Professional Landscape Design Software
Realtime Landscaping Architect Landscape Design Software

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CAD Import Wizard

The CAD Import Wizard imports 2D drawings created in software such as AutoCAD, DraftSight, ProgeCAD, and other programs that write files in DWG, DXF, or PDF format. This is useful for importing site plans, terrain contours, planting details, and other 2D drawings.

To import a CAD drawing:

1.   Click Tools and CAD Drawing Import Wizard.

2.   Click the Next button.

3.   Browse to the file you want to import and click Open.

4.   DWG/DXF only: Specify which layers you want to import and click Next.

5.   DWG/DXF only: Select the desired drawing units. You can also enter a scale factor if you want to resize the drawing during import. Then click Next.

6.   Click the Set File Name button and enter a file name for the imported drawing.

7.   Click the Next button, and then click the Finish button to complete the wizard.

The CAD drawing will be saved as an Overlay and automatically added to the center of your design.

In the drawing below, the sprinkler detail was imported from a DWG file provided by Rain Bird®.

Linking to the North Direction

When importing site plans and other drawings where the direction is important, you can align the plan with true north in your landscape design.

1.   First, ensure the drawing is oriented so true north is straight up before exporting it from your CAD software.

2.   Import the drawing using the CAD Drawing Import Wizard.

3.   Check the Use compass angle property.

When you change the compass angle, the overlay will then rotate along with it.

Editing Layers

You can show and hide layers in the imported DWG/DXF drawings to isolate the drawing detail you are interested in. Note that these layers are completely independent of the layers used in Realtime Landscaping Architect.

1.   Click the Edit Layers button in the Overlay property window.

2.   Click the layers to show or hide them as desired, and then click the OK button.

Extracting Shapes

You can extract line and curve entities from your DWG and DXF files and convert them to either Shapes or Contour Lines. This is useful when the CAD drawing contains fill regions, property lines, or other 2D shapes that you want to use to create new objects in your landscape design.

To extract shapes from the CAD drawing:

1.   Click the Extract Shapes button. The following dialog will appear:

Currently visible layers
Extract shapes from the DWG/DXF layers which are currently visible.

Specific layers
Extract shapes from certain layers. Click the Edit Layers button to select which layers you want to extract shapes from.

Existing layer
Extract the shapes to an existing Realtime Landscaping Architect layer.

New layer
Extract shapes to a new Realtime Landscaping Architect layer. This is useful when extracting large numbers of shapes because it will make them easier to select as a group later on.

Convert to: Shapes
Convert the extracted entities to Realtime Landscaping Architect's Shape objects.

Convert to: Contour Lines
Convert the extracted entities to Realtime Landscaping Architect's Contour Line objects. The DWG/DXF contour line elevation will be extracted from the entity's Elevation property.

Join connected lines and Tolerance
Automatically joins connected line segments into single shapes, which makes them much easier to edit. For example, a rectangle in a DWG file could consist of four separate line segments. Using this option, a single rectangle would be imported instead.

Depending on how the CAD file was created, the end of one line may not exactly match the start of the next. In this case, Tolerance specifies the maximum distance between the two points in order for them to be joined, as shown below:

Use color from drawing

Use the entity colors defined in the DWG/DXF file. Due to differences in color palettes used by CAD software, the colors of the extracted shapes may not exactly match the original drawing.

Use specific color

Use the specified color for the extracted shapes.

2.   Click the OK button.

The shapes or contour lines will then be created and added to the specified layer as a single group. To edit them individually, click the Ungroup button.

The contour lines in the following design were extracted from an imported DWG file using the above steps.

The same design is shown below in the Perspective view:


      When using Spline entities for contour lines in AutoCAD™ or other CAD software, be sure all fit/control points use the same elevation (Z coordinate).

      The wizard will copy the imported drawing to the following directory:

\Users\user\Documents\Realtime Landscaping Architect version\Custom Data\overlay\Custom\

Where user is your Windows user name, and version is the software version number.

      If you change the original DWG/DXF/PDF file, then you will need to re-run this wizard if you want to the changes to appear in Realtime Landscaping Architect.

See also:

      Adding an Overlay

      Overlay Properties

      Changing the North Direction

      Picture Import Wizard