Exporting a Layout drawing to Autocad .dwg files

Interesting… but why don’t you just have a page and viewport in LO showing the information needed by the engineer… don’t you want a visible record in your LO of what is being exported? Maybe I am getting old :slight_smile:

I am having issues exporting to .dwg for an engineer. I only have an option to export to .dwg/dxf, I do not have the option menu to change any export settings.

I am using Layout 2021

Because I want the engineering overlays to be exported on top of the architectural plan drawing and I don’t want to export two pages of the same plan.

Imagine a Ground Floor Plan (GFP):

  • I want the file to have a single GFP not two. Two will cause confusion on the people receiving them. Which one is right? Are they the same? Shall I review one or the other?
  • I want to export all the engineering overlays on top of the updated single GFP.
  • I want to send a single file to all stakeholders.
  • I will export a PDF too and that is probably what the Client needs to review the project. The PDF will be a clean architectural drawing.
  • But some clients do check DWG files instead of PDF. I don’t want my client to turn Layers on and off when he’s opening the file in DWG. I can’t imagine what would happen if my clients would find all the overlays on top of architectural layers. They probably don’t deal well with layers and often just want to check on architecture anyway, (to check some measurements or areas) or send to someone else and budget some aspect of the building.
  • The engineers can deal with turning layers on and off. They can turn on their isolated engineering plan. The structural engineer doesn’t turn on the HVAC unless he needs to.

Having said that, I do keep a file with all overlays on, but I use it for my own work, not for exporting for others to work with.

I don’t think you’re getting old and I do think all of this is very complex and I just got there because I needed, but it’s worth questioning it if it can be optimized.

The options window should come up after you have selected to export.

I think the Export for SketchUp option would perhaps be the best for this kind of use. Many engineers have no use for an architect’s paper space items. It might be a good feature request to add a “Scale by” variable to the export options to let the export be scaled to full scale automatically. Now you have to edit the DWG and scale the contents in AutoCad or your favourite DWG editor.

I agree with you @Anssi I use Export for Sketchup almost exclusivelly.

Even for submitting permits for the city hall it’s the only one that works for me, as I have to create annoying DWF files in a very specific way.

However, I do feel there could be a third method that could stack viewport info in the model space, and have other Layout entities in paper space:

This third export format would be a mix between Export for Sketchup, where images and viewports would be kept in modelspace and everything else would be deleted. and the regular DWG export, where all Layout entities except model viewports would appear in paper space.

Even so, engineers do like texts to be exported to model space so they don’t have to go back and forth paperspace and modelspace to read them, So I mostly use Export for Sketchup.

Export for Sketchup only flaws are:

  • Scale Issues - As you say;
  • Every Layout layer is converted to a block and the block is assigned into a Layer. The entities inside the block are in Layer0. This is good for Sketchup imports, but awful for CAD work.

When engineers, but mostly, when Landscape Architects actually want to work with line entities inside the blocks, they have to explode them and all entities explode to Layer0. This creates a huge mess in the DWG.

There really should be an Export to Model Space, that would be exacly the same as an Export to Sketchup, but entities would be distributed into Layers and not into Blocks.

This Export to Model Space could be useful as an Export to Sketchup too if Sketchup’s DWG import method was different (as it should).

Sketchup should import DWG Entities into Groups assign them to the corresponding Tag. Every entity inside those Groups should be Untagged. This is how every DWG file should be imported to Sketchup and if that was so, Export for Sketchup wouldn’t be needed.

So, even if Export for Sketchup is the main method I use I’m against it.

I actually think that drawing in Layout and exporting that drawing to Sketchup is a niche use case. I know there are famous Sketchup users that do that, but that is something that I find really strange. I imagine most people either import from DWG or Draw 2D directly in Sketchup.

Also Export for Sketchup would be totally useless if Sketchup had a correct DWG import method.

It’s this kind of idiosyncrasy that makes Sketchup/Layout products look imature and unpolished sometimes. They are almost there, but ruin it all with minor things that don’t work as they should.

I’ve banged countless times against this particular issue, but I’ll give up eventually. Sorry @trent for taking this opportunity to rant once more.

I still love Sketchup and Layout, it’s just that sometimes they really get under my nerve (Layout a lot more than Sketchup, of course.)

did anyone find a solution for this stacked viewport issue? I am having the same issue: I’d like to export my layout pages to CAD into model in stacked viewports; i.e. I would like the drawings information to be full scale in CAD while preserving annotations, etc. I agree with JQL a default “export stacked viewports to CAD” option would be incredibly helpful and far more representative of a larger segment of workflows

Nothing new has happened. Your best bet is still to use the “Export for SketchUp” option and then to scale the result in AutoCad or your preferred DWG editing app.