Export to CAD with Seed File - Block Shape and attributes

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07-11-2018 05:52 PM
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New Contributor II

Exporting a point feature class to .dwg using a seed file that contains 9 different block definitions. Block definitions have attributes that correspond to field names in the feature class.

Same procedure I successfully used 6 months ago in ArcMap 10.4. Upgraded to 10.6 yesterday. I have not tried reinstalling the older ArcMap version, not sure if that is relevant at all.

The issue: In CAD, the exported feature class appears with generic circle blocks, not the custom Block shapes I have created in the seed file. The properties of the newly created (exported from ArcMap) blocks indicate the right name of the various blocks--the same name that is assigned in the RefName column of the feature class, but, none of the attribute information appears in the properties window in CAD. Also, the Block Unit has changed from 'feet' to 'Unitless' (If I load the ArcGIS for AutoCAD app, I can view the attribute table using those tools, but that add-on has not been required in the past.)

Clearly something in the Export to CAD is not working. Hoping someone else has encountered similar issues and can suggest where I should look.

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New Contributor II

Hi Everyone,

I contacted ESRI support on this issue. It is a known bug in ArcGIS Desktop 10.6/10.6.1. Below is the response from ESRI tech support.

I uninstalled 10.6 and reinstalled 10.5.1 and the export files work perfectly with the right block objects and attributes visible in AutoCAD. 

ESRI says that they support up to AutoCAD version 2017 with format (dwg) version 2013. I created the seed file in  AutoCAD 2018 and saved to .dwg format 2013. The ArcGIS output file opens fine in 2018 and 2019. I haven't created any seed files in AutoCAD 2019, but it seems like it would work as long as you save to .dwg 2013 format.

Ben

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Response from ESRI Tech Support

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As I mentioned in my voicemail message, I have taken ownership of this case and I am very sorry that you are running into BUG-000112999 that was logged to report that Export to CAD does not create BLOCK entities properly, along with attributes in the output CAD file at version 10.6 of ArcGIS Desktop.

This process did work correctly in ArcGIS Desktop 10.5/10.5.1, and allows exporting to AutoCAD DWG format through 2017.  That is the latest version of AutoCAD DWG or DXF format files that is supported in ArcGIS Desktop.  AutoCAD files through 2017 are supported in ArcGIS Desktop 10.5 and 10.6.  In order to run this Export to CAD process, using a seed file, the seed file must be the same version as that selected for the output DWG or DXF file, or the process will not produce correct results.

Here is a link to the supported CAD formats from ArcGIS Desktop 10.6/10.6.1:
 http://desktop.arcgis.com/en/arcmap/latest/manage-data/cad/supported-cad-formats-in-arcgis.htm

The supported formats for 10.5/10.5.1 are slightly less extensive:
http://desktop.arcgis.com/en/arcmap/10.5/manage-data/cad/supported-cad-formats-in-arcgis.htm

AutoDesk Corp. does not share their libraries with Esri.  Esri purchases libraries to read and write AutoCAD files from a 3rd party vendor, then incorprorates those files into our software.  This is of course a time consuming process, and explains why Esri does not yet support AutoCAD r2018 DWG or DXF file formats.

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I have had similar problems with Export to CAD using a seed file since I upgraded from 10.3 to 10.6 and from AutoCAD 2013 to 2018 recently.  Both upgrades were performed at about the same time (and I have not tried reinstalling the older versions) so I am not sure whether the issue was caused by ArcGIS 10.6 or AutoCAD 2018.  Which version of AutoCAD do you have on your computer?

ArcGIS 10.6 might be incompatible with AutoCAD 2018 as dwg files appear "empty" and cannot be displayed unless they were first converted to the 2013 version.  However, file version does not seem to matter in Export to CAD as the seed file I used was already in the 2013 dwg format.

Hopefully there is a solution to this and if not, one can be found soon.

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I have AutoCAD 2018 on my computer. I haven’t updated it since my previous successful Export to CAD operations.

On the other hand, I did reinstall ArcGIS 10.5 (I incorrectly indicated I had upgraded from 10.4 in the original post) and I still cannot get it to work. Perhaps of interest, it fails differently. 10.6 substitutes a generic circle in place of my custom block drawing. 10.5 doesn’t place any shape or point in the Insert process. 10.5 does create the layer the points / blocks should be on.

Like you, I am stuck.

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New Contributor II

Hi Everyone,

I contacted ESRI support on this issue. It is a known bug in ArcGIS Desktop 10.6/10.6.1. Below is the response from ESRI tech support.

I uninstalled 10.6 and reinstalled 10.5.1 and the export files work perfectly with the right block objects and attributes visible in AutoCAD. 

ESRI says that they support up to AutoCAD version 2017 with format (dwg) version 2013. I created the seed file in  AutoCAD 2018 and saved to .dwg format 2013. The ArcGIS output file opens fine in 2018 and 2019. I haven't created any seed files in AutoCAD 2019, but it seems like it would work as long as you save to .dwg 2013 format.

Ben

===========================

Response from ESRI Tech Support

===========================

As I mentioned in my voicemail message, I have taken ownership of this case and I am very sorry that you are running into BUG-000112999 that was logged to report that Export to CAD does not create BLOCK entities properly, along with attributes in the output CAD file at version 10.6 of ArcGIS Desktop.

This process did work correctly in ArcGIS Desktop 10.5/10.5.1, and allows exporting to AutoCAD DWG format through 2017.  That is the latest version of AutoCAD DWG or DXF format files that is supported in ArcGIS Desktop.  AutoCAD files through 2017 are supported in ArcGIS Desktop 10.5 and 10.6.  In order to run this Export to CAD process, using a seed file, the seed file must be the same version as that selected for the output DWG or DXF file, or the process will not produce correct results.

Here is a link to the supported CAD formats from ArcGIS Desktop 10.6/10.6.1:
 http://desktop.arcgis.com/en/arcmap/latest/manage-data/cad/supported-cad-formats-in-arcgis.htm

The supported formats for 10.5/10.5.1 are slightly less extensive:
http://desktop.arcgis.com/en/arcmap/10.5/manage-data/cad/supported-cad-formats-in-arcgis.htm

AutoDesk Corp. does not share their libraries with Esri.  Esri purchases libraries to read and write AutoCAD files from a 3rd party vendor, then incorprorates those files into our software.  This is of course a time consuming process, and explains why Esri does not yet support AutoCAD r2018 DWG or DXF file formats.

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