History of DXF Files

History of DXF Files

The DXF format has been around for more than 33 years, created way back in 1982 by Autodesk.

The DXF format has been around for more than 33 years, created way back in 1982 by Autodesk. A fact is that in those days, you did not even find JPG or GIFS. AutoCAD was introduced into the world, and the folks used 360Kb floppy disk computers. Still, inventors designed the file format well. It is an industry-standard CAD software, and people still used it today.

A Quick Flashback of Why DXF Came Into Existence

In December 1982, Autodesk created the DXF file to represent the date found in the AutoCAD program. It became the standard format for data exchange between the CAD programs. However, Autodesk used a native format known as DWG. The technical specifications are closely guarded and a trade secret until today.

Hence, as it is a proprietary format, they needed something else to share data over other CAD programs and not only Autodesk. Or other CAD programs besides Autodesk that wanted to handle the DWG files would need to reverse the file or pay Autodesk by signing a non-disclosure agreement. Thus, the open-source file came into existence for developers to work with other programs to share data.

Major Updates Took Place

In 1988 binary DXF files were introduced, allowing them to be read and written five times faster, only taking up 25% of the file space. Furthermore, another update made it possible to support other complex object types, such as surface information. There have been 20 releases of DXF file specs throughout the years, and the latest release is numbered u19.1.01. With the release date January 2007.

Pros and Cons Related to DXF Files

Using the DXF format presents many advantages and disadvantages if you decide to commit to this format.

Pros of DXF

  • The file format is an open-source file to share with anyone and free of charge. The files are updated by Autodesk when a new version is available.
  • Regardless of all the CAD programs you use, anyone can work together on the same design or version when using it.
  • You can scale the file with precision as it has a 16-bit floating-point to deliver impressive detail.

Cons of DXF

  • As the file is primarily small, it only stores information in text, making transferring of designs or a model much longer.
  • Neither does the format support and application-specific CAD element or feature. Hence, the file will not recognize when you work with dynamic blocks.
  • You can work with your 3D elements using DXF, but it only supports 2D objects.

What is The Future of DXF?

In this ever-changing world of technology, DXF will retain its role as an essential data-exchange workhorse. In addition, it will remain a vital file type in the CAD, CNC, and GIS businesses as it has incredible cross-compatibilities. It is an open-source CAD file format and is published online for use for free.