Why do we need to export Inventor DWG to AutoCAD DWG?

From time to time during our support work we come across the common issue of exporting an Inventor DWG file to AutoCAD DWG. As both file types have the same (DWG) extension, you might be forgiven for thinking there is no difference but there is!

So let me explain the difference between the two file types, and how to set up an efficient workflow for exporting. 

If you create a drawing in Inventor using the Standard DWG template file or a user defined template file created from the Standard DWG template, then once saved the file is an Autodesk Inventor Drawing (DWG).

inventor dwg to autocad dwg 1

When your Autodesk Inventor files are saved in Autodesk Inventor drawing (DWG) format you can:

1. Open your files directly in AutoCAD
2. Use standard AutoCAD navigation commands like zoom in, zoom out, pan etc…
3. Measure the Inventor drawing views
4. Plot the drawing

The Inventor drawing (DWG) files drawing views remain linked to the parts and assemblies that were used to create the views in the drawing sheet. So this means that the Inventor drawing (DWG) file will not be fully editable in AutoCAD.

If you do require the drawing to be fully editable in AutoCAD then you need to use the export file option in Inventor.

Steps for exporting an Inventor (DWG) file format to AutoCAD (DWG) file format:

1. With your Inventor drawing file open, select the file tab, export and select export to DWG.

inventor dwg to autocad dwg 2

2. When the save as dialog box opens, change the save as type to AutoCAD DWG files.

inventor dwg to autocad dwg 3

3. If the file format of the AutoCAD DWG file is to be opened in an earler version, this can be changed by selecting options from the save as dialog box.
4. Select the file version drop down menu and select the required version you wish the file to be saved as. Select next.

inventor dwg to autocad dwg 4

5. In the export destination dialog box you can:

• Select one or more sheets for export
• Use model geometry only, which controls the data that is saved to the DWG file. By default all data is exported.
• Data scaling specifies scaling and destination for exported data.
• Mapping options allow you to map line types, styles and layers to the saved file
• You can use an AutoCAD template file where layer propeties of the template are kept when mapping options for layers may differ.

inventor dwg to autocad dwg 5

• Select finish to complete the export to AutoCAD (.dwg) file format.

Please note that the same results can be achieved by using the file tab, save copy as, then selecting the AutoCAD DWG file type from the drop down list in the save copy as dialog box and selecting the option in the same dialog box.

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