Is there a recommended DXF version to use?

Quite happy to finally see DXF support added. Thank you.

I immediately ran into the scaling issue reported by @henryhbk. I then wondered if GF support has a suggestion as to which version of DXF I should use when exporting?


cc: @ivan1

Looking into this a bit more…

If the GF UI units are set to inches, then a DFX file that was exported in:

  • inches imports correctly
  • cm imports too large
  • mm imports too large (even larger)

If the GF UI units are set to cm, then a DXF file that was exported in:

  • inches (still!) imports correctly
  • cm imports too large
  • mm imports too large (even larger)

It doesn’t seem like the GF import is correctly using the DXF DIMALTF header variable for the scale?

Thank you so much for running into trouble! I appreciate you ccing my colleague @ivan1. They are currently out of the office, but I wanted to make sure I reached out with some additional details.

Currently, we would advise utilizing the 2018 version when importing DXF files.

I’d also like to capture a copy of the file you noticed the scaling errors with. Would it be possible to post the design to this thread? If you would prefer, you can email us directly at, and we can review it there.

Thank you @MarcM
Here are three dxf files exported from CAD (Onshape) in Inches, cm, and mm. In these files the DIMALTF header variable I mentioned is on line 230, and the unit scaling factor is on line 232. (These can be viewed with a text editor.)

Part Studio inch.dxf (168.9 KB)
Part Studio cm.dxf (167.9 KB)
Part Studio mm.dxf (167.7 KB)

Below is a dimensioned drawing for clarity of what this part looks like and the part size. The part should import with a diameter of 90 mm (or 3.543 inches). The attached dxf files to import do not have any dimensions or text.

Bonus points if you recognize this object. :smile:


Clunk clunk…VR old school!


Hi @marmil! Apologies for the delayed response as I was out of the office. Thank you for the detailed information you’ve provided so far. I love the design; I had one of those viewers when I was a kid!

I’ll work with my team to investigate this further. Something I noticed while I started looking into this was that I was unable to load the provided DXF files in Illustrator. I’ve had success opening DXFs from various CAD packages in Illustrator in the past. Unfortunately I’m not very familiar with Onshape.

In your earlier screenshot, I was curious about what options are available that were hidden behind the DXF version drop-down:
Screen Shot 2021-02-24 at 2.07.46 PM

May I have a bit more information about the available options, or a screenshot showing what can be selected?

@ivan1 Oh, that’s an option to either download the output file after creating it, or save it locally with the project.
Nothing helpful here I’m afraid.


Viewmaster!!! It is crazy how a shape gets printed into your brain. Aren’t there vee shaped notches around the outside of the disc?


@gewubs Yes! There seems to be a few variations.
Some had some sort of notches around the reel that was cut into only one of the two layers that get bonded together. Many reels have tiny double V notches at a single location that indicate the top when inserting to correctly position frame #1, but some just have “Start” printed in that location and no notches.

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Thank you for the additional information that Options field only relates to download options. I’ve taken detailed notes on this and shared them with our team so that they can investigate further. Unfortunately I don’t have additional information to share at this time.

Before I close the thread out, I want to ensure that you aren’t currently blocked by this. It the process of exporting your design in inches and selecting inches as the unit in the GFUI still resulting in the correct scale?

@ivan1 As I noted above, if exported as inches, and the GF UI being in either inches OR cm, it comes in with the correct size. I’m not blocked from making my random fun stuff. :slight_smile: Thank you, I appreciate you and other team members for having a look.

@marmil , thank you for verifying that you’re able to get your designs to load as expected by exporting the DXF in inches, and for reporting this app behavior so that our team can continue to look into this further.

I’m going to close this thread. If you run into trouble again, or have any questions for us, please create a new post here on the forum or email us at and we’ll be happy to help!

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