Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Exporting Shape files

Hello all,
I'm wondering if anyone knows how to export a .shp file to a rendering program like Blender. Hopefully not a stupid question but I have tried to find a way and have not had much success. I've also tried to import using Blender but have not found a way using that route either. Thanks in advance everyone!


  • edited January 15

    Wrong kind of shape file, admin please delete this post.

  • My apologies but it looks like I worded this wrong. I don't mean shapefile as the ones mentioned above rather objects modelled in "Shape". I want to render something made in Bricscad Shape but see that a Shape file doesnt look like it can be imported/opened in anything other than BC. Thanks again everyone for your input.
  • Shape's file format is standard DWG like in Bricscad.
    For Rendering you should export the File in a file format that common
    3D Apps can read or at least import. That is mainly DAE only for now.

    BC V19 has FBX export now which is a lot better than DAE.
    But it may take some other months until it finds its way into Shape too,
    if at all (?)

  • Most 3D Apps can load DXF.
    But beside 3DSMax (from Autodesk), no one I know has ACIS licensed.
    So all ACIS Solids will be just skipped !

    Other CADs have DWG/DXF Exporter(!) options to convert ACIS to Meshes.
    In Bricscad you have to convert them manually in a file duplicate.
    ("3DCONVERT" ?)

    If you do that, DXF imports with all Layer's Elements in a separate Group,
    which is great. Unfortunately not as separate Meshes per Element but just
    a bunch of separate 3D Faces. So no Vertices welded, which is a problem.

    I tried a free IFC loader from Github to import IFC into Blender.
    But like importing IFC into Bricscad, it is a bit of a mess as it seems that
    there is lost all hierarchy and grouping (and naming ?), also all Materials
    seem to be duplicated n times they were assigned to objects.

    Before v19 FBX option I tried DAE a few times. The Geometry and Face
    Normal orientation was ok.
    But again, no more Layer or Grouping, no Names. Just a Mesh object from
    every CAD Object and at least the Material Assignments.
    Depending on your 3D App of choice there may be an option to filter for
    Material Assignments, to try to sort and separate them manually afterwards.

    v19 FBX has also no, Naming, Layer, Grouping ...
    but at least Blocks will come in as a Group and even Block Copies will
    be translated as Instance Copies and not as real geometry which is great.

  • Hello Michael Mayer and Per Gogstad. Thanks for your input.
    I've had success getting dxf's into Blender recently by saving as dxf in Shape but can only display 2d on the Blender side. I did have issues specific to Blender getting it to display (scaling and clipping issues) but that's been worked out now. I'll keep looking for a way to get solids to work and will let you know if I gain any headway. Per Gogstad, I'll look at what you posted but I'm using 2.79b soon to be on 2.8. Not sure if it will work but I'll let you know. Michael Mayer, I tried out using the command line to enter 3Dconvert and something similar but no luck. We'll see how generous the powers that be will be in the future with Shape and its ability to export 3d geometry in one format or the other. Fingers crossed. Thanks again guys!
  • edited January 14

    It is "3DCONVERT"
    But maybe excluded from Shape's toolkit.
    (EDIT : yes, looks so)
    You would need Bricscad.

  • Simply save to r12 dwg or dxf.

  • concerning Michael his remark

    BC V19 has FBX export now which is a lot better than DAE. But it may take some other months until it finds its way into Shape too, if at all (?)

    It'll be shorter than this in fact. If all goes well we're releasing the windows beta later today and export options were added to Shape. In this version of Shape you'll be able to export to fbx, bmp, wmf, stl and dae.

  • Great news !

  • Excellent...!

  • @Knut Hohenberg said:
    Simply save to r12 dwg or dxf.

    I did that in the past.
    There was anything that was not satisfying so I went back to
    Vectorworks as a file converter or 3DCONVERT.
    But I can't remember what it exactly was.
    Would have to retry.

    But DXF is legacy and was always the least common multiple.
    I used it decades ago as it brought over Grouping from Layers.
    The problem is that DXF comes in as separate Faces instead of
    And as 3D Apps usually render only 1 side of a Face.
    If the Face Normals aren't properly aligned
    (drawing clock/counter clockwise and other reasons ...)
    You have to flip them manually. As these are separate and vertices
    not welded, there is no way for any automatic repair/conversion.

    In the past you could just apply a "2-sided" Material but that will often
    lead to problems with todays Global Illumination calculations anyway.

    There are a number of formats that are very capable and work well today,
    like DAE and FBX.
    FBX is again proprietary and FBX Kit from Autodesk has some license issues.
    But it works very well as it brings :
    - Scale and Units
    - proper Geometry (true meshes, welded, face normals)
    - Order Hierarchies and Grouping
    - Object Naming
    - Material Settings (mostly)
    - Image Textures (mostly)
    - Material Assignments
    - UVW (Texture Mapping)
    - Cameras (mostly)
    - Lights
    - keeps Instanced Copies (Blocks)

    And, (from Vectorworks) I see no difference between FBX and DAE.
    (Maybe the Instanced Copies are missing ?)

