona [Fixed]

Upcoming Fixes
A list of issues for this feature, which will be available in a forthcoming build

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I don't work with this File Format but I've seen it being requested for so long. I'm glad it's here for those who need it and I hope the available support fits well in users' workflows.

Best regards!

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Thanks for including this export file format! In addition to working on projects destined for digital/offset printing, I also work in CNC machining (mainly part fabrication in aluminum and steel).

Some of my CNC projects involve engraving using a mill or CO2 laser. In the past I used Inkscape to create DXF/DWG files for engraving designs. I'll be trying out Designer's exported DXF/DWG files with my CAD-CAM apps to produce G-code for the CNC machines I use.

What I do: Document design/typesetting; Stock photo images; Digital art | Apps I use: Publisher, Photo, Designer | My PC: AMD Ryzen 7 4700U; 16.0GB RAM; Win 10 Home (21H2)

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15 hours ago, lowerider said:

Thanks for including this export file format! In addition to working on projects destined for digital/offset printing, I also work in CNC machining (mainly part fabrication in aluminum and steel).

Some of my CNC projects involve engraving using a mill or CO2 laser. In the past I used Inkscape to create DXF/DWG files for engraving designs. I'll be trying out Designer's exported DXF/DWG files with my CAD-CAM apps to produce G-code for the CNC machines I use.

Looking forward to seeing the results of your exports! Curiously what software do you use to import the DXF and DWGs in?

I've not done any CNC based stuff myself, but have previously used Inkscape exported DXFs with LaserCut 5.3 at our local hackspace to send to the A0 Laser Cutter. The DXFs we now export now import with LaserCut 5.3 to the correct size.

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9 minutes ago, GRAFKOM said:

Ale dlaczego nie ma opcji eksportu do DWG i DXF w Persona Designer?

(
Google Translation: But why is there no option to export to DWG and DXF in Persona Designer?)

Because you're in Publisher, and the function isn't offered there. The Designer Persona does not give you all the functions of the Designer application, and if you want to export DWG or DXF you need to be in the Designer application.

-- Walt
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OK

Dziękuję. Ale osobiście uważam, że ten format eksportu powinien pojawić się we wszystkich personach wydawcy. Tak jak poprzednio, wszystkie formaty eksportu są takie same w każdym Persona, więc dlaczego tylko DWG i DXF miałyby być dostępne tylko w Persona Designer?

Thank you. But I personally think that this export format should appear in all Publisher personas. As before, all export formats are the same in every Persona, so why should only DWG and DXF be available only in Persona Designer?

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1 hour ago, GRAFKOM said:

OK

Dziękuję. Ale osobiście uważam, że ten format eksportu powinien pojawić się we wszystkich personach wydawcy. Tak jak poprzednio, wszystkie formaty eksportu są takie same w każdym Persona, więc dlaczego tylko DWG i DXF miałyby być dostępne tylko w Persona Designer?

I understand you, but its better to use English, so people don't have to translate it via Google.

Ain’t nobody acquiring us 😎

affinity.png.49fcd56bf0144b48c28152a8ca57c0ab.png

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks a lot! This will be a very useful feature!


One point to consider is the conservation of origin. I don't know if this is planned. Being able to preserve the origin of the drawing makes it easy to import dxf files between programs so that they fit in the same place. By having a reference point, you can easily make updates, re-import just one object and have it placed directly in the right place between the software. 

This is a basic principle of CAD files and software.  

Unless it's a mistake on my part. When you import a dxf into Affinity designer now, you can't insert the drawing according to its origin. It's an option that's missing and that would save a lot of time. Rather than having to replace the drawing every time you import it. 

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  • Staff
3 hours ago, Pipouille said:

Thanks a lot! This will be a very useful feature!


One point to consider is the conservation of origin. I don't know if this is planned. Being able to preserve the origin of the drawing makes it easy to import dxf files between programs so that they fit in the same place. By having a reference point, you can easily make updates, re-import just one object and have it placed directly in the right place between the software. 

This is a basic principle of CAD files and software.  

Unless it's a mistake on my part. When you import a dxf into Affinity designer now, you can't insert the drawing according to its origin. It's an option that's missing and that would save a lot of time. Rather than having to replace the drawing every time you import it. 

Hi Pipouille,

Thank you very much for your suggestion, unfortunately this is currently out of the scope for 2.4, however I will pass your suggestion onto development.

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This function still needs to be improved. When I tried to use it again, I found that it did not export PDF. After using the able2extract conversion CAD tool, the effect of importing into CAD was better, because after exporting to DWG format, it lost a lot of text content, and vector graphics were not visible in CAD. The edges are also simplified and cannot be used. I often use affinity to export PDF and convert it to DWG or other formats that are convenient for screen printing. In the industry, Affinity is generally used by our Chinese designers to make printing files and CMF. I think Affinity’s future should have basic dimensions or information annotations (this is annotations rather than simple measurements, it should have various arrow options similar to the current line head and tail options), and have excellent dimensional accuracy, and can also add commonly used Color management systems similar to PANTONE and ral allow designers to flexibly call and optimize the accuracy of graphic exports. Add an export scale option to PDF export, because we sometimes process files with very large canvases and let him export an A4 paper. The size of the PDF file can be fully opened in Adobe PDF, narrowing the gap between it and AI or CDR.

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  • Staff
Quote

because after exporting to DWG format, it lost a lot of text content, and vector graphics were not visible in CAD. The edges are also simplified and cannot be used.

Do you have any videos/files demonstrating this so we can look into it? Assuming this was exporting to DWG/DXF and then directly importing into CAD

Serif Europe Ltd. - www.serif.com

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On 2/1/2024 at 9:21 AM, soap said:

Add an export scale option to PDF export

Although this is off topic in this thread, I say I would appreciate this addition...

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I'm sorry to question these because I didn't set the resolution of the CAD, so the curves didn't look very smooth. However, the conversion of text information is indeed a problem. It is all displayed in the curve form of characters in CAD, which is not very convenient to edit.

On 2/1/2024 at 5:59 PM, Jon P said:

Do you have any videos/files demonstrating this so we can look into it? Assuming this was exporting to DWG/DXF and then directly importing into CAD

image.thumb.png.ee9e19f2bf6e71bf29e9e6a1def3f52e.pngCAD.thumb.png.6f133b40850f01675f905d4d223e6b97.png

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Hi @soap,

We export text out as splines, which AutoCAD will struggle to render correctly until you do a View > Regen All or perform the regenall command.

The text not being exported out as text is currently by design.

Serif Europe Ltd. - www.serif.com

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is heaven sent for incorporating monochrome vector silhouette clip art into AutoCAD. Previously, the least painful workflow was through inkscape dxf export, but fill information was not transferred. (pdf route was useless). So it was necessary to recreate the solid fill, which could be a nightmare experience (imagine a realistic silhouette of a tree). Now, as long as it is a solid, it pretty much exports correctly. There is some slight loss of detail, which I am assuming has to do with drawing scale. Which for reference scales is not a real issue. Will experiment more to see if quality improves with scale.

Anyway, this feature makes my life much easier, thanks!

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