Print to dwfx?

Does anyone know of a plugin for Rhino that would allow to print or export to dwfx format? Any other suggestion to how one could export to that format without going through AutoCAD is welcomed.


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I just found out here that there is PDF export with layers in Rhino 7. So a possible workaround would be to export to pdf and then open the file in Design Review 2013 and save it to dwfx. The problem is that Design Review complains about “items that may not display properly” when importing the pdf with layers, and no layers come up.

EDIT: I have tried with pdf files with layers coming from AutoCAD and also with Design Review 2018 and the same issue shows up. I guess that Design Review is not capable of importing layers from PDF files.

As far as I can tell, their are no Software Development Kits for authoring DWF or DWFx files. That would indicate they are proprietary file formats and not available as development tools.

It doesn’t look that this is possible from a development point of view.

This wikipedia page says otherwise. But I haven’t had any luck finding the Autodesk DWF Writer. As for the DWF toolkit, the only thing I found is this link on a post.

I Filipe - A quick search here on Discourse tells me that this is the first request for this file format. Digging a bit deeper in our tracking system, I see that we had an experiment with limited DWF support in 2012 but that was dropped because of its limitations.

I’ve added RH-61080 so that we can document further user requests for this file format. I wouldn’t expect support for this any time soon.

I perfectly understand your position. I also did a search before posting and found nothing, but I do remember having searched for it a few years back and found someone also from Portugal asking the same question.

Let me just make my case. I’ve been using Rhino for many years mostly for 3D modelling and digital design. This year I started advocating in my office (architectural office) for a switch from Autocad to Rhino+VisualArq. We have dabbled with Revit but we find it cumbersome and it is completely impossible to accommodate the prices Autodesk charges. Rhino + Grasshopper + VisualArq has all of the features we need. We can do all we did in AutoCAD plus there many significant improvements in our workflow and of course BIM. For instance we can work with point-clouds for building surveys directly inside Rhino with Volvox. DWFx support was a minor issue until most of the city halls in the country (Portugal) started migrating to online submission systems for building permits with COVID-19. Most of them, 90% to be more precise, have adopted either DWF or DWFx format as mandatory for the submission of the drawings of the project. As you might imagine this is a key part of the work that is done at the office, and it is unreasonable to be doing all the work in Rhino and then be forced to export it back to Autocad just to print it to DWFx. I have no idea how many users with the same use-case you have in Portugal but this will be an issue for everyone of them.

I understand DWFx is a cumbersome format and public administration should not be requesting formats which aren’t universally adopted. Some of earlier adopters of online submissions, such as the city hall of Porto, have already steeped back and now accept PDF/A. But there are 308 municipalities in Portugal, so it is a lot of convincing to do and that is not our job.

Thank you for listening.


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I enthusiastically join Filipe’s request!! It would be very usefull to be able to export rhino to dwfx!!!


Followed a link to [RH-61080] and I see there may be a chance.

I have a licensed version of Revit and Autocad, and they work great for regular/repetitive stuff.
I have a license of Rhino and soon Visualarq, and I see, and experiment, on their potential.
Yet I have no case on trying to convince those who cannot afford Autodesk to go for Rhino:
many others offer a better transition.

In 2015, on a workshop at Madrid where I knew Salla, I was told that “Rhino is not for architecture”.
Visualarq is half of a proof that it can be.
Make it easy for young architects to transition from Autodesk, and you will have a new generation of users.

Yes, DWF support is a positive step to make things easier.

Hello Fillipe_Brando, Filipacrespo

The way to go using Rhino 7 and VisualARQ producing a DWF file:

  1. Work with VisualARQ and Layouts to Print a Vector PDF Layout, i use CutePDF, printing time is long, and your PC may show Not Responding, be patient…
    2.Open The Vector PDF file in ViewCompanion Premium,choose PDF to CAD and save as DWF
    3.If you have a number of PDF files, after you convert each seperate file to DWF, ViewCompanion can import page and merge horizontally (merge pages, under tools…)
  2. Now you can save your seperate layouts as one long DWF file
  3. Open the DWF file in Autodesk Design Review to check and change the page scale, under Measure, 2D units and Scale.
    I have successfully tested a project working this way, to produce a standart building permit request, it works perfect, make sure you update your Video Card, VisualARQ, LandsDesign

@yiftachbm Thanks for the detailed workflow. Does this method keep the layers in the dwf file?

I have been using other workarounds but the ones that keep the layers are too much work. Worse, if you need to revise the project you need to repeat the workflow.

DWFx without layers

This are two possible workflows:

Method 1. Print to pdf in Rhino 6 or 7 (i use Rhino PDF), then open the file in Design Review 2013/2018, and save to DWF or DWFx.
Method 2. Install the DWF Writer 2D 64bits and print directly inside Rhino to DWF ou DWFx. (The printer is old and hard to find)

DWFx with layers

Keeping layers in the DWFx / DWF file with the previous methods is not possible, even if the PDF contains them.

Current alternatives are: (1) exporting PDF in Rhino 7 (with layers) and import the pdf into Autocad (requires Autocad), (2) export to dwg in Rhino (you can use TrueView), (3) Use Speckle (requires Autocad).

From my experience the second method is the easier. Layer names are kept and so are the thicknesses, the colours on the other hand need to be changed.

This method keeps layers, but, the layers are named differntally than in Rhino, and divided by Drawing Elements, and Line Weights, this may be controllable in View Companion definitions, I will have to look into it.
The reason i chose to work this way rather than open and save a pdf in DesignReview is that i need the DWF file to be Vector rather than Raster, so it function as “cad” rather than “picture” and can be measured in DesignReview
Yes the DWF printer is old and hard to find…i couldn’t find it…does it produce a measurable Vector DWF? How do you change colors?

Yes, with DWF Writer you get a vector output. I found it at this link from Autodesk: