I am trying to convert multiple feature classes located within a file geodatabase into a CAD friendly format.

Without extracting the files the "Export to CAD" tool does not recognize the feature class.

  • How would I extract the feature classes so that the "export to CAD" tool would recognize the layers?
    – user80555
    Aug 10, 2016 at 15:56

2 Answers 2


If you export your feature classes to shapefiles, you can then bring them directly into CAD. I support a dozen CAD users on a daily basis and 99% of the data I give them are ESRI shapefiles. Assuming your projections are correct, the shapefiles should drop exactly into place in CAD, and will retain their attribute data as well. I'll provide a link detailing the process to import the files with AutoCAD.

AutoCAD Map 3D To Import SHP Files


Depending on what you mean by 'extract the feature class', you can export CAD data using the 'Export to CAD' tool in the conversion toolbox. When using this tool, I can select feature classes from my geodatabase.

You can also use arcpy.ExportCAD_conversion if you know how to use python/arcpy.

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