Importing a DXF File as Basis for the Modeling

Technical Article

In RFEM and RSTAB, you can import DXF files via the import function. These DXF files can be used as the basis for modeling a structural system.

In principle, you can divide the import into two categories.

Import as lines and members

In RFEM, you can directly import the DXF file and create a new model. Here, the lines of the DXF file are imported and lines are automatically created in RFEM.

In RSTAB, you directly get members with a placeholder as the cross-section at this point. The name of the line's layer is assigned to the cross-section. For example, if you create a cross-section name such as IPE 100 for the individual layers in the CAD program, this layer is directly created in RSTAB as a member with the cross-section IPE 100.

Figure 01 - Importing a DXF File as Lines

When importing a DXF layer, separate settings can also be made before the import. For example, you can swap axes.

Figure 02 - Detail Settings for the Import

Import as a background layer

In RFEM and RSTAB, you can also import a DXF file as a background layer. In doing so, a picture of the DXF is effectively placed in the background of the graphic. You can then create lines and members. The advantage of this option lies in selecting the nodes of the background layer via object snap and thus being able to quickly create a structure using the snap points.

Figure 03 - Importing a DXF File as a Background Layer

If you have imported a DXF as a background layer, it can be customized. It can be moved, rotated, or scaled. These manipulations can be carried out in the project navigator under the guide objects.

Figure 04 - Manipulation of the Background Layer


DXF BIM import background layer



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RFEM Main Program
RFEM 5.xx

Main Program

Structural engineering software for finite element analysis (FEA) of planar and spatial structural systems consisting of plates, walls, shells, members (beams), solids and contact elements

Price of First License
3,540.00 USD
RSTAB Main Program
RSTAB 8.xx

Main Program

The structural engineering software for design of frame, beam and truss structures, performing linear and nonlinear calculations of internal forces, deformations, and support reactions

Price of First License
2,550.00 USD