Exporting .dwg to arcmap

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09-07-2016 03:22 AM
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New Contributor II

Hi,

I've seen this question asked before, but I cannot find a solution that works for me and hoping someone knows of a new trick:

I have a few dwg autocad files/drawings that I want to use in arcmap (10.1). I've exported several dwgs to shapefiles using autocad(3D Map 2013)  before, it worked perfectly. Now, I have three 3D drawings that I really need for my GIS analysis that won't export right, I get the error message "no entity to export" in autocad, no matter what I choose: point/line/polygon or what attributes and layers I select or deselect. If I just add the .dwg directly into arcmap nothing appears and the attribute table is empty, for all parts of the dwg: polyline, polygon and points.

I have tried saving the files as 2010 .dwg as I understand that arcmap don't like 2012-2014 version dwgs. I have checked for locked layers, there are none. I have made sure the coordinate system is correct according to the map I've added them too, and added the dwgs to completely empty maps also. I have read/write permission on the dwg's locations, I have moved them around and nothing changes. I have also tried exploding the dwgs, but that does not help.

Does anyone have a solution/suggestion?

I have some years of experience with ArcGIS, not so much with autocad. Thanks in advance.

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MVP Esteemed Contributor

I don't use cad... but dwg has lots of hits in the help ie

About CAD dataset spatial references—Help | ArcGIS for Desktop 

Preparing a DWG seed file—Help | ArcGIS for Desktop 

just to narrow procedure down

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New Contributor II

Thank you Dan. I read through them and tried the steps in the help guide, but did not come any closer. I appreciate your quick reply.

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New Contributor II

Just another error I do not understand:

I tried just exporting the dwg to geodatabase using arccatalog, and ended up with another empty feature classes (point, polygon, polyline) with empty attribute tables. I then tried Feature class to feature class on each of the point, polygon and polyline and in the Field map window I have all the fields that I need, but I still end up with empty tables after the tool is done. How can they be in the file, but not be visible to me?

Thanks again.

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MVP Notable Contributor

Hi S,

Can you attach one of your AutoCAD files here? Out of curiosity, do you have a newer version of ArcMap you can try (or even ArcGIS Pro)?

This thread might be best suited in the https://community.esri.com/groups/cadgis-data-integration?sr=search&searchId=a8c0bd8f-b34b-411f-ac73...‌ group instead of the Managing Data group.

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New Contributor II

Hi Adrian,
Thank you for your input.
Unfortunately I am not able to post the AutoCAD file here, it has some location information that is only for my firm. But file format wise I cannot see that it should be any different than the other dwgs I have exported from AutoCAD in the past. Could it be that it is because it is a 3D model and ArcMap is more comfortable with simple shapes?

I only have the 10.1 version of ArcMap.

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MVP Frequent Contributor

You could always post it here with an incorrect prj file. No one would know where it really comes from.

Have you had a look at the properties of the CAD file using ArcCatalog?

It is always the first thing I do. Do the extents make sense? Is there actually data in the CAD file?

If you have access to Data Interop (etl stuff), you can do a lot of fancy things, checking and resolving issues with CAD data.

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MVP Notable Contributor

The reason why I asked about the newer versions is because I feel like Esri has made great improvements on how CAD data is handled in the later versions of software (particularly 10.3 and newer). It may be because of the 3D contingency but it may be because of something else. It is hard to say. It is unfortunate that you cannot post the data here.

Can you export the data as a different data type like a dxf or (dare I say it) a dgn? I am just trying to think of ways to test the data more.

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New Contributor II

I actually realized that I have ArcGIS 10.3, it must have been updated in the last few days and I haven't noticed. But I still have the same problem.

The dwg ended up crashing so much that I don't even dare to open it to export it, but I might post it if I can get hold of another version and still have the same problem. It might seem like that the problem lies in that file.

If I keep struggling with this though I wonder if anyone has had any luck with the ArcGIS for AutoCAD? http://www.esri.com/software/arcgis/arcgis-for-autocad

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MVP Notable Contributor

I am not sure if that autocad extension will help resolve your problem but you could try it since (I think) it's free. It sounds like it may be a file issue.

Like Neil has mentioned, have you looked at this file through ArcCatalog to see if you can see anything?

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