DWG Export Leaders Issue

Version: WIP(8.0.23010.12305, 2023-01-10)
Issue: Text Leader DWG Export

Details: The Rhino model I’m working with contains only lines and text. I select all objects on a layer and export them to DWG to be used as backgrounds for AutoCAD drawings.
After exporting to AutoCAD DWG, all the leaders are saved as MLeader that point at 0,0 despite them pointing at other things in Rhino model space.
Also, the MLeader line and text attributes are set to ByBlock instead of using ByLayer. (This is an issue with RH7 also).

Do you have a small example file you can post?
What export settings are you using?
What version of AutoCAD are you using to open the file?

Example Files:
08 Deck.3dm (5.0 MB)
08 Deck.dwg (552.3 KB)

Export Settings:
ExportDWG.ini (978 Bytes)

Other CAD Versions:
AutoCAD 2022 and DraftSight 2023
*Both show the DWG files with problematic leaders.

Can you export one of these problem leaders to it’s own file?
I need a SIMPLE, repeatable example.
I have AutoCAD 2018 so I should be able to open an exported file.

How about a file with two leaders (two styles). One leader works, the other breaks. I don’t know why.
08 Deck Leader.3dm (59.9 KB)

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Even better.
I’ll have a look at it tomorrow.

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Hi Jake -

We have this one on the list as RH-72074 File IO: Leader export to DWG

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RH-72074 is fixed in Rhino 7 Service Release 28 Release Candidate

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Rhino 7 (7.23.22282.13001, 2022-10-09): The export appears to be working better now, but in AutoCAD if you edit the text of the exported MLeader (double click on text opens text editor), it is still set to By Block, which has an effect on the printed appearance. This is especially problematic with dwg files used as XREFs.

I also did some testing with another machine that has (7.27.23032.13001, 2023-02-01) and many leaders are again pointing at 0,0. Other leaders have just lost their arrows.

Is this also being addressed in Rhino 8? I just noticed the RH-72074 is Rhino 7 specific, but the initial issue was found in Rhino 8 WIP. I tried again with the WIP (8.0.23059.12305, 2023-02-28) and some leaders are still being redirected to point at 0,0 and are set to By Block. Many of them are also being re-assigned MLeader Style to *A1, *A2, etc for each MLeader.

Hi Jake -
Yes, there is more going on than what was fixed in RH-72074.
We have these on our list:

  • RH-72439 Open DWG: incorrect blocks in Rhino
  • RH-72882 File IO: Importing leaders from DWG
  • RH-73335 File IO: Leaders to DWG


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Hi @wim
Is there a workaround to this?

DWG and DXF exports are looking the same. And it’s not all the leaders.

In Rhino Version 7 SR26
(7.26.23009.7001, 2023-01-09):

Seems to have been fixed in SR28:

The Z-position is flattened.

If you don’t want to flatten the Z-position, you might need to look at your DWG Export Settings. There is an option to project objects to CPlane.

Hi @jcparks (@wim @John_Brock )
You mean this?

To my understanding - if I set that to CPlane, then everything is projected to the CPlane. Having the same end result of everything at Z=0.

I made this quick testfile. The arrows on the outer rim are leaders without text.

Result Rh7 SR28 dwg export:

The text-less leaders start from 0,0,0 and everything is flattened. Inconsistencies with the leader line position/orientation.

Result Rh8 dwg export:

The text-less leaders are ok, except the arrowhead is much much smaller though both have the same style. Everything is flattened

LeaderTest.3dm (664.6 KB)
test_Rh7.dwg (40.5 KB)
test_Rh8.dwg (38.0 KB)

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I think I misunderstood your problem

There is still something wrong with leader export.

If you export leaders, they seem to work fine but moving them in Autocad makes their text orientate according to the leader line. And you cannot modify the Rotation attribute in Autocad.

Any help is needed if this is not a bug but just something peculiar with Autocad itself.

I tested this with Rhino 7, SR28 and Rhino WIP (the latest build).

Hi All,
This issue is in progress as RH-73335

However, the issue is not with Rhino code, but specifically a bug in the I/O tool kit that we license to write DWG/DWF format files. Developer @tim is current working with the developer of the toolkit, and hoping for a timely resolution.

The issue is specifically with Rhino leaders with no text and how they are exported to DWG.

This is currently an open issue with DWG export from Rhino 7/Rhino 8 WIP.
It is not an issue with DXF export from Rhino 7/Rhino 8 WIP or Rhino 6 DWG/DXF.

I used the 2007 natural, but any of the schemes them will give the similar results with the leader.

Here is the DWG export from Rhino 8 WIP to AutoCAD 2023. You can see the arrow on the leader that radiate outward.

Here is the DXF export from Rhino 8 WIP to AutoCAD 2023.

Give DXF a try as a workaround until we have a fix for the DWG the issue.

Let us know if this works for you.
Mary Ann Fugier

Hi @mary,
I would like to also emphasise the “flattening” issue of the leaders. The Z-position of the Rhino-leader is not respected in DWG export.

I see it now.

Lines export at the Z elevation.
Leaders are on the construction plane or flattened.
(harkening back to the old AutoCAD FlatLand variable!)

This has been logged as RH-74308/Leader-Elevation-is-not-Bring-Exported-to-DWG-DXF
You will be notified here on the Forum where there is a fix.

Thanks for circling back.

Mayr Ann Fugier

I have the same issue with leaders that end up straight, with an angle that can’t be modified when edited in Autocad. Whether exported in DWG or DXF.
I’ve also tried using NanoCad Free, but in this case I also lose the text.