You can't use .dxf files in InDesign.
I think I've heard there's a way of exporting AutoCAD drawings into Illustrator, but you'd have to ask in the Illustrator forum.
Illustrator can open .dxf and .dwg files, which you can then save as .ai for InDesign. Depending on how detailed your drawings are, you may want to keep some time aside for cleaning up the files in Illustrator - there can be a lot of extra lines that are not required.
If not done this way already, you might also want to look into using Data Merge to compile your catalogue which could save you valuable hours.
Rik Ramsay wrote:
- there can be a lot of extra lines that are not required.
I gagged a little when I read this. It cannot be overstated. If I could charge by the line-removed, I'd own Adobe and Autodesk by now.
With you on that, John! We received a detailed map of the USA as a .dxf file with every state AND county keylined. There were some counties which literally had over 100 identical half-point rules (in rich black, no less!) on top of one another. It was like an endless world of layers in Illustrator. It took Illustrator over 5 minutes to open and then the scary beachball for another 5 minutes while it redrew. Our solution was to immediately switch to wireframe mode to be able to work with removing the excess lines. Good luck!