Skip to main content

CLO Help Center

How can we help you?


problems importing DXF


  • pabloquintana

    Hi linusridestore. Can you please send it to so I can try it. I deal with imports constantly I have developed a good workflow to make them work.

    Also, I suggest you post this question in the Q&A section. You might receive more answers.



  • Vad

    try to open in another application, and resave. You did not specify which software the pattern maker  partner used..

  • atmenson

    Hi I am having the same problem. Were you able to figure it out? If so, I would love it if you could please help me out

  • Alex

    Bumping this; similar DXF import problem here.

    I found that exporting it as R13 or R14 with Illustrator at least gets around that incompatibility alert. Nothing shows up in the viewport, though.

  • ottoline

    DXF is not the same as DXF-AAMA/DXF-ASTM that is the issue you have. Full stop no R13 or R14 DXF Engineering CAD is going to import the same as the clothing standards CAD exchange file format. So understanding that is key to appreciating that you need to either:

    A) Add in another process layer to your illustrator file to make it conform to the clothing CAD DXF-ASTM or DXF-AAMA layers and xref standards (this means MANUALLY assigning layers, grouping closed polygon shapes into patterns, etc, assigning xref for notches, and various removal of stray points that might effect closed polygons. [ DXF (autodesk) is simply an engineering exchange format that will allow you to import to other 'like' engineering applications. And withing Fashion CAD systems that do take in Autodesk DXF engineering CAD - you will find each has their own type of DXF translator package. So this means dependent on what dxf translator you pick up (and it's preset conditions) the file will be converted to best import the engineering data to fashion CAD apps.]

    2) That you import your illustrator DXF into a translator app that will convert the DXF into the appropriate polyline groups, blocks, and layers common to DXF-AAMA/DXF-ASTM. 


    My suggestion is that you decide if illustrator is the best app to work in for  pattern drafting. (No it's not as it lacks basic workflow productivity tools) Or that if you decide this is to be your specific blend of drafting approach you read the layering standards that come with DXF-ASTM/DXF-AAMA and make your illustrator file conform to those specific layers, and that all drafting CAD clothing detail work is suitably constructed so it conforms to the standard as you work in illustrator. (You could set up a simple illustrator layer template when you draft, and follow some basic principles that conform to the standard so when you save out the DXF is clean ready to conform better.) This is possible but you need to be religious in keeping to these norms. 

    In the end it's up to you. It's not a 'problem' if you choose the right approach. And the incompatibility alert is more to do with the gap in the knowledge level when coming from applications that simply don't conform to clothing drafting standards out the box (a graphics app verse a clothing pattern CAD. This means the effort then falls to you to fill in the gaps - and they are many. 


    Here is a 15 page document that outlines the layering and how to structure your DXF so it conforms: > Document link


    And if 15 pages of reading falls into the too hard basket you need to find a reliable alternative that translates the file into the default DXF-ASTM or DXF-AAMA format better. There are a few out there - some are 100% free.


    You need a reliable process you understand and document , not some fickle process that shields you from the reality of what DXF-ASTM/DXF-AAMA structuring requires. This is often the Achilles heel of most design studios as they exchange clothing drafting data - they simply don't grasp how to translate data for design. Don't be one of those - know how it works and then master the skill to get what you want when you want. That will then empower you to take control of this data exchange with any manufacturer /software or any studio, so you are in control, rather than the process control your work flow. Learn once - and learn it well. 

  • Bikini Design Club

    Thank you Ottoline for your reply. I will read and learn.

Please sign in to leave a comment.