DWF enables organizations to connect critical design information into product, project, and asset workflows without compromising the accuracy, security, and intent of the original design idea. The Autodesk DWF Viewer is our free application for sharing, viewing, and printing complex 2D and 3D drawings, maps, and models. Today DWF plays a role in all of our design products, as well as Lifecycle Management solutions such as Autodesk Design Review, Autodesk ProductStream (ERP integration), and Autodesk Buzzsaw (project management and collaboration). Despite the focus on keeping digital design data digital, we recognize that data captured in a DWF file will eventually make its way to paper. In this regard, DWF is an intermediate stop between an AutoCAD drawing (DWG) and plotted output.
The objective of printing a DWF file from the free Autodesk DWF Viewer (or Autodesk Design Review) is that the output should match the results of plotting directly from AutoCAD. Although ideally one could line up the sheets of printed output, hold them up the light, and observe that the inks align, in practice there are slight variations in where the ink is positioned on the paper, but the scales are the same. These small differences are artifacts of the different software components used to translate the data in the files to the ink on the paper.
DWF contains all of the essential elements necessary to get proper printed output; however, it also contains product, project, and asset data that allows it to the foundation for workflow solutions.
Although the topics of DWF publishing, viewing, and printing are fair game, this blog will highlight some of those extra elements that allow applications based on DWF to go beyond the paper.