Convert files to mass AutoCAD / Microstation

It is common to find in the need to transform a large number of files in a massive way:

We get an 45 project dwg files in AutoCAD 20112 format. We know that these files can be read in AutoCAD 2010 and 2011 but if the computer where they are going to be displayed only has AutoCAD 2008 we need to convert them.

We pass 170 DGN files in v8 format and we need to pass them to dwg format so that they are processed by users of GIS programs that do not support this type of file.

We do not refer to a single file, which is usually done with Open / save as. For both cases, a solution is necessary and both AutoDesk and Bentley have it, although under different conditions:

With Bentley Systems

This functionality comes in any version of Microstation, It is executed from the top menu:

Utilities / Batch converter

It allows to choose the destination route for the converted files. The fourth icon is used to add the files that you want to convert, it is interesting that not only can be done to convert dgn files but any of the supported formats: dgn v7, dgn v8, dwg, dxf, IGES (.igs), STEP ( .stp), .cgm, .x_t, .sat, .stl and even the conversion can be to any of these formats.

Autodesk true view

Then the task can be saved to be executed again at another time. Practical, in the case of some processes that occupy scheduled so that every maintenance performed on a map export to a web publishing directory that occupies files in a specific extension. Of course, if you do not have Microstation, this process can be executed with a trial version that lets you work 15 minutes, enough time to perform this type of process.

With AutoDesk.

In the case of AutoDesk, it has provided the free tool called True View. In this case I am using the version that has been released with AutoCAD 2012, when installing it, as for any version of AutoDesk 2012 requests .NET update 4 Frame Work.

The functionalities are similar in several aspects to the Batch Converter of Microstation in terms of saving the Job list, Management of reference files and Purged of unnecessary data. This conversion is only at the level of dwg files, it allows transformations of the 5 different formats that this line has had from the 97 version: R14, 200, 2004, 2007 and 2010.

Autodesk true view


Both solutions resolve the premises of the beginning for users of the own brands. However, there are significant differences:

In the case of Bentley, it has the advantage of being able to convert files to different formats, among which the dwg, dgn and dxf are widely used. Of course, the version it converts to seems to be based on a generic one that can be read by any version of AutoCAD, including 200 and also GIS programs that recognize that version.

There is the disadvantage that to operate files dwg 2010 version must be done with Microstation V8i, previous versions only recognize formats up to dwg 2007. The other disadvantage is that this routine requires having a version of Microstation installed, although it can be a trial with an option of 15 minutes.

The case of AutoDesk, has the advantage of being able to convert to different dwg formats and also that it is a free tool.

The disadvantage that can not be done to other formats, not even to dxf. Also, that this option is not included in AutoCAD, so programming routines within an application is more complex, which is easier with Microstation.

3 Replies to "Convert files to AutoCAD / Microstation dough"

  1. I have a question, what option should I put in order to keep the relative location of the references?

  2. Update: AutoCAD 2012 brings a new functionality called dwg Connect, which allows you to convert files in bulk.

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