Skip to main content


Can 2D & 3D Files be Viewed with a DAM?

Phillipe de Alberti avatar

Phillipe de Alberti

VP of Product

4 min read

Can 2D & 3D Files be Viewed with a DAM?

From architecture to civil engineering, there are many industries that depend on the ability to build 2D and 3D Autodesk® AutoCAD® drawings and share those files with partners and clients. The issue that AutoCAD® users face is that most of their partners don't own a license to use Autodesk® software, rendering it nearly impossible to view the files they're sending.

What makes viewing AutoCAD files so difficult?

Typically, clients, partners and suppliers that need to view 2D & 3D AutoCAD® files rely on various online CAD viewers. These tools allow viewers to look at DWG and many other drawing files from a web browser without owning a license to the original CAD application.

Everyone likes an easy, quick and efficient solution to technology compatibility issues, but working teams who share their AutoCAD® files often encounter problems and find that these online viewers aren’t, in practice, as seamless as they promise to be. For instance, most firms create multiple kinds of CAD files for each project, and when an engineer needs to share various files types, multiple times a day, the process gets complicated.

The most common trouble arises from the fact that each online CAD file viewer handles different file types, but not all. Clients on the receiving end are left scrambling between different online viewers, trying to access the information they need to make decisions in a reasonable amount of time. The biggest cost ends up being time wasted from the ongoing process of finding, downloading and using the appropriate CAD viewer for each file type. This becomes even more problematic when new file versions are released that the clients' online viewers don’t yet support. Clients are left seeking yet another online viewer.

This is why companies are turning towards a digital asset management system to help manage their AutoCAD® files.

How to view AutoCAD® files with a DAM

Let’s back up for a second - What is a digital asset management system?

A DAM is a technology solution that helps organizations manage their collection of digital assets (photos, videos, 3D files, etc.), and empower their employees with the media they need, when they need it. DAM allows employees to search, review, and deploy digital assets in a safe and secure way, improving production and collaboration processes.

The real benefit of using a DAM for viewing CAD files is that teams no longer need to export files from AutoCAD® into a specific format. They can just keep the original files in the DAM, and from there, the DAM allows collaboration with any user that has been granted permission to view a particular file.

Organizations who create rich media drawings and images with AutoCAD® tend to run into a series of issues, as described above, when trying to share files. But with a DAM system and an Autodesk® AutoCAD® viewer, these same organizations will be able to grant all partners, affiliates, and clients access to the 3D files they need, without the need for a separate viewer.

With an Autodesk® AutoCAD® viewer powered by Autodesk Forge™, companies will benefit from:

1. No plugin or client download: The viewing audience, client or partner, simply log into an online portal for access to approved 2D & 3D files stored in the cloud.

2. Private sharing: Files can be shared privately with individual partners or clients, so viewing 2D & 3D files is a more private and highly-secure.

3. A central location for ALL rich media files: 2D & 3D files can be stored within the DAM to create a central media library of CAD files and related photos, videos, audio or other file types.

Key benefits of using A DAM to view AutoCAD files

Easy Viewing: Quickly and easily open and view high-resolution drawings, maps, and models without AutoCAD® software.

High-Quality Printing: Enjoy the same print fidelity as the original design software.

Enhanced Communication: Changes can be shared with your extended team and stakeholders, even if they don’t have the original design software.

Increased Efficiency: Clients can quickly review 2D and 3D designs on their own desktop, and firms can communicate changes to their clients more easily.

Reduced Costs: Avoid misunderstandings with clients, and reduce time and money spent communicating ideas to clients.

Want to learn more about our Autodesk® AutoCAD® viewer? Take a look at here!

Related articles


Let’s have a DAM good time

Book a demo with one of our product experts.