In an attempt to create an architectural site model from GIS data, I am trying to export a project from QGIS to .dxf, with the intention of setting up a cut file in Rhino.

QGIS tells me the export is successful, but when I open the exported file in Rhino, I can see all of the layers in the original QGIS file represented, but there is no vector information in the drawing.

Dxf files that I export are all about the same size, no matter how many layers I select in the export dialog, so I assume I am not checking a box somewhere. . .

I can get a single layer at a time out of this file using the "save as" function in QGIS, but when I try to coordinate them in Rhino, they appear to be based on different coordinate systems--importing at different sizes, and in different relationships to 0,0,0.

I have tried to check that they are all on the same CRS, and they appear correctly in QGIS, but they come into Rhino in completely different conditions. I have also made sure that all of the raster/shp files in the project have been converted to vector in QGIS, and again, this all appears correct in QGIS.

1 Answer 1


I've found, that in order to DXF Export command from file menu to work, the project coordinate system (check right bottom corner) and each layer coordinate (check layer properties, general) system need to be the same. Even though they seem to be displayed right in the view, that might just be OTF at work.

The solution for me is to:

  1. 'Save as..' each layer you want to export as a SHP-file in the desired output coordinate system
  2. Add these layers to the canvas
  3. Check the project CRS is the same as selected in item 1.
  4. Run 'DXF Export'

Otherwise I get the same empty DXF file only with layers as you did even though QGIS claims the process was successful.

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