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SDS-DXF-CNC Main form



Drafting in Interactive Graphics module of SDS/2 is too slow. DXF drawings appearance is too bad...

With SDS-DXF-Convert you can switch to AutoCAD for cleaning up of SDS/2 produced drawings = at least 2 times faster work!



·         Overview

·         Main features of the program

o        A. DXF →DWG conversion (Export DXF)

o        B. DWG →DXF conversion (Import DXF)

·         New in Release 5

·         Installation

·         Setting

·         Using application

·         Setting Template

·         Translation DXF-DWG

·         Import DXF files in SDS/2

·         Registering



SDS-DXF-Convert-05 is the program for DXFDWG, DWGDXF and DXF-CNC conversion of drawings generated by Designdata SDS/2 steel detailing system or other non-AutoCAD-based programs, using DXF format output. With this application you can work more efficiently and transform your drawings into a much more desirable appearance with a minimum of effort.


Main Features of the program


A. DXFDWG conversion (Export DXF)




Automatically convert any number of DXF files in one step




Produce CNC DXF files for plate burning machines and generate reports: Report Sample



Apply stacked format (three styles: horizontal, diagonal and Architectural) for text

Before conversion


After conversion

All text items will be placed on layer “Text”


After conversion


Lines with linetypes “Hidden” and “Center” will be placed on layers Hid2 and Cline respectively (selected option “Layers”); Holes - on Layer SDS_Holes


After conversion


Assign drawing’s scale, set LTScale, DimScale variables as well as rescale your drawing accordingly with the scale


Main Form (part)


Apply auto numbering for drawings


Drawing number in stamp


Automatically attach XReferences


Title Block with company Logo attached to converted drawing in Auto regime


Fill holes with hatch


Before conversion


After conversion



Eliminate main material piece marks (like w226 for W-shapes or ts221 for Tube steel or c220 for channels) from bill of material.


Before conversion


After conversion


Enclose face-to-face dimension of main material in angle brackets


Before conversion


After conversion


Instead of ‘Dia’ apply diameter symbol


Before conversion


After conversion

Change Date $ special symbol used in SDS/2 to common Date format


After conversion


Date $ 03/25/05


B. DWGDXF conversion (Import DXF)





Text modifications: special symbols used in AutoCAD (diameter, plus-minus etc.) will be replaced with appropriate text readable in SDS/2. Inch symbols will be removed. The color of all Text objects as per setting in form can be changed. The program has special procedures for modifying of other AutoCAD objects: blocks, blocks with attributes, multilines and others. 

Text and dimensions

Imported DXF in SDS/2: WITHOUT using


Inappropriate handling of text entities, lost data (dimension text)



Text and dimensions

Imported DXF in SDS/2: WITH using


Improved representation of objects in the drawing



Anchor Bolt Detail

Imported DXF in SDS/2: WITHOUT using SDS-DXF-Convert

Blocks with attributes, text and dimensions were not imported properly




Anchor Bolt Detail

Imported DXF in SDS/2: WITH using


The program able to transfer different ACAD objects without loosing data.


New in Release 4:

·         Import DXF files in SDS/2: preparation of AutoCAD drawings for the following translation in DXF format and import in SDS/2

·         Enhanced Join Lines command

·         Text Stacked style selection in main form

·         Improved performance and interface


New in Release 5:

·         Increased speed of Conversion

·         Architectural stacked text auto conversion

·         More options in text color assignment


As the main advantage you will get more powerful and convenient AutoCAD environment for final edition of your drawings. With this application this task (cleaning up of the drawings) can be performed by beginners in AutoCAD, not by experienced SDS/2 users. With using different AutoLISP and VBA routines AutoCAD drafting at least 2 times faster than drafting in Interactive Graphic module of SDS/2.




After auto installation new folder will be added under drive C:\ called SDS-DXF-Convert

Create shortcut for the file SDS_DXF_Convert-05.exe found under SDS-DXF-Convert directory and place label on your desktop.




Play video Or read instructions

Start AutoCAD and configure your support path information to include the directory C:\SDS-DXF-Convert

Enter AutoCAD command: preferences

Click on button Add…, next button Browse…

Find folder C:\SDS-DXF-Convert and press OK

Press OK to close Options dialog window


Include file SDS-ACAD-01.LSP in ACAD Startup Suite:

- Enter command appload

     - Press button “Contents…”, then click on “Add…” button and browse to find file C:\SDS-DXF-Convert\SDS-ACAD-01.LSP

     - Click on it and close dialog windows.


Using application


Start AutoCAD.

Double click on label on your desktop. The main form shows up.

Setting Template

The program uses SDS-SCAD.dwg (located under C:\SDS-DXF-Convert folder) drawing as a template (EXISTING layers and text styles in that drawing SHOULD NOT be modified!). You can transfer in this drawing different dimension and text styles, Layers etc. in order to work with final edition of the drawings more efficiently. To open template click on button ‘Modify Template’.


