DXF Files

The DXF file format is probably the most commonly used file format for interchange of geometry for manufacturing. Unfortunately, it suffers from a variety of problems:

  1. There are various versions or revision levels of the DXF file format, so it’s possible that your software doesn’t support some feature present in the file. R12 is the most generally compatible, but doesn’t support splines or embedded units.
  2. Many CAD programs, even if they do claim to support a particular version of the DXF file format, won’t interpret the design correctly
  3. Many CAD programs produce broken or otherwise incompatible DXF files. This problem is compounded by CAD software that’s not liberal enough in its interpretation of the DXF format to try to overcome these issues.

That’s why I keep several CAD programs installed, including DraftSight, QCad, LibreCAD, and a few others.