DXF or DGN layers missing in ModelBuilder

Applies To 
Product(s): WaterGEMS, SewerGEMS, CivilStorm, StormCAD, PondPack, SewerCAD, HAMMER, WaterCAD
Version(s): CONNECT Edition, V8i
Area:  Layout and Data Input
Original Author: Mark Pachlhofer, Bentley Technical Support Group


Not all the layers in my DXF file are showing up in ModelBuilder and the layers that aren't visible are the ones I need to build my model.

How can I fix a damaged or corrupt DXF file?


The list of layers in ModelBuilder includes all supported shape types as well as separate layers for unique blocks. Furthermore, it only includes entities in Model Space (for an AutoCAD/DXF file) and Model Type = Design. Linework in paper space / "sheet" will not be displayed.

As an example of an unsupported shape type, layers containing complex chains (instead of polylines) or 2D Polylines will not be available. You would need to convert those to simple polylines in another application, or use ArcMap for example to export to Shapefile to convert to polylines. Corrupt layers may also not display. 

If you have access to ArcMap (ArcGIS), first, add the DXF file to the Table of Contents. It will automatically be split into the layers that make it up (points, polylines, polygons, multipatch, and annotations).

Left click on the layer you want to create a shapefile for then right click and choose Data > Export Data > and choose the option to export the file to a shapefile (geodatabase feature class is selected by default).

After the file is exported you can add it to the map to examine it. Then, set up a new ModelBuilder run using ESRI Shapefile as the source type, then select the newly generated shapefile. Be sure to choose the option to establish connectivity by spatial data per this article: Importing an AutoCAD or MicroStation CAD file using ModelBuilder

Another solution you could try is to open the file in MicroStation or AutoCAD and perform the same type of  steps as listed above, if you're more familiar with that software. You could also use MicroStation or AutoCAD to try to save the file in an earlier version of the DXF format, which can help in some cases.

See Also

Importing an AutoCAD or MicroStation CAD file using ModelBuilder

Forum Thread: Problem in importing dxf file as pipeline

How the list of layers in Modelbuilder is determined for a DXF file with blocks

Polylines show as Polygon in ModelBuilder