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Building an AutoCAD Solution !!!

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Hello I want to develop a solution for an electrical consultation company which requires to give an input of multi-layered AutoCAD r14 file (.dwg). The electrical drawing is placed at one or more layer. there are some curves representing the conductors(power lines or data cables) and conduit (concealed and of different diameters). A specification is written with a curved line (representing conductor and conduit) to define the no. of conductor and conduit in it. The company wants to determine the length of all conductors and conduits (to estimate the cost) I need to 1. Read the AutoCAD file to my application 2. Extract the electrical layer(s) 3. Determine the curved line objects identify them (as conductor and conduit) 4. Determine the length of curved layer 5. Determine the no. of conductors and conduits by the given specification. 6. Find total cost How do I proceed? How read the .dwg file? How to determine the length of curves? How to get the text of specification from .dwg files What can be other problematic issues? Can any one help me out? Waiting for some serious help mhadi [EDIT]: Change Condude to Conduit and some formatting [edited by - mhadi on March 4, 2004 9:07:20 PM]

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Is there any chance you mean "conduit", not "condude"?

1. Go to and look up the DWG format.
2. Look up some math for determining curve length.
3. Again, look up the format.
4. Make sure you extract only the conductor and conduit markings, and not any other shapes in the layer.

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"How do I proceed?"

AutoCAD files are text. Load a sample into Notepad to verify this.

"How read the .dwg file?"

Parse it for the elements you require.

"How to determine the length of curves?"

This will depend upon the types used (circular, paraboloid, freehand...) and their extent.

A rough approximation will be to use joined short straight lines between the points and determine the curve length that way. There are any number of alternatives if you want a better approximation. A good math book, or Google search, will offer many techniques.

"How to get the text of specification from .dwg files"

Wotsit has bee mentioned, and you may like to search for downloadable DWG files for example from

not English, but the files are standard format, I think. Learn to parse them for the relevant elements.

"What can be other problamatic issues?"

Costing may be the difficult bit. Suggest you link to a spreadsheet or use a similar component in your application.

Also, as I remember, it is possible to define a user library in AutoCAD, not all of which will be present in a single drawing. Therefore, get a copy of this library, if it exists, before you start working on your application.

"Can any one help me out?"

Hope I''ve offered some pointers.


Don''t follow me, I''m lost.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Go to for the specs.

Next time don''t bid on a job you don''t know how to do. You''ll alway underbid it.

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I can''t agree more with the AP. It''s really dumb to bid on something you know nothing about, and apparently don''t even have the ability to find out about. Anyway, remember, google is your friend.

BTW, it''s conduit, not condued (yes it was mentioned, but it needs reinforcement).

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