Can't get Aligned Dimensions in AutoCAD into ESRI shapefile or geodatabase

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01-17-2013 08:02 AM
ThomasFurcron
Occasional Contributor
I am trying to find a way to get Aligned Dimensions out of CAD and into ESRI software.  Has anyone been able to do this? 

I have tried exporting from CAD to a shapefile and it is not included as part of the shapefile.  I have tried the import CAD annotation tool in ESRI and it does not come in with that eirhter, and I have tried the CAD to Geodatabase tool in ArcToolbox, and that dose not bring it over either.  Even if you just bring in the CAD file into the ArcMap directly the Aligned Dimensions don't show up. 

I have AutoCAD 2010 and 2013 the file I belive is a 2010 .dwg and I am using ArcMap 10.1

Any suggestions will be greatly appreicated!!  

Tom
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5 Replies
KarenHodge
Esri Contributor
Dimensions aren't supported in any form, unfortunately. 



I am trying to find a way to get Aligned Dimensions out of CAD and into ESRI software.  Has anyone been able to do this? 

I have tried exporting from CAD to a shapefile and it is not included as part of the shapefile.  I have tried the import CAD annotation tool in ESRI and it does not come in with that eirhter, and I have tried the CAD to Geodatabase tool in ArcToolbox, and that dose not bring it over either.  Even if you just bring in the CAD file into the ArcMap directly the Aligned Dimensions don't show up. 

I have AutoCAD 2010 and 2013 the file I belive is a 2010 .dwg and I am using ArcMap 10.1

Any suggestions will be greatly appreicated!!  

Tom
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MarcoBoeringa
MVP Regular Contributor
Tom, I think there are basically two options (neither I have used since I haven't ever used dimensions although I know what they are):

1) Re-create your dimensions using the dimension tools in ArcGIS. ArcGIS can create dimensions as a special type of Annotation class in a geodatabase, see here:

What are dimensions?
The dimension construction tools

There seems to be a basic but useful set of dimension construction tools, so it may be of use to you.

2) Use the commercial FME (Feature Manipulation Engine) product from Safe Software to convert your CAD dimensions to ESRI geodatabase dimensions. I found at least one reference and example on the FME site for converting Microstation dimensions to ESRI geodatabase dimensions, but it requires the FME software to get further insights in this process.

Convert dimensions from Microstation to Geodatabase
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MarcoBoeringa
MVP Regular Contributor
Tom, I think there are basically two options (neither I have used since I haven't ever used dimensions although I know what they are):

1) Re-create your dimensions using the dimension tools in ArcGIS. ArcGIS can create dimensions as a special type of Annotation class in a geodatabase, see here:

What are dimensions?
The dimension construction tools

There seems to be a basic but useful set of dimension construction tools, so it may be of use to you.

2) Use the commercial FME (Feature Manipulation Engine) product to convert your CAD dimensions to ESRI geodatabase dimensions. I found at least one reference and example on the FME site for converting Microstation dimensions to ESRI geodatabase dimensions, but it requires the FME software to get further insights in this process:

Convert dimensions from Microstation to Geodatabase
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ThomasFurcron
Occasional Contributor
I was able to find another way to work around the problem in CAD.  The end result is not quite the same, but it will do for now. 

If you select all of the dimesnsions in CAD and explode them they go from a dimension feature to text and lines, which you can import into your GIS geodatabase as two separate features.  Not what I was hoping for but it will allow me to get what I need out of the system.   

Thanks for everyones help.
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KarenHodge
Esri Contributor
This seems a pretty reasonable workaround.  If you'd like to see the program automatically explode dimensions for you in future releases, you may want to contact technical support so they can put in a request.

--Karen



I was able to find another way to work around the problem in CAD.  The end result is not quite the same, but it will do for now. 

If you select all of the dimesnsions in CAD and explode them they go from a dimension feature to text and lines, which you can import into your GIS geodatabase as two separate features.  Not what I was hoping for but it will allow me to get what I need out of the system.   

Thanks for everyones help.
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