import & export

Questions about import and export of data

Which data formates are available to exchange data with other CAD systems?

The most important data formats for exchange of graded patterns to other CAD systems are AAMA and ASTM (mostly called "AAMA/DXF" and "ASTM/DXF"). They are based on the DXF file format stated out as a standard format and widely used to exchange drawings among CAD programs.

AAMA is supported since years from different CAD systems for pattern making. ASTM, stated out in 2001 as a new release of AAMA, is more and more supported from CAD systems (in GRAFIS since Version 10). But often the module to export and import data is not included in the standard software package and must be bought separately. With these CAD systems the AAMA/DXF and ASTM/DXF data exchange can be used:

  • Gerber
  • Lectra
  • Investronica (no information about ASTM)
  • Assyst
  • PAD

There are some more small CAD systems that also support AAMA.

ASTM and AAMA files have the extension ".DXF" and there is sometimes an additional file with extension " .RUL" (for the grading rules).

Additional to AAMA and ASTM GRAFIS offers the possibility to export pieces directly into a Gerber Accumark storage area or to import data from there. Since GRAFIS Version 10 the Gerber file exchange format (ixchange) can also be written. A typical extension for that is ".TMP".

GRAFIS can import simple drawings also via HPGL (plot file) or ISO (cutter file) or as simple DXF.

Simple DXF can also be exported, HPGL (plot files) can be created via plot function (plot to file).

Last update on 08/07/2017 by Volker Friedrich.

The export of AAMA files seems to be not working. The DXF with respective RUL files have been created without error message and then they are sent by Email. But the target system can not read the files. Why?

At a very special constellation of the email transfer sometimes DXF files are damaged. The error happened only if the files were not packes.

To solve this problem please pack the DXF and RUL files as ZIP archive.

Last update on 08/07/2017 by Volker Friedrich.

Things to pay attention for export of pattern pieces

Pieces that are to be exported from GRAFIS need the attribute "pattern piece" in the pieces list. To be able to send also grading, the whole style should be graded (function "grade all pieces".s

When switched to "pattern piece" the piece boundary is checked. If there are gaps or interferences a warning or error message will appear.

An important fact that should be regarded during the style development is the placement of notches at the boundary line and the position of separation points in the boundary. Separations and notches are automatically used as grading points during export. In all export formats the follow-up order of these points must be the same in all sizes. If not error messages will occur during export process.

If the following principles are regarded during style development, the frequency of error messages during export will be reduced:

  • use slit notch as standard notch (symbol no.1) 
  • before addition of seam allowance line segments that belong together logically should be linked (in awareness of interferences you should use corner function to produce clear corners or use "link with curve").
    E.g. lines like side seam or armhole should not remain separated if not really necessary.
  • after adding seam allowances critical corners shold be made clear with corner function
  • real corners (means places where the boundary line has a visible angle, e.g. at dart hoods, mitre corners) should be separated, use function "separate in corner"
  • never link the whole boundary line as one single line 
  • check boundary line close to notches to be continuous or to be separated exactly at the notch (if it isn't link the boundary line at this certain place and if neccessary separate the boundary with notch as knife line)
  • work with attention

For export of AAMA files several presets of settings can be used. Find the settings dialog in the export function -> "Options".

Last update on 08/07/2017 by Volker Friedrich.

Export of size names

In most cases the export of sizes names in graded pieces is impossible. In nearly all export formates (e.g. AAMA, ASTM, Gerber EPN) pieces are exported as basic size plus grade rules. Because of that the target system can't even know the text blocks in the graded sizes. The only exception is export of AAMA or ASTM without RUL file. In this case all sizes are repeated with all objects. But anyway, this is no guarantee for getting correct text labels because it is up to the target system to import from file or reproduce again basic sizes plus grading rules. The only way to find out is a test.

To work around this issue you should not include variing text labels (e.g. size names or measured values) in exported pieces. In addition your should add a description line giving the target system the opportunity to add own text labels with size names and more.

Last update on 08/07/2017 by Volker Friedrich.