Blender file: Laser Cutting: Howdo I get a .DWG or Similar File?

I’ve been using blender to model a variety of parts, mainly because I’m more comfortable using blender for making my .stl files for 3D printing. Recently I’ve modeled something with parts that although assembled in 3D, need to be laser cut in 2D, and I haven’t got the foggiest clue how to go from Blender --> 2D cut outs.

I’m told these formats work:

  • DXF compatible with AutoCAD version 2011 or earlier
  • DWG compatible with AutoCAD version 2011 or earlier
  • CDR (CorelDRAW)
  • AI (Adobe Illustrator)
  • EPS (Adobe Illustrator)
  • SVG
  • PDF

I’m a bit skeptical of the PDF format

Your best bet would be to use the UV export option to get an .svg file. You will need to do some post work to verify scale and probably clean up the layout (you’ll get all the triangles in the UV layout, when you only want the edge.) Inkscape can do these post processing operations, and it is FOSS as well.

Also, depending on the fidelity of your model, and your laser cutter, you may need to do even more work to convert all the line segments into curves. Some laser cutters are much slower with individual line segments, rather than a curved radius.

Best bet would actually be a DXF export from blender…

The autocad dxf v2.1.3 should be able to do it… however if ever you are trying to import dxfs, use the 0.8.6 version

A bit of clarity:
Blender is a bit limited in this field, but there are some possibilities.

  • In SVG via Add-on You can only export curves and non-polygons, so if you need to cut shapes you can convert mesh profiles to curves and activate the 2D option in the side panel of properties, then with inskape you can export to pdf or in Autocad DXF 14.
  • Option two, you can export the projection of your profiles in dxf format but taking care to select the projection TOP view, and choose only export mesh as lines.

Below is a simple file that can help.
elements_export.blend (86.4 KB)

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