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Hello all .dxf files and GCode
« on: March 03, 2011, 09:49:32 AM »
Hello everyone, I'm new to this forum. I would like to draw small components in 3D using Google Sketchup to produce dxf files.
How does one upload a .dxf file for use by the router and do you have to manually convert it to G Code.

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Hello all .dxf files and GCode
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2011, 01:56:59 AM »
Hi Classic,

Welcome to the forum.

Good resolution .dxf files can be directly converted to GCode and loaded into Mach3 using the LazyCam program which is part of Mach. There is a basic instructions doc for LazyCam in the downloads or members docs section.

3D stuff is slightly different (.dfx is only 2D) and the file type used is often .stl. You need another program such as MeshCam or DeskProto etc. (free trial versions are available) to convert the 3D into a GCode toolpath before it can be loaded into Mach3.

Hope this helps.

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.

Offline RICH

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Re: Hello all .dxf files and GCode
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2011, 05:30:15 AM »
Classic,
I am not that familar with Sketchup ad may be wrong on this, but don't think that the free version will save the file as a ( .STL ).
There are addditional converters out there for Sketchup, sorry but don't have a link to them.
You may want to post  a converted file when you convert it so someone here can have a look and see what it does.
If memory is correct there was a problem with the some them ....Just a heads up.

Maybe someone else will reply who is more knowledgable on it's use.
RICH

Offline kf2qd

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Re: Hello all .dxf files and GCode
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2011, 04:56:40 PM »
Tweakie and others - There may be some confusion for folks who are new to this game when you say that DXF files aren't 3D. They are in a 3d format, but not in one of the 3D formats that most CAM applications may like. There is some other info that gets stored in .stl and other formats that is lacking in DXF and some other entity info that doesn't transfer well in dxf.

Depending on how the drawing was made there might be all the info for a simple CAM (I have played with this a tiny bit) could actually read out a toolpath drawn in CAD in 3d and use it to generate the code for the CNC. Probably not the way most folks want to do it, but it is low cost and effective, though it is rather rigid in the way the layer must be prepared and can be rather unforgiving of mistakes.

Offline ger21

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Re: Hello all .dxf files and GCode
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2011, 05:24:45 PM »
Hello everyone, I'm new to this forum. I would like to draw small components in 3D using Google Sketchup to produce dxf files.
How does one upload a .dxf file for use by the router and do you have to manually convert it to G Code.

A better method, if you insist on using Sketchup, is to export an .stl using this plugin.

http://www.guitar-list.com/download-software/convert-sketchup-skp-files-dxf-or-stl

You can import the .stl into a CAM program like MeshCAM to create g-code for Mach3. www.meshcam.com

You have to be careful with Sketchup to use lots of segments for all your arcs, if you want a smooth model when exported. Otherwise, it can be very faceted.
Gerry

2010 Screenset
http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

JointCAM Dovetail and Box Joint software
http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

Offline ger21

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Re: Hello all .dxf files and GCode
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2011, 05:29:42 PM »
To add to the .dxf confusion :)

A .dxf file (depending on version) can contain any 3D entities that can be created in AutoCAD, including solids and surfaces. I import 3D mesh .dxf's into MeshCAM all the time.
The bottom line, is that you need to know exactly what you're CAM program is expecting, and you need to know how to provide what it wants.
Gerry

2010 Screenset
http://www.thecncwoodworker.com/2010.html

JointCAM Dovetail and Box Joint software
http://www.g-forcecnc.com/jointcam.html

Offline Tweakie.CNC

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Re: Hello all .dxf files and GCode
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2011, 01:59:01 AM »
Thanks Guys, that is something else I have learnt.

But I think I will just stick to using .dxf for 2D and .stl for 3D.  ;)

Tweakie.
Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.  Winston Churchill.