The Autodesk DWF Writer provides the ability to create 3D and 2D DWF files. It is currently up to release 3.1.
Regardless of whether it is used for 3D or 2D, the Autodesk DWF Writer is not intended to be used with most Autodesk products. Shocking - you say? Well no. Autodesk products come with the ability to generate DWF files built in. Autodesk Inventor and Autodesk Revit do currently make use of the Autodesk DWF Writer in special ways, but really the Autodesk DWF Writer is intended for non-Autodesk products to be able to generate DWF files.
- When used in 3D mode, the DWF Writer for 3D application is used to capture OpenGL commands as part of the display by the original application. The OpenGL commands are translated to 3D graphics primitives and sent to the DWF Toolkit to be written to the DWF file. The DWF Toolkit is freely available to anyone who wishes to develop in the C++ language. The DWF Writer also includes special DWF Plug-in modules for SolidWorks® and Pro/ENGINEER® software that capture the 3D data and send it to the DWF Toolkit.
- When used in 2D mode, the DWF Writer for 2D appears as a Windows System Printer. Applications print to it like any other printer. Windows printing is done via Windows GDI (Graphics Device Interface). Windows GDI commands are translated to 2D graphics primitives and sent to the DWF Toolkit to be written to the DWF file.
There have been cases where AutoCAD users have used the Page Setup Manager to associate a layout in a drawing with the DWF Writer for 2D. Although a DWF file will be generated using this approach, the DWF file is not optimal. It is larger than what would have been generated had the AutoCAD user associated the layout to the DWF6 ePlot PC3 file. In addition, the DWF Writer generated DWF will not contain any hyperlinks. So in general, the DWF Writer is not used with AutoCAD.
At Autodesk we know that large projects consist of independent teams using a variety of software. Regardless, it is still possible to get all of your project data into a multisheet DWF using free software like the Autodesk DWF Writer. DWF goes beyond the paper - even for designs not created with Autodesk software.