Posts tagged dxf
Previously I wrote about a DXF exporter for Inkscape. Bob has updated his Better DXF Output exporter for Inkscape 0.46. All the files are now in one place and it is under the GPL v2 license. This is great news for CNC users and I hope it leads to more use for this handy Inkscape extension!
If you search around for ideas on how to import DXF files into Inkscape or convert DXF files to SVG files, there are a lot of results. But they mostly seem to be shareware or orphaned applications that haven’t been updated for years. However there is a simple, obvious (once you see it) and free solution to converting DXF files to SVG files (which Inkscape can load).
It’s called Open Office Draw.
Yes, that’s right. Open Office Draw can load a DXF file and save an SVG file. I’ve tried it and it worked – I was able to take a DXF file, convert to SVG, load into Inkscape, edit, save as DXF (see my other posting from a couple of days ago on this) then load into CamBam for CAM processing.
Update: see this later post before following the instructions below.
I don’t care for most of the DXF editors available. They seem a bit clunky and not too friendly. But I do like Inkscape. Unfortunately it doesn’t export DXF files.
Here is a way of getting Inkscape 0.46 to export DXF files which can then be processed in a CAM program to generate g-code for a CNC machine.
Firstly install Inkscape 0.46. It must be this version.
Next go to this post on BobandEileen.com, right click on the link to “dxf_templates.py” and save it in C:\Program Files\Inkscape\share\extensions.
Next step is to go to another post on BobandEileen.com, right click on the two .py files (“simpletransform.py” and “better_dxf_outlines.py”) and save in the same place. Then do the same for “better_dxf_outlines.inx”.
Create a drawing and then move it to the bottom left corner of the page. This corner ends up being the origin. If you want your drawing centered on the origin then center it on the corner of the page.
Go to File -> Save As…
From the list of file types in the save dialog window choose “Better DXF Output (*.dxf)” and save the file.
Now open the DXF file in your favourite CAM program, such as CamBam.
Note that you may need to scale the drawing in your CAM program. Even though I had my drawings correctly sized in Inkscape, they seemed to be quite a bit bigger. If anyone knows how to solve that please post a comment.