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CFD-Jay July 7, 2010 09:09

How to import AutoCAD file into Design Modeler?
How can I import a geometry created in AutoCAD into Design Modeler? Can anybody help me with that? Thanks!

PSYMN July 8, 2010 10:01

File Filter
1 Attachment(s)
Import Geometry and Browse to the folder where your file is...

If you don't see your files, check the filter. This may be licensing dependent. There is a special key needed to import Autodesk formats, just as there is one to import Pro/E or NX formats. I think this is less nitpicky with the Academic keys.

Attachment 4026

Coming at 13.0, we have added some new import formats (such as JTOpen and STL), removed some of the requirements to have CAD software installed, etc.

jbritton July 8, 2010 10:35

If you are using the academic version, most packages of this come with the geometry interfaces and you can import as above.

If its a commercial license, you will need the autocad geometry interface license or simply export you geometry to step format and open it in design modeller.

Arash Akhgari February 8, 2011 17:47


I am trying to import a 2D drawing form AutoCAD 2008 into the DesignModeler. the import option is available, although when I generate the model, there is an error.

ANSYS DesignModeler 12.1 Error
Error: Attach failed
Context: Attach Feature Import1


can anybody help me on that? thanks.

PSYMN February 10, 2011 10:25

3D dwg only...
Sorry, I just checked with development and they told me that currently, the autodesk reader is only for 3D dwg files. However, they are enhancing it right now so that the next release will support 2D.

rae May 3, 2011 01:06

I have a very simple AutoCAD version 12 3D dwg file that I am attempting to import but get the same 'attach failed' error message as Arash.

Is there something else to know?

Arash Akhgari May 3, 2011 14:59

Hi Rae,

Apparently importing the CAD drawings does not work properly. Simon told me that it will be fixed soon. Try ICEM to mesh you geometry. ICEM is fairly straight forward too.

rae May 3, 2011 19:05

Hi Arash, Meshing is my next step so thanks for the advice.

On my 'Geometry' - I noted 'Inventor Fusion' seemed the preferred source in ANSYS discussions so I opened and saved my '.dwg' file in '.igs' format using Fusion - ANSYS workbench opened the '.igs' format without a hitch.

rafiktharwat May 6, 2011 18:44

importing from Autocad to Ansys
to import autocad 3D objects to Ansys.
Export them from Autogad in IGES format using the subscription package of licenced version of Autocad .
Then import it in Ansys geometry.
this works for me

PSYMN May 6, 2011 20:33

I thought the problem was just with 2D AutoCAD. No one was complaining about 3D models... (yet?)

natantyt October 19, 2011 20:23


I'm trying to import a 3D geometry to Design Modeler in STL stp ir iges. none of them works for me and i get the "attach failed" or "no body found' error message.
Anybody got any idea?


rae October 19, 2011 22:02

RE: 'I'm trying to import a 3D geometry to Design Modeler in ... iges.'


My experience with DM is that it imports geometry in '.igs' format without trouble. There may be some structures which can't be imported (haven't of course tried them all) and there may be some structures ignored (eg. from memory there are configurable DM settings to ignore certain information like names or material properties).

I suggest you try again, maybe starting with a very simple test geometry.

PSYMN October 21, 2011 09:16

Faceted Geometry...
STL should fail because DM does not yet support faceted geometry.

IGES or Step should work, if they are bspline or nurb geometry, but if you are starting with some faceted format and just output faceted geometry as Step or IGES, then it won't work.

So, what was the source?

natantyt October 21, 2011 13:53

It is actually a packing of particles ,3d geometry. As you're saying it seems that it can not be imported to Design modeler, it is not just a bSPline.

natantyt October 21, 2011 13:56

Can I instead import the coordinateds and the radius of my spheres in the packing, so Design Modeler can generate the geometry automatically? What's the procedure?

PSYMN October 21, 2011 14:34

1 Attachment(s)
Yes, you could write a script that would take in those coordinates and radii and generate the model...

Here is an example to get you started... See the attached zip file...

  1. Copy the "Create_Objects.js" and "Primitives_Information.txt" to working directory
  2. Open Workbench 13 and start DM
  3. Read the "Create_Objects.js" in to DM from File->Run Script menu item.
  4. J-script will launch dialog browser for text file selection
  5. Select "Primitives_Information.txt" text file and script will create prisms, cylinders and cubes in automated fashion.

This example should give you some idea, you can figure it out from there (or call Tech support for more info, I think this script was made by Vamsi Krishna at ANSYS).

And don't forget to have fun with it.

eheywoodlonsdale November 3, 2011 07:50


I think I have a similar issue - my aim is to use Matlab to generate 3d coordinates of a rotor (done), export the coordinates into excel (done in Cartesian and in Cylindrical polar) and then get them into ANSYS.

I am only using DM 12.0.1 - is that the problem? When I run the script you so kindly uploaded, I receive the following error in a pop up box:

Script Error
Error:Automation server can't create object
Source: Microsoft JScript runtime error
Script: var dlg = AnsObject.............

Anything you can say to shed light?

Many thanks,


celsound November 22, 2011 17:00

I get the same error eheywoodlonsdale does. I'm trying to do the coordinates of an airfoil.

Tanjina September 9, 2013 00:45

Hello All,

I am trying to import the 2D Autocad geometry to design modeler, but can't do it. But I can import 3D geometry. I am using Ansys 14.0. Is it still unable to import 2D as this post says? Please someone who knows about it clarify my query .

Thanks in advance.


PSYMN September 9, 2013 12:31

I am not sure about 14.0. We have had two releases since then and will very soon release a 3rd.

At the moment (14.5.7), it is more entity type limited than 2D vs. 3D. Here is a listing of things that were tested for:


The following entity types should be attached/imported to WB:
  • 3D Solids
  • Sheet Bodies (except mesh types)
  • Wire bodies (sketch lines, polylines and splines).

As I understand it, most 2D entities are what we seem to call Wire bodies. Let me know if you have specific entity type info that I can check with the developer for current/planned support.

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