  • Janj, well that is very good news indeed. Thanks for the heads up. I take it there will be a link for the beta version on the same page as the current one on the BC Shape page? If not, where can one find it?
  • To Export SHP Files
    • At the command line, enter MAPEXPORT and press .
    • In the Export Location dialog box, select the ESRI Shapefile format and a location for the exported files. ...
    • In the Export dialog box, specify how to export objects. ...
    • On the Selection tab, specify the objects to export.

  • Hello Rusty

    On the Bricsys website you're able to manage your email subscriptions yourself. For the Shape beta you can just tick the corresponding checkbox and you should receive the beta invitation. If it doesn't work, log a support request asking access or send me a private message here with your contact details and we will include you in the beta cycle.


  • Hello Janj,
    Thanks for the info. I went ahead and checked that box this morning but haven't been notified as of yet. I'll give it a few days just in case it hasn't been rolled out yet. If I don't get an email, I'll take your advice as noted above. Thanks again. Cheers!
  • @Michael Mayer,
    I did not intend to promote saving as r12 as ideal solution, just as the only currently available option to export meshes out of shape.
    Of course, it creates quite some work on the blender side, but the results are IMO usable - it took me about 30 minutes to clean the small attached model to a state where each solid is represented as one blender mesh, with instancing kept intact (something I wasn't able to achieve with dae).
    The workflow is as follows:
    1.) save to r12 dwg
    2.) save this to r15 dxf
    3.) import the dxf with blocks as groups, and no additional merging
    4.) for each group, select one face, then the rest (SHIFT-G / Group), then Join into one mesh (CTRL-J), then edit (TAB), select all vertices (A), weld all together (W/ remove doubles).

    Step 4 is the most laborious one, but it is completely repetitive, and could probably easily be integrated into the dxf-importer.

    Fbx maybe a major step forward, but I think it is not impossible that - with a little love - dxf import could be turned into the most viable option for archviz.

  • No problem,
    I just said I have to retry DXF r12.
    I wasn't sure when ACIS came, maybe I tried even lower DXF at that time

    DAE and FBX produce very good geometry for me.
    Face Normals correct, everything welded, separate meshes for each object.

    So in Modo or C4D I can run a complete "Optimize Mesh" command over the
    whole file in one go, including welding option.

    Separate Meshes are not really needed (more tedious for 3D Apps).
    A Mesh (Container) can include many individual "Mesh" Objects.
    When their Face's Vertices are welded you can individually select them
    separately anyway.
    But separate Objects would help a lot when you need to do repairs.

    It is just that I think it is a pity that by Bricscad Exports, I still have to recreate
    Hierarchy or naming, when it has been already there in CAD.
    And simply because it is possible.

    So FBX should help Rusty
    (But unfortunately not Roatan Bill, in the other DXF thread)

  • Hello Jan,
    Thanks for your help. I'm unning the beta through some places and it seems way better than my previous version already. Cheers!
  • Yes,
    that thing we are not allowed to talk about,
    seems to be pretty stable ....

  • Hello Michael,
    Ha ha, I noticed that as well. I've installed the beta version and as per Janj's comment above re: file types, eveything looks good so far. I'm able to import models into Blender in both fbx and dae which was for the most part all I was after. I'm just confirming that what he has stated above would be possible is Infact possible so I don't think I'm breaking the rules here. I'll keep experimenting further with other aspects of it but for now I'm very pleased. Cheers!
  • What beta? I know of none currently.

  • Tom - BricsCAD Shape V19 Beta is released to those who are registered as Beta testers.

  • edited January 19

    Ah - it sounded like there was another beta out now.

    BTW, I'm registered for 'Release mail subscriptions' - but that doesn't provide notifications of new sub-versions? I just downloaded yesterday's latest sub version v19.1.11.1 - wasn't notified, only saw it because I went looking.

    I'm also registered for betas - but don't see where that's recorded?

  • edited January 19

    For me subscription never worked beside for Mac.
    So I wondered that I received Shape Windows notification at all.
    I also didn’t realized there is already a new Version ...

  • edited January 19

    Hi Tom - ‘minor’ releases on the commercial version are only notified to those who have filed a support requests that are included in the fixes of the new release. I keep on checking once a week if there are any interesting updates. For Windows version, only expect to be notified when V 19.2 is launched.

    You should see on your Bricsys account what you are subscribed to, under mailing subscriptions. It has nothing to do with the forum.

  • Thanks Per. Yes, on my Bricsys account, I can see I'm subscribed o 'Release mail subscriptions' but there's no tickbox for subscribing to betas - which I am subscribed to.

  • edited January 21

    I see only Shape's Beta.
    The last 3 Columns entries on the right, behind Shape.
    Usually outside of my Window ...

  • You're right - I never scrolled beyond Shape to see Shape betas - but as you say no checkbox for Bricscad betas.

Sign In or Register to comment.
Origami is the Japanese word for paper folding. ORI means to fold and KAMI means paper and involves the creation of paper forms usually entirely by folding.

Powered by VanillaForums, Designed by Steam