What is DWG format?

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What is DWG format?

DWG file format refers to a storage file that can hold metadata 2D data and 3D, or three-dimensional, design information.  This particular file is also referred to as a “DraWinG” file since it is the native format for various CAD or computer-aided design software.  Applications that use the DWG format include: AutoCAD, IntelliCAD, PowerCAD, and Caddie, among many others.

The DWG file format was developed back in the late part of the 1970s by Autodesk.  A man named Mike Riddle spearheaded the creation of a graphics format that can handle and store both 2D and 3D information including metadata.  This file format was also updated into several different versions since then and has now become the standard format for all its related applications.

With DWG files pushed to become an open standard in the late 1990s, there were also many groups who wanted to claim control of the DWG format other than its main creator Autodesk.  With Autodesk-based applications, DWG files are classified as “RealDWG.”  Other companies, meanwhile, created their own versions of the format, and one of these is called “OpenDWG” by the Open Design Alliance.  After several years, though, various parties involved, including Autodesk and the Free Software Foundation, have agreed to make the DWG file format a type of freeware.

Files with .DWG extensions can only be opened with compatible software or programs, especially those that are CAD-based.  These programs include: AutoCAD, TurboCAD, and eDrawings viewer by SolidWorks.  There are also various DWG converter programs that are able to open DWG file formats.  In the case of non-Windows platforms, such as iOS, there are also several DWG-capable software and applications including those from SolidWorks, Microspot, and IMSI.  The best thing about DWG file formats is that older versions of the file can still be opened by the latest DWG players, converters, and applications.

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