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ImageGear supports viewing and exporting of CAD formats, such as DXFDWG, and DGN. ImageGear is also a complete, high-performance, image processing toolkit; so, it allows applications to seamlessly integrate advanced image processing techniques into these CAD files.

For tutorials and more information, please see Getting Started with ImageGear CAD.

This topic provides information about the following:

About DWG, DXF, and DGN


DWG is a proprietary binary file format used for storing two- and three- dimensional design data and metadata. It is the native format for several CAD packages including DraftSight, AutoCAD, IntelliCAD, Caddie and Open Design Alliance compliant applications. Among the things that can be manipulated in these files are layers, views, and layouts.


AutoCAD DXF (Drawing Exchange Format) is a CAD data file format developed by Autodesk for enabling data interoperability between AutoCAD and other programs. DXF and DWG files contain very similar data, so for the purposes of ImageGear both are pulled in as ImageGearDWGPage and can be manipulated in the same ways once loaded.


DGN (design) is the name used for CAD file formats supported by Bentley Systems' MicroStation and Intergraph's Interactive Graphics Design System (IGDS) CAD programs. DGN files are slightly different in structure than DWG files. Unlike DWG files, DGN files consist of a single layer and do not use layouts. Instead, these documents have views, view groups, and models.

CAD Format Support and Compatibility

Loading from a CAD file data structure is represented in ImageGear as an ImGearDocument Class object with single page as ImGearCADPage Class, which is derived from ImGearVectorPage. This object is part of the ImageGear.Formats.CAD namespace.

The ImGearCADPage Class has a CADCamera object that allows for extensive control over the view of CAD files. CADCamera can be used to change the orientation, zoom, and dimensions of rasterized/exported images.

ImGearCADPage also support a variety of renderers. These can be set by using ImGearCADPage.SetRenderer(CADRenderer).

Certain renderers take advantage of standard system rendering APIs which may be hardware accelerated. Due to differences in graphic chipsets, settings, drivers and operating systems, performance and appearance (in particular, lighting effects) may vary. It is recommended that you tune and test your application for the environments on which you will be deploying.

CAD Samples

We have two samples that illustrate common CAD functionality and use cases. See CAD Samples.