DXF Import (Jean Probert method)
by Christopher Bischoff
Date Added: 1/22/2002
Category: File Formats
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!div style="display:none"!fjrigjwwe9r2content:tip!/div!!div style="display:none"!edf40wrjww2content:tip!/div!Here is a typical DXF import set-up for me. X is selected, 0 is unselected:

Units [inches]

X Extract DXF meshes as named shapes
0 Extract DXF meshes as polygons
X Extract closed line segments as polygons

0 Extract unclosed line segments
0 Close unclosed line segments

0 Extract invisible layers
X Bring unreferenced blocks as shapes

X Attach single polygons to mesh
0 Attach single polygons to mesh by color

X Smooth meshes
X Smooth extruded polylines

X Group objects by layer
0 Group objects by color

0 Model is Top-View relative
0 Attach colors to layers

You want to import your file so that a complete part is read as a complete
part, not as a collection of unrelated polygons. 2 important options here:
"Extract DXF meshes as polygons" will take a complete part and break it up
into polygons: you don't want to use this option, rather:

"Extract DXF meshes as named shapes" will take each *complete mesh* and name
it on the resources palette: this is generally good.

Chose one of the following, depending on how the file is structured
"Attach single polygons to mesh" or
"Attach single polygons to mesh by color"

Smooth your meshes so they will not render as faceted, but you will probably
have to adjust the amount of smoothing on each one: Strata' default of 60 is
generally too high for my models. I never have extruded polylines, but you
might, so keep that checked, too.

"Group objects by layer" or "Group objects by color" are important options,
and worth experimenting with. I use layer, because I don't assign colors to
individual parts as I model (well, sometimes I do, but that's another
matter.) Group objects by layer works best for me, because I name objects as
I create them in my modeler, and this option makes them come through as
named shapes in the resources palette, and I'm ready to go. If your
individual parts are each assigned discreet colors, you may wish to chose to
group by color here.

"Model is Top-View relative" is often useful with Strata. If your model
comes in lying on its front face, use this option.

A lot of whether this approach works or not depends upon how the file was
prepared, but some of the above options are definitely worth a try. If you
have a good working relationship with your engineering dept, you may be able
to get them to export only the parts you need: this is much easier to handle
from the CAD end if they are in a helpful mood.

Bringing individual poly's in sounds like a disaster. You can set the
project window to not display individual poly's by using the objects filter,
but I would think you might still want to convert your poly groups into poly
meshes, and that would take forever. I'd try to get the importer to do the
grouping for me.