3D DWF Publishing

You can create and publish DWF files of your three-dimensional models and view them with the Autodesk. DWF™ Viewer.

You can generate DWF files of your three-dimensional models with nearly the same visual fidelity as your original DWG files. You can create a single- or multi-sheet DWF file, which can contain both 2D and 3D model space objects. To access 3D DWF publishing, you use the 3DDWF, EXPORT or PUBLISH commands.

Recipients of 3D DWF files can view and print them using the Autodesk DWF Viewer. For product information and a download link for the Autodesk DWF Viewer, refer to the Products page on the Autodesk website.

For more information about using the Autodesk DWF Viewer, see the Autodesk DWF Viewer Help system.

Publish Single and Multiple 3D DWF Files

To publish a single 3D DWF file, you use the EXPORT or 3DDWF commands. With either of those commands running, the model you’re currently working on is saved as a 3D DWF file.

To publish multiple 3D DWF files at one time, you use the PUBLISH command. The Publish dialog box displays a list of all the sheet names of the drawing files that are currently open. You can determine which sheets are published to a 3D DWF file by adding or removing sheets on the Sheet Name list.

NoteThe list of sheets displayed in the Sheet Name list of the Publish dialog box is controlled by the PUBLISHALLSHEETS system variable. By default, all sheets are displayed for all open drawings.

Publishing Materials

If you’ve assigned texture mapped materials to your models, those materials can be published with the 3D DWF file. Texture map orientation and scaling that is set in the drawing editor is retained in the published 3D DWF file.

There are some limitations to materials publishing.

NoteBecause the DWF Viewer and the rendering engine are different, you may encounter some deviation in how the texture maps appear in the DWF Viewer.

Increase the Smoothness of 3D DWF Models

The smoothness of 3D DWF models is improved by changing the value of the 3DDWFPREC system variable. The setting for 3DDWFPREC ranges from 1 to 6. Higher settings greatly improve the appearance of objects in the DWF Viewer.

Note3DDWFPREC is a global setting that affects all objects in the 3D model. Therefore, higher values have the potential of resulting in very large 3D DWF file sizes.

Improve Performance with Large Models

Every object in your model gets processed when a DWF file is published. When working with large models, you can greatly improve publishing performance by using blocks. For instance, your office model contains a basic cubicle arrangement of eight partition walls, a desk, and a chair. Those ten objects don’t take much time to process by themselves. However, if that basic cubicle arrangement is used 100 times, it means that 1000 objects must be processed and the publishing time increases accordingly. If the basic cubicle arrangement is inserted into the model as a single block, those ten objects are processed once for each insertion.

You can improve publishing performance even more by grouping miscellaneous objects into temporary blocks. Once the publishing is complete, you can explode those blocks and continue working on those objects.

As a design gets closer to completion, you can create blocks comprised of portions of the model that are less likely to need further editing. If the first floor of the office model is not going to change much, create a block containing all of its components. During publishing, that block is processed as one object instead of each individual object on that floor.

3D DWF Unsupported Content

When publishing a 3D DWF file, some drawing content may not appear in the DWF Viewer. The content listed in the following table are not supported when you output a 3D DWF file.

Unsupported Content


Animations and Walkthroughs


Block attributes


Font types (Various)

See the “Supported Text Fonts” table

Gradient fills (Hatches)


Hidden edges






Layer information


Lights and Shadows


Material components

  • Bump, Opacity, and Specular texture maps
  • Procedural materials (Wood & Marble)
  • Reflection and refraction
  • Self-Illumination
  • Shininess
  • Translucency

Mtext (partial)

Bold and Italic text is not supported

Named views and cameras


OLE objects


Rays and X-lines


Section clipping and XClipping


Text thickness


Visual styles


Supported Text Fonts

Many text fonts are not supported when you publish a 3D DWF file. The following table lists the fonts that will get published.

Supported Text Fonts


Arial Black

Comic Sans MS

Courier New


Lucinda Console

Lucinda Sans Unicode



Times New Roman


Verdana Italic