8 Replies Latest reply on Jun 22, 2017 1:30 PM by Ravi Bhutoria

    Exporting a sketch to a laser cutter

    Dina Neishtadt

      Hi,

       

      SolidWorks sketching tools is what I find to be the most convnient tool to use for my laser cutting needs. I'm looking for a way to save a sketch as a DXF\DXW\PDF file, while preserving the exact sizes I specified in the sketch. When I try to do that - the sketch get scaled to A4 or shows as empty...

        • Re: Exporting a sketch to a laser cutter
          Simon Hayward

          I do this a lot for cutting parts on my CNC plasma cutter which also requires DXF files.

          I simply do the sketch, extrude it to the thickness of material required then RMB on it & select export as DXF/DWG and I have never had any problems with scaling.

          Is this the method you use to produce the DXF files?

            • Re: Exporting a sketch to a laser cutter
              Paul Cullen

              Hi Dina

               

              I normally export to dwg/dxf the way Simon does.

               

              It sounds like you are creating the sketch in a drawing file and then trying to export it. If you are exporting your files this way the reason that the exported part is not 1:1 might be because your sheet scale is not 1:1. Before you start your sketch make sure your sheet scale is set to 1:1. If your sheet scale is set to 1:20 then your sketched part will be drawn at a 1:20 scale. When sketching your part at 1:1 it does not matter if the part is larger than the sheet size it should still export ok. When you are saving the drawing as a dwg/dxf click on options to see what export options you can set. I know there is an option to export at 1:1.

               

               

              Exporting the files from a part file lke Simon says is probably the better way to do it especally if you have folded part that you want to flatten and I would recomend that you do it this way instead of sketching in a drawing file.

               

              Paul

                • Re: Exporting a sketch to a laser cutter
                  Dina Neishtadt

                  Thank you for your suggestions!

                   

                  I just tried what Simon suggested. The thing is that I'm trying to print on paper before doing it on the laser cutter, so I get a DXF file and try to print directly from eDrawing - it messes the scaling. Tried opening the file in Inkscape - also not the correct size...

                    • Re: Exporting a sketch to a laser cutter
                      Dina Neishtadt

                      Ok, so its the Inkscapte import that messes it up for sure! When printing directly from eDrawing, its fine...

                       

                      Any recommendations how to set the colors for the lines and the line weight? So that some can come out as etching and some as cutting?

                        • Re: Exporting a sketch to a laser cutter
                          Paul Cullen

                          Hi Dina

                           

                          I think you are making this too complicated by trying to print from edrawings or another program.

                           

                          1. Create your part in SolidWorks you can then export to dwg/dxf from this later
                          2. Create a drawing in Solidworks from your part and print this drawing, just make sure that your drawing view scale is set to 1:1 and that when you are printing that the print scale in your printer settings is set to 100% and not scale to fit or some other scale.
                          3. If you need to change line types and colours in the dwg/dxf file you could do this in DraftSight

                           

                           

                          Can you attach a part that you are wanting to print and save as a dwg file you will have to use the advanced editor to attach the files (click reply and then in the window that opens click on use advanced editor in the top right hand corner of that window)

                           

                           

                          Paul

                          • Re: Exporting a sketch to a laser cutter
                            Shawn Pantzke

                            If you are exporting the sketch this will not work, but if you export a dxf from a drawing you can map the output colors in the options. You need to enable custom mapping.

                             

                             

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                    • Re: Exporting a sketch to a laser cutter
                      Dina Neishtadt

                      Everything works now! Thank you for your advise

                      • Re: Exporting a sketch to a laser cutter
                        Ravi Bhutoria

                        Save the .dwg version to R12. Now it has worked for me