DXF, or Drawing Interchange Format as it known as, is a CAD data file format. It may also be referred to as a Drawing Exchange Format as it does exactly this.
Originally created by Autodesk, the makers of Autocad, the DXF enables data exchange between Autocad programs and other similar programs in the industry. Drawing Interchange Format was created in 1982 for the original Autocad and was used to represent Autocads natural format.
Since then, specifications have been made so that other CAD programs can correctly exchange data. Yet as Autodesk has upgraded Autocad, making it more complex and powerful, the DXF has not been as useful in exchanging and conveying data in other programs.
Since then Autocad has moved onto to the DWG (drawing) file, which stores 3 dimensional design data in a number of CAD programs, including Autocad, IntelliCAD and Caddie. It is also useful in CAD applications which support a variety of CAD files.
The DWG drawing file is likely to be the most popular file format for CAD programs you are likely to come across. Like DXF it was created and implemented by Autodesk, thus the file format is always up to date with AutoCAD technology.
Currently Autodesk have a free DWG viewer, known as Autodesk DWG TrueView, which lets you view both DXF and DWG files without program bias. It enables you to see your 3 dimensional drawings just as you would in AutoCAD. To complement this, they have another program that is free, Design Review, which enables you to open DWG files and use the mark up measures of Autodesk software.
Both DXF and DWG files are in use within the design industry. Autodesk not forgetting this, has put great effort in to enable people to cross use these files in CAD programs and display them via the use of Autocad. Autodesks new freeware has enabled many to share with ease, older or different formats, enabling better communication of ideas within the design industry.
If you are interested in computer based training for cad courses such as Autocad 2010 or 2011, visit www.cadcourses.co.uk.