Translation DXF-DWG

Select folder with .dxf files. Using arrows select files for conversion. Select style of stacked text, check appropriate boxes ‘Del.PcMk’; ‘Fill Holes?’ etc.), select scale; define LTScale, Dimscale and DWGscale (read comments below).


·         Before experiment with settings try to use the default scenario. Just press big right directed arrow and then click button “Convert”. After that you can start to use different options, assign, edit, create new scenarios etc.

·         For demo version you can use only files located in folder \DXF_FILES.



·         After scale is assigned (i.e. 1˝) Dimscale variable will be changed respectively. It gives you the ability to add dimensions and text accordingly to scale. You can choose value for LTScale depending on your preferences or type of DXF file (erection drawing or detail drawing etc.)

·         DWGscale value represents the scale factor: the drawing will be scaled in accordance with the number you have entered in this text box.

·         Del.PcMk – check this box if you wish to eliminate main material piece marking in BOM.

·         On checking box “Layers” different types of lines will be placed on special layers.

·         In order to use XReferences check box “Add XRef?” Play video or read instructions:

Open any *.dxf file from the group of files to be converted, insert AutoCAD drawing you are planning to use as XReference. Rescale inserted drawing, move to proper location, explode and apply Wblock command (insertion point should be 0,0). Remember location of new file. Close .dxf file without saving. Open drawing you just assigned to be XReference and edit it, if necessary. Next time you make the conversion just select this drawing from ‘Select XRef file’ list box.

·         You can apply auto numbering for drawings (number = drawing file name). To do it: define location and scale of text representing DWG number. Press button ‘1’ in main form, Follow instructions in the Message box.

·         To save your setting press button “Save As”. Dialog window pops up. Enter scenario’s name and press button OK.

·         If you need to edit Database of scenarios, click on “Edit” button:



·         In Database value ‘1’ = check box is checked and ‘0’= checkbox unchecked.

Field “Last” could accept “Yes” or “No” values (if “Yes” then this record will be active next time you launch the program).

·         Do not forget to press the button “Update” after making changes in record.


Fill holes


In order to fill holes with hatch, make setting in SDS/2 ‘Drawing Cosmetics’ and ‘DXF Export Pen Colors’ providing contour of holes color different from other objects in SDS/2 drawing.


Text fonts: Drawing C:\SDS-DXF-Convert\SDS-ACAD.dwg is used as a template for the conversion. In this drawing text style “StackDiag” has big font addbom.shx (diagonal slash in fraction). The other style “StackHoriz” is based on big font: pdfrac.shx (no slash in fraction). See codes for both fonts below:




~1 = 1/16

[1 = 1/16

~2 = 1/8

[2 = 1/8

~3 = 3/16

[3 = 3/16

~4 =1/4

[4 =1/4

~5 = 5/16

[5 = 5/16

~6 = 3/8

[6 = 3/8

~7 = 7/16

[7 = 7/16

~8 = ˝

[8 = ˝

~9 = 9/16

[9 = 9/16

~A = 5/8

[0 (zero) = 5/8

~B = 11/16

[Q = 11/16

~C = 3/4

[W = 3/4

~D = 13/16

[E = 13/16

~E = 7/8

[R = 7/8

~F = 15/16

[T = 15/16

~P = plate symbol

[Y = 3/32

~L= centerline symbol

[U= 7/64

~s = shift text up

[P = plate symbol


[C = centerline symbol


[A = angle symbol


[G = gage symbol


[V = +/- symbol


[< = less than or equal to


[> = greater than or equal to


For Architectural font (text style Arch in template) codes - see drawings ARCHFONT.DWG and ARCHCHAR.DWG in folder SDS-DXF-Convert.


Import DXF files in SDS/2:


The program can help you in Importing DXF files produced in AutoCAD:

·         More data can be saved during import DXF procedure

·         The time you need to spend in cleaning up imported drawings can be significantly decreased.


In order to prepare the drawing for DXF import you have to make two steps:

First (button ‘Import: Step 1’) you define insertion point and objects to be included in DXF file (new drawing will be created under C:\SDS-DXF-Convert\DXFfromACAD folder). After you made all necessary modifications in the drawing press the button ‘Import: Step 2’. The program applies the sequence of commands providing better results for DXF import: burst blocks with attributes; change dimensions’ fraction format; explode blocks; edit text and MText objects (replace special AutoCAD symbols, remove inch symbol) and others. Finally you have to save modified drawing in DXF format.

In demo version of this program DWG → DXF translation is disabled. At your disposal are Movies and DXF files (you can import them in SDS/2 and compare the drawings) located in directory DXFfromACAD:


Remark: the program cannot provide IDEAL DWG-DXF translation of files!




By registering this program, you will get:


-          The full version of the program

-           Free support (via e-mail).


How to register

If you decide to buy, you need to register your license. In main form press the button: “Register”. Follow instructions in opened form. Payment can be made on-line. Checks or money orders acceptable as well. For current price and conditions of payment follow the link:


Warning: During an operating time of this application keep AUTOCAD running!