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Uploading files to Sensat
Uploading CAD files to Sensat
Uploading CAD files to Sensat

Guidance on uploading CAD files to Sensat: supported formats and must dos before uploading.

Aifric Delahunty avatar
Written by Aifric Delahunty
Updated this week

The "Must Dos" βœ…

Displaying different types of data together from lots different sources can be tricky and requires good QA.

Therefore, to ensure that your CAD files upload and process successfully, make sure that the following is true before you save/export your file(s) for upload to Sensat:

  1. Units must be defined in your original CAD software, see here for guidance.

  2. All Xrefs must be removed before saving/exporting your file, see here for guidance.

  3. 3D data must be georeferenced according to the project CRS (Coordinate Reference System). If not, your file will fail or it will appear at the wrong location (usually 0,0,0).

  4. All non-geospatial data (e.g. borders, legends etc.) must be removed.

  5. Your file must contain spatial data (empty files will fail).

  6. DXF, DWG and DGN files must contain 3D data, i.e. all vertices must have (x, y, z) coordinates and have meshed geometries (not wireframes).

    • Files containing only 2D data only will fail.

    • Files containing a combination of 2D and 3D data, will show only the 3D data in Sensat.

Supported CAD formats

Sensat supports the following CAD formats and versions:




Sensat environment


Up to AutoCAD 2019


2D and 3D


Up to AutoCAD 2019


3D only

Autodesk Navisworks

From 2012 to 2024


3D only

Autodesk Revit

2015 to 2024


3D only

Bentley DGN

Up to 8


3D only


IFC2x Editions 2, 3, 4


3D only


ASCII: from 7100 to 7500, Binary: All


3D only

GL Transmission Format

glTF 2.0


3D only

File size limits

To efficiently visualise many different data types and proprietary file formats within Sensat, we undertake a processing step for every uploaded file. This step is crucial for converting files into a common format supported by browsers.

There isn't a fixed file size limit for this processing stage because only the geometric data within the file requires processing.

Different files may have varying proportions of geometry data to metadata, with metadata not needing processing but potentially inflating the file size. Moreover, the size of the processed file depends on the number of entities present in the original file, which isn't necessarily reflected in the file size of the original.

Due to these factors, we can't specify an exact file size limit. Instead, we aim to process the file, and it should only fail under one of two conditions:

  1. If the processing time exceeds 48 hours.

  2. If the resulting converted geometry data post-processing exceeds 2GB.

Should your file fail to process due to these reasons, you can contact our support team for assistance or refer to our guidance on reducing the complexity or size of your file.

Sensat uses Hoops Exchange to process CAD files for visualisation. 

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