In the Spring of 1997,Heath Beres and Jeff Mattingly of Engineering Science and Mechanics, Virginia Tech developed guidelines for converting AutoCAD .DXF files into formats that can be read by the CAVE as their class project for ESM4714. This page is the summary of their work.
Computer models in DXF (Drawing Interchange File) format (may not be created by AutoCAD) can be converted into Open Inventor (tm) format, (.iv), and Performer Binary format (.pfb) by following the steps shown below.
Figure 4: Procedure to convert DXF file format to .iv and .pfb format
Note that DXF models that can be used in this procedures must be compatible with AutoCAD Release 12 (R12) format. DXF models that are not in AutoCAD R12 format need to be converted into R12 before following this procedure.
Option 1: Follow 5 steps below. These steps are corresponding to Figure 1.
Step 1: Download conversion utility programs and put them in a directory
pfnav.c++, pfbounds.c++, pftransform.c++, ScaleBounds.c++, DxfToIv, IvToVRML, DXFconvert
Also download associated Makefiles for compiling purposes.
Step 2: Compile them under Unix C-shell
Step 3: Convert a R-12 compatible DXF model into a Open Inventor file
Supposed that I want to convert a house.dxf to house.iv.
%DxfToIv house.dxf house.iv
You should now see a house.iv file in your directory.
Step 4: Check the boundary of your Inventor file
This will give you a range of your model in X, Y, and Z axis.
Step 5: Convert the Inventor file into a Performer Binary file
%pftransform -r -90 0 0 -s 0.77164 house.iv house.pfb
%pftransform -r (x-angle)(y-angle)(z-angle)
-s (scale-factor) (input.iv) (output.pfb)
-specify an output filename with the Performer .pfb extension
You should now see a house.pfb file in your directory.
Option 2: Use an Automated Conversion Shell Script written by Heath Beres
This Shell -Script enables users to convert DXF file into .iv and pfb in one step by supplying variables used in option 1 into one command-line. This option is very useful when you need to convert many .DXF files.
%DXFconvert (input.dxf) (scale-factor) (x-rotation angle)
(y-rotation angle) (z-rotation angle)
All parameters are similar to those used in option 1. The benefit of using this script
is that the command-line parameters are all optional (except the input file) and are
configurable. The default script values are:
DXFconvert outputs the following files:
house.iv - the Inventor .iv file
Last updated: 05/09/99