Getting your AutoCAD drawing into GeoStudio – from

by Nate Hekman on December 6, 2013

I love seeing others blogging about GeoStudio, even (or especially!) when I have to rely on Google Translate to understand what they said.

Here’s a tip from Filipe Fuscaldi about passing data from AutoCAD to GeoStudio:

He says our web site recommends exporting the CAD drawing to an image, importing that as a background picture, then drawing regions overtop.  Ouch!  I’ll have to find those outdated instructions and remove them, because as he correctly points out, there’s a much better way using the File – Import Regions command.

From Filipe Fuscaldi – Como passar do AutoCAD para GeoSlope?



1) Choose your profile on AutoCad.


2) Use the Boundary command (shortcut bo just type in the command line)



{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }


Veronica 03.27.14 at 1:14 pm

I’m trying to do this and I still can’t get it to work. When I select the object, it says Boundary Definition Error – A closed boundary can not be determine… Any help?


Graeme Taylor 03.27.14 at 4:21 pm

In order for you to use the Boundary command, the start and end points of the polyline must touch. If they don’t touch, you’ll get the Boundary Definition Error.

The approach I use is to explicitly close the polylines. Select the polyline, right-click to get the Quick Properties, then set the Closed property to Yes. The polyline endpoints will then join. You can use this approach to close multiple polylines as well, simply select all the polylines you need to close, and set the Closed property to Yes.

When GeoStudio processes the dxf file, it explicitly looks for the Closed property on polylines as a means to identify which polylines are to be converted to regions.


me 10.20.14 at 4:32 pm

I just get “Invalid Data” error from Geostudio…this program gives me freaking headache.


Nate Hekman 10.20.14 at 4:37 pm

Hmm, I’d probably have to see your DXF file to understand what’s causing that error. Would you mind emailing it to me at hekman [at] geo-slope [dot] com? Incidentally, we are working on DXF improvements right now, to be included in the next release (later this year). Some of these improvements will allow GeoStudio to import DXF files that it wasn’t able to in the past, or that it would import incorrectly. I’d love to see if it handles your file better.


me 10.20.14 at 4:41 pm

OK I went to the source instrutions. Why those were not copied to this entry…anyone’s guess. Anyway I exported as a dxf and now GEOSTUDIO recognizes the file but it says there are no closed polylines. But AutoCAD tells me the only thing in the entire file are close polylines…go figure.


Graeme Taylor 10.20.14 at 10:22 pm

The problem you are having with the “invalid data” is caused by having the dxf open in AutoCAD while you are trying to import it into GeoStudio. Closing the file in AutoCAD prior to importing it into GeoStudio will prevent this error from occurring. We have improved the error message in GeoStudio 8.14 to better describe this conflict.

The file you provided does have closed polylines on layer 0 (zero) as you’ve indicated. When you import the polyline layers as regions, make sure you select the layer(s) in the import regions list box. If you don’t select the layer(s) you will get the “no closed polylines found” error.

There are some problems in your dxf file where you have duplicate points and regions that overlap. These are detected on the import but GeoStudio will attempt to import as best it can. The only solution at this point is to manually fix the dxf polyline definition within AutoCAD. We are working on this problem and hope to provide a more seamless import.

As Nate has mentioned, we are pushing through some important changes in our dxf import/export code for version 8.14.


Ken Murphy 10.24.14 at 11:35 am

Thanks Nate and Graeme for you help on this.

I discovered an AutoCAD function which can be invaluable when troubleshooting the DXF input file. It is called OVERKILL. Essentially it removes extraneous elements from the DXF file such as duplicate points in the same polyline. This made troubleshooting the DXF file a breeze. Please include this information if you make a tutorial for importing regions. It has the potential to save SEEP/W users much time and frustration.




Alejandro 10.09.16 at 8:27 pm

i cant import CAD files to Geostudio 2016 (slope/w) because the function is disable and i dont know why


Nate Hekman 10.11.16 at 11:48 am

The File – Import Regions command is disabled if you are using a Basic or Student license. Perhaps that’s what you’re seeing?


