It is common to find the need to convert lots of files in bulk:
Some day comes to us a project of 45 dwg files in format AutoCAD 20112. We know that these files can be read in AutoCAD 2010 and 2011, but if the equipment where they will be displayed only has AutoCAD 2008 we need to convert them.
We spend 170 dgn files in V8 format and we need to convert them to dwg format to be processed by GIS software users that do not support this file type.
We do not mean a single file which is usually done with open/save as. For both cases, we need a solution and both Bentley as AutoDesk have one, but under different conditions:
With Bentley Systems
This feature comes in any Microstation version; it runs from the top menu:
Utilities / Batch converter
It allows choosing the destination path for the converted files. The fourth icon is used to add the files you want to convert; it is interesting that it can not only be done to convert dgn files but any of the supported formats: dgn v7, dgn v8, dwg, dxf, IGES (.igs), STEP (.stp), .cgm,. x_t, .sat, .stl and the same conversion can be to any of these formats.
Then the task can be saved to rerun at another time. Quite practical, in case some processes need a program so that maintenance performed to a map export to a web publishing directory that occupies a specific extension files. Sure, if you do not have Microstation, this process can be run with a trial version that stops working 15 minutes, enough time for this type of process.
In AutoDesk’s case, it has provided the free tool called True View. In this case I’m using the version that was released with AutoCAD 2012. When installed, as for any AutoDesk 2012 version ask for .NET Frame Work 4 upgrade.
Features resemble Microstation Converter Batch in several respects as, for example, to save the job list, reference files management and purge unnecessary data. This conversion is only at dwg files level, allows transformations of the 5 different formats that have had this line since 97 version: R14, 200, 2004, 2007 and 2010.
Both solutions solve the home premises for users’ own brands. However, there are significant differences:
In Bentley’s case, has the advantage of being able to convert files to different formats including dwg, dgn and dxf widely used. Of course, the converted version which makes seems to be based on a generic that can be read by any AutoCAD version, including 200 and GIS programs that recognize that version.
There is the disadvantage that in order to operate 2010 version dwg it should be done with Microstation V8i, previous versions only recognize until dwg 2007 formats. The other disadvantage is that this routine requires that you have installed a Microstation version, although it may be a trial with 15 minutes option.
AutoDesk’s case has the advantage of being able to convert different dwg formats and it is also a free tool.
The disadvantage is that can not be made to other formats, even to dxf. Also, this option is not included in AutoCAD, so programming routines within an application is more complex, fact that is easier with Microstation.