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software to convert to .dxf file type
« on: March 04, 2007, 06:27:09 PM »
I'm just getting started with MachIII and have spent time experimenting with some of the screens. I wrote some  simple N/G code programs and was able to proof and edit them.  I want to now explore how I can use my CAD software - "Pro/Desktop" to design the parts we need for export to a postprocessor - hopefully LazyCam as it is free/reasonably priced and that seems to be my schools budget. We can export IGES files as drawing file types and also a number of graphic types - JPEG, BMP, and STL files. I do need accuracy and I was not sure if the JPEG type would do.  Our first project would involve milling out mounting holes, slots and the overall stretchout shape for some robot chassis from .100 alum stock. Can anyone offer some advice as to:   Will the export of a jpeg file to LazyCAM work well - accurate or should I pursue a different way - a file type conversion from the IGES?  Thanks in advance to anyone who can shed some light on the topic.  Also...could someone point me at a users guide/tutorial/directions for using LazyCam. I feel sure that they must exist and I am overlooking their location.
Re: software to convert to .dxf file type
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2007, 08:21:45 PM »
jpg and bmp files are image files, great for photos but useless for mechanical parts. The most common file to use between CAD and Gcode is a dxf file- 'Drawing Interchange File' Almost every CAd program can output a dxf. Stl and iges are for 3D work, but what you describe for a robot chassis is a simple 2D part.

There is a video on using LazyCam, see the links at teh top of this page to get to all the videos.

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Re: software to convert to .dxf file type
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2007, 11:04:05 PM »
Hey Will,
   I use a program named Autosketch. It would work good for your 2D parts. I have seen it for as little as $30.00. It is made by the same folks that make Autocad. It is simple and easy to learn. You could generate dxf files with it and have Lazycam generate your codes.

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Re: software to convert to .dxf file type
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2007, 07:36:24 AM »

I use an unlimited  free version of Cadx11 it is available on-line @ http://www.graytechsoftware.com/.  The software will generate dxf files and, although I have not done so, says it will import IGES files.   Documentation is lacking, and some people don't like its quirkiness.  It has worked well for me.  I have used to draw various items with success.  Private mail me and I will send you some sample of dxf files I have made.   Material I am working in is aluminum .25 to .50 thick.  Parts as large as 5.5" X 8.0" and smaller.  The parts have had to be accurate enough that mounting holes match to specs on preexisting items.

Bob @ BobsShop - No association with CADX or GrayTech Software