Aashish 11.04.16 at 5:37 am

I dont know why, we can enter the line only, I have multiple regions in the single cross section, to be imported in geo slope, every time it is very hard to prepare dfx and import in geo slope, ultimately I ended up to the solution of not using geo slope. rather Phase 2 is more handy.


Prakash 07.07.17 at 11:25 am

how to import autocad 2007 drawing into the heostudio2007


Prakash 07.07.17 at 11:26 am

how to import autocad 2007 drawing in the geostudio 2007?


Nate Hekman 07.07.17 at 1:23 pm

Prakash: You should be able to save the AutoCAD file as a DXF, then in GeoStudio 2007 use the File – Import Regions command.


Sule 07.12.17 at 3:43 pm

I want to try this way to draw the geometry line in GeoStudio, but the website says

“Warning! Domain mapping upgrade for this domain not found. Please log in and go to the Domains Upgrades page of your blog to use this domain. ”

What should i do then? Thanks.


Nate Hekman 07.12.17 at 4:31 pm

Sule: the blog I had linked to had moved. I’ve updated the link; try again and it should work this time.


Prakash 08.07.17 at 6:10 am

Thanks Nate for your reply . I had tried the file saving in dxf format and use same command as you told but it didn’t work.It always display a message that there is not found a closed poly line.


Nate Hekman 08.23.17 at 5:09 pm

@Prakash: In December 2014 Release of GeoStudio 2012 we made some improvements to DXF import to avoid having to close polylines as long as they start and end at the same coordinate. If you are using GeoStudio 2012 and you have current maintenance, make sure you are using the latest release.

Besides that, make sure when importing that you select only layer(s) that have polylines intended to be used as regions.


Nugi 06.04.18 at 10:05 pm

Hi Nate, I’m using Geostudio Slope/W 2012. I already follow all instructions provided in website like closing the boundary etc. but my problem is when I try to import region it doesn’t show any layer table options so I cant choose any layer to be imported. And of course if I forced it, it will show no close boundary message since there is not any layer chosen.
Really appreciate if you can help, thanks.


Nate Hekman 06.05.18 at 11:54 am

@Nugi: The list of layers is supposed to show all layers in which GeoStudio has detected closed polylines (it’s not good enough to have the endpoints be the same: the “closed” flag has to be set to “yes” in AutoCAD). If the list is empty, that would indicate it couldn’t find any layers with closed polylines.


Nicolet 07.19.18 at 11:12 am

When I tried using this to import a dam with curves present none of the curves carried over into the GeoStudio file-it made my curves into straight lines. Is there a way to import so the curves import correctly as well?


Nate Hekman 07.19.18 at 11:24 am

@Nicolet: No, GeoStudio cannot handle curved lines. I’ve wondered about this scenario, though, whether it’s something we should support. Would it be helpful to you if a curved line was imported as a series of straight lines that more-or-less approximated the curve?


Hoai 12.25.18 at 7:49 pm

How can i import from cad to geoslope? when i try have problem: overslaps edges, althuoght i try to fix, more fail overslaps with other regions..? Can you help me, thanks


Nate Hekman 02.25.19 at 9:36 am

Sorry for the late reply, I just noticed your question now!

We’ve improved on importing in later versions of GeoStudio, especially with overlapping regions. What version are you using?

The biggest things to watch out for are:
1) closed polygons: since all of GeoStudio’s regions are complete polygons, it expects the same from AutoCAD files. Older GeoStudio versions require that you actually set the “closed” property on polygons. Newer versions just require that they end on the same point they started. Also make sure the layer you’re importing contains *only* polygons you want converted into regions. If the layer contains other lines that are only used as markup (like arrows, tables, sometimes even text), GeoStudio may try to convert those into regions and fail.
2) overlapping regions: GeoStudio regions can’t overlap, and two side-by-side regions must share a line (and any points on that line). Make sure your AutoCAD polygons follow that same paradigm. Again, newer GeoStudio versions are more forgiving, and will “merge” overlapping regions when possible.

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