CAD Clue | How to extract 2D AutoCAD geometry from an Autodesk Inventor DWG Drawing File

Have you ever received a DWG from someone using Inventor, and wondered where the drawing is?!

I get asked this question quite a lot. When Gill from CAD Clue invited me to write a post, I thought that extracting 2D AutoCAD Geometry from An Inventor DWG would make an excelent subject.

Why the Toy Train?

I usually try to make sure that the data files that I am using are relevant to the people who will be reading the post. However Gil’s is a Civil drafter, and I know next to nothing about Civil Engineering!

In the end I was inspired whilst playing with my son (and his train set) to model this toy train. It was fun to do, I hope that you like it too!

CAD Clues - How to extract 2D AutoCAD geometry from an Autodesk Invento DWG drawing file

6 Responses to “CAD Clue | How to extract 2D AutoCAD geometry from an Autodesk Inventor DWG Drawing File

  • Raj Sharma200
    13 years ago

    i have scanned maps of my clients . is there any possible way through which i can convert them to  dwg extension . so i can make changes in it

    • Hi Raj,

      The short answer is no…

      The difficulty here is that the image you have is probably a Bit Map, rather than a Vector based image. This means that there is no Line, Arc or Point information in the file that could be converted.

      You have two options, either pay to have them Vector scanned converted by a specialist:

      Or reference you image into AutoCAD and just use it as a back ground.

      I hope that this is helpful – let me know how you get on,


  • Scott Moyse
    13 years ago

     i can send you some examples! which address shall i send them to?

  • Scott Moyse
    13 years ago

     Although this is a great tip, it has its limitations. Its brilliant for one off’s and small jobs, however, it becomes cumbersome on larger jobs here is why:

    For some reason the origins of Inventor blocks vary, we haven’t been able to figure out a pattern and we have spent weeks trying to. Quite often an inventor view is made up from more than one inventor block (once its created/viewed as an Inventor DWG), as a result lining up the blocks to recreate the inventor view in model space ceases to be a simple task beyond a few ‘view recreations’.

    We did notice some correlation between the blocks that had ‘offset origins’ and ones that didn’t, but this only existed when comparing how the blocks appeared in the Acad paperspace to if they had ‘offset origins’ or not. We couldn’t rationalise a link between the Inventor idw and the Inventor DWG as viewed in Acad.

    The other downside may be fixed now with the use of constraints in Acad. I haven’t tried it since, but this is how it used to be. If you wanted to use an Inventor block in an acad drawing, you could, Awesome! however, if the model updated in Inventor and subsequently so does the block in Acad, it changes relative to the blocks origin. So it may grow or shrink about that point. This means that even though you placed the edge of the block onto a certain acad object in the first instance, it will just move upon updating. As a result you find yourself chasing the blocks around and repositioning them after the update.

    Like i said in the beginning this is a great feature if used in moderation. I don’t care how often Autodesk or Autodesk ‘Fan boys’ tell me otherwise, the translation of drawing data between Inventor and AutoCAD is rubbish and bug ridden. I have multiple examples of it. For the record I could be construed as an Autodesk ‘Fan boy’ at times.

    • Thanks for the detailed comment Scott.

      I will Keep my eyes open for some of the ‘Bugs’ you mention and see if I can throw up any examples.