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How to add CAD overlay in Pix4dBIM?


Need to be able to import dwg or dxf files… this should be available in pix4d mapper

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Dear all,

Thank you for your feedback. I have reported it to our Product Development Team. To follow the release notes of Pix4D Cloud:

Pix4D Cloud web platform

Hi all,

In the CAD overlay function, the twisting of a PDF applies to all loaded PDFs. In our case we have several drawings from for instance steel supplier and wood elements . All have their own orientation / scale.

We therefore would like to be able to make several overlayer sets with different drawings that have the same scale / orinetation.


Hi Ben, 

thank you very much for your comment. Currently, our developer’s team is working on the multiple CAD overlay feature which is going to be available in the next release of Pix4D BIM.

A .dxf or .dwg is absolutely needed for this to be considered a “CAD” overlay. 


Many times PDF drawing lines are black which does not show up well. Also the white background on PDF’s fades out the ortho which is not helpful.

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We have a completely new CAD overlay function, due for release in June. We can demo the beta version now if anyone would like a preview. We would also value your feedback. These new features will address multiple CAD overlays, better alignment tools, alignment across all datasets within a site, and also georeferencing

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Regarding the import of vector CAD overlays: we don’t support this, and we get very few customers asking for this. PDF is commonly available from all CAD/BIM/GIS applications, and is a much better format for sharing data (secure, non-editing, version safe, light). However, if we get enough demand, we can add a vector to PDF converter into the overlay function

Hi Julian, thanks for the response.

If I could get my hands on that trial I would greatly appreciate it and will help out by giving as much feedback as I can.

Regarding the CAD overlays it would be extremely helpful to be able to import the vector PDF data at a minimum. A .dxf would be even better because it is already geo-referenced and PDF’s are not. This is especially helpful where multiple drawing sheets need to be stitched together in order to cover the entire area that has been mapped. You will start getting the white of the PDF’s overlapping and it becomes too “thick” for the visual data (ortho) to be seen underneath it. 

I say vector PDF at a minimum because the lines are black on a PDF and can be hard to see against a dark ortho. We need to be able to make our lines different colors for contrast and distinguishing between disciplines. A .dxf is a CAD file customizable with colors/attributes, it’s geo-referenced, and is a pretty small file size for the icing on the cake.

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Greetings Julian.

I would like to preview the beta version you mentioned. 

I am also a Pix4D user that would like the CAD overlay to support .importing dxf or .dwg.  All the design files we receive from architects and/or engineers are typically in .dwg format.  Another option would be to import shapefile (.shp).

Thank you.


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Hi Julian,

.dxf import is a definitely a must. It facilitates working with the webviewer in a way that is not possible with pdf. Pdf is just a visual comparison. It’s useful for progress monitoring but not much more. As soon as you want to use the planning data for volume calculation you have to digitize it - which is a pain in the webviewer.

However, if we could import .dxf planning data and use its vectors for the volume calculation the work of any surveyor would greatly benefit as mass calculation could be directly generated from the webviewer.

This is a feature where your competitor Propeller Aero excels. In the end it’s so little - just the import of .dxf data that makes a great impact. 

Hello Julian, 

As others have mentioned, we also think the merits of being able to import a .dxf are high, ideally with the ability to import into 3D space to view alongside the point cloud. This is something that the 3D mapping cloud (Orbit GT) does and has proved to be a very useful feature. 

Would it be worth putting a post on the Pix4D facebook site to understand the appetite for such a feature? 

In the meantime, we too would be very interested in a demonstration of the new features coming in June. 

my email is: 


Thank you all for the comments about DXF, and other vector formats, for overlay. I agree it is important, and we have a need to balance our future development. Please email me at and we can set up an on-line call. I can show you the new features, give some insight into what’s next, and discuss your feedback in more detail.

Julian, do you have an estimated date for when multiple overlays will be supported? Thank you


Cad files (DXF, DWG, XML, or another vectors files) should be able to import into the cloud in the next update . Righ now Pix4dBIM on the cloud is a powerful tool for the stakholders an users that are not knowledges . They only want to consult and extract greats results. Right now, with the orthomosaic and the posibility to get some kind of data (distances, areas , volume, profiles ) is amanzing, but I think , Pix4DBIM should get a step more. It should have the posibility to get mass handling comparing flights, or even the design proyect. (as 3DR Site done for example). Also, it should exist the posibility to import cad files to get profiles, comparing the flights done with the cad project (as Infrakit, for example that you can import as XML ).  I think there are lot of posibilities to improve, with a little adjustements. But for me , as my collegues says , it is paramount to have the posibilty to import cad files and not PDF. You don’t forget, in civil jobs, the jobs is lineal (highway, railway,… etc). Frecuently, those jobs have several Km, having lot of PDF drawings.



Thank you Manuel for this great feedback. We have just released a new Overlay tool which considerably improves the import and the alignment of files. That was a first step towards the industry needs, as it’s now possible to import multiple files that will keep the same positioning for the entire project once it’s been aligned. Our goal is to continue improving the tool, and the import of other file formats is something we are now looking at. 

Tylor is 100% correct. This is needed for the construction industry. You will lose a lot of business if you don’t support this, when there are other softwares that do.

Hi all,

It is possible when you import your geospatial DWG or DXF to QGis.

After import it there you can export an ‘geospatial pdf’. When you import that PDF in Pix4dBim the position and scale is perfect!

You can try this till Pix4d comes with a full DWG/DXF overlay?..

I really like the alignment tool - it is quick and easy to produce the deliverable I need. However, the PDF overlay is dim and transparent - even when opacity is set to 100%. This makes it difficult to see the overlaid content and therefore difficult to use. Is there a way to increase brightness and opacity so that the overlay is more visible? Or can this be worked into the next update?

Agree with the rest. CAD overlay should be CAD overlay not PDF. CAD files are georeferenced and ready to go. Using PDF’s is a heap of steps. Propellor platform covers this

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