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    By Dennis Collin

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    AutoCAD 2018 had a direct FBX import option where data from InfraWorks, Revit and other non-Autodesk products like blender could be read into AutoCAD. Unfortunately, from the 2019 release onwards this functionality was removed, leaving users in a dilemma with how to get their FBX data into a product like AutoCAD. Obviously if using an Autodesk product like Revit or Navisworks files can be exported to a suitable format and imported or linked in directly, but with third party products it is not so easy a task.

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    However, several options are available. The first is to try the Autodesk FBX Convertor app. This will convert an FBX into a few different formats including DXF or OBJ. The DXF file can be opened directly, whereas the OBJ file can be read via a suitable add-in off the App store. I have posted about one such application late last year here:

    https://www.cadlinecommunity.co.uk/hc/en-us/articles/360015191858-Revit-Tip-Incorporating-Alias-OBJ-data-into-Revit-Families

    Although it relates to the creation of Revit families, it does utilise AutoCAD as an intermediate step for geometry translation. The Add-in seems to do a good job in geometry translation, although there is a size limit of about 32.5k faces.

    The FBX convertor app can be downloaded from here and is run as a separate stand-alone application.

    https://www.autodesk.com/developer-network/platform-technologies/fbx-converter-archives?_ga=2.207842066.1849095098.1627306825-1445310068.1627306825

    If the FBX data is more complex, then it may be worth using 3ds Max as the translator software. It can read in FBX, OBJ and many other file formats and export data out to DXF, DWG and a similar range of other file formats.

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    To convert an FBX file, open up 3ds Max, browse within the application menu and use the link FBX option on the fly-out tab.

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    The geometry should display on the screen. To save the model out to AutoCAD, choose Export and choose the DWG format.

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    Once exported open the file within AutoCAD and depending upon selected options the geometry detail should be preserved on the trip.