View Full Version : AutoCAD to Microstation conversion

2005-03-12, 01:18 AM
Attn Admin: I think this is the correct forum area for this thread. If not, my feelings won't be hurt if you move it :)

The scenario:
A major client has requested us to send the complete submittal of some projects Microstation format. We use AutoCAD 2005, but retain 2000 for "saving down" purposes. We also have an old version of Microstation 95

I have been able to open R12.dxf files with Microstation 95, but there are a great many errors during the process. Some of it due to my ignorance of Microstation, I am sure.
1) Associative dimensions are not properly displayed.
I have “solved” this by exploding the dimensions before saving as .dxf.
2) Fractions are converted to diagonals.
A minor issue to me, but my company has been displaying linear fractions as the standard
3) Additional fractions in () have appeared next to inch callouts in normal text objects
4) Diameter symbol is not recognized, and is instead displayed as its ascii code
5) Text alignment is askew
6) Plotting from Microstation tries to take the literal color of the objects, IE plotting white lines on a white paper.
I put all objects as dark gray as an experiment, verifying it is clearly color dependant.
7) The # symbol (used for rebar callouts) is replaced with an *

Microstation was unable to open any .dwg format, including R12.

I do not know the purpose the client intends for these files, whether it is to archive or modify. From what I can see so far, making the conversion with the tools I have will destroy any usability of the files for template or modification purposes.

All in all, it seems to be a verious tedious process of modifying the dwg, saving down as dxf, then opening in Microstation and saving as dng. If it were one or two files, it wouldnt be a big deal, but Im looking at close to 100 seperate dwg files.

Is there any help out there? Am I forced to concede due to the outdated version of Microstation I have? Is there a batch converter out there somewhere?

2005-03-12, 04:55 AM
Are you using Vanilla AutoCAD? I think Map will export to DGN format, I know LDT will.

MAP -> TOOLS -> EXPORT... change file type to MicroStation Design (*.dgn), fill in any of the optional items in the export pop up and click the OK button.

Just keep in mind MicroStation pre-V8 does not account for paper space (layouts) very well.

Can't say I'm 100% on this.We have V8 which opens R2004 DWG without conversion.

Another thing to check is if you can insert an AutoCAD file into your version of MicroStation vs. trying to open it directly.

2005-03-12, 05:22 PM

Have a browse of the following threads (they contain a lot of useful information, plus relevant links to useful resources) -

converting autocad to microstation (http://forums.augi.com/showthread.php?t=7293)

Exporting Layouts to MicroStation V8 (http://forums.augi.com/showthread.php?t=8251)

Microstation ?'s (http://forums.augi.com/showthread.php?t=8575)

cad conversions (http://forums.augi.com/showthread.php?t=7593)

Microstation to AutoCAD Compatibility (http://forums.augi.com/showthread.php?t=9729)

Convert DWG to DGN (http://forums.augi.com/showthread.php?t=10484)

Have a good one, Mike

2005-03-14, 10:08 PM
I thank you for your replys. I have reviewed and tested the info in the linked threads, but alas, it was to no avail. I am running the vanilla AutoCAD. I do not have access to Map. The version of Microstation I have access to (95) doesnt want to import either dwg or dxf.

I have done a couple searches for a converter program and related articles/threads, but have come up empty. I found bently's viewer ;) but that doesnt help.

My only option, other than subbing out, seems to be the really dirty method of saving down, then opening, then modifying to correct the conversion errors.

*wah... *sob.... *whimper...

Glenn Pope
2005-03-15, 02:30 PM
You could also get the latest version of Microstation. Not 100% sure, but you might be able to upgrade the seat you already have. This would give you the best solution in converting files back and forth.

2005-03-22, 11:23 PM
Too bad that option would cost the company almost $5k for one seat. Ive started to learn microstation over here, and am trying to get these things looking right. Its a tedious process, but thats what I get for being the low man on the totem pole.

2005-12-15, 03:03 PM
Thank you,
I received so many comment/answers...I will have to take more time to read and find what I'm looking for.
Thank you again
I'm sure that with your help I will find the way to do it.


2005-12-16, 08:48 AM

You might want to try this link:


Not a free solution, but sounds like it might be what you're looking for.

2006-01-31, 10:25 PM
I deal with this kinda stuff all the time.

First, you have to find out what version of MicroStation the client is using.

If it is XM or V8, then you wont have to do a thing to the files - MicroStation allows you to open native .dwg files, make all your changes, save and then open it in AutoCAD and never even notice it was changed in MicroStation.

If the client is running version J and below, then we'll have to do a lot more correspondance.

Let me know how you make out.