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Sketchup make outout as dxf

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iain anderson14/03/2015 08:42:22
5 forum posts

Has anyone a simple method of outputting dxf files from 2d sketchup models?

I have tried the more obvious ones.

Files are needed for drawing out cnc lathe turning projects for g-code conversion.

I was going to use lazyturn or lazycam to produce the g-code toolpaths. although alternative suggestions are more than welcome!

Michael Gilligan14/03/2015 09:04:56
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19599 forum posts
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Iain,

Have a look here

What version are you using ?

MichaelG.

Russell Eberhardt14/03/2015 09:18:24
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2726 forum posts
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Why not use a proper 2 or 2 1/2D cad system such as Draftsight? It's an Autocad like program supported by the Solidworks people and totally free.

I use Draftsight and follow up with DXF2GCODE for generating the g-code.

Russell.

John Hinkley14/03/2015 09:34:09
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1218 forum posts
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Everyone has their own favourite CAD program and you'll probably get lots of "try this one instead" advice. I, for example, tried loads, including Draftsight, and found most to be too complicated for my humble needs. I have ended up purchasing (yes, I actually parted with cash, albeit only £30!) QCAD. It's available to try or use as as freeware without some bells and whistles, but, if you can output your drawings from Sketchup in a format that it (or another program) can accept, then it's a simple matter to re-export the file in dxf or one the many other formats which are supported.

Good luck,

John

John Hinkley14/03/2015 10:02:53
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1218 forum posts
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Just had a quick trawl around the internet and there appears to be a free download available called "FBX Converter". It's a bit long-winded, but it seems that you save your file from Sketchup with its native .dae extension, load it into FBX converter and convert it to .fbx format. Then do the same again, loading the .fbx file into the converter and selecting .dxf as the output format. I haven't tried it but others apparently have and it worked for them. Might be worth a try and could just get you out of a fix?

Or you could always upgrade to Sketchup Pro and do it directly - but that'll cost you $495 US!! 

John, again

edit: here's the address for the download - I assume you have either Windows or MAC

http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/pc/item?id=10775855&siteID=123112

Edited By John Hinkley on 14/03/2015 10:05:06

Edited By John Hinkley on 14/03/2015 10:14:15

blowlamp14/03/2015 11:00:46
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I'm not sure that Sketchup is really appropriate for use with a CAM system as (last time I looked) it was not capable of producing true arcs and circles - it only represented them as such by making quite high-count polygons, which aren't a good substitute in my opinion.

You would do yourself a favour by getting an engineering oriented CAD system I think. Likewise, Lazycam is quite useless, whereas CamBam will more than likely do as you require.

Martin.

Michael Gilligan14/03/2015 11:11:13
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19599 forum posts
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Posted by blowlamp on 14/03/2015 11:00:46:

it only represented them as such by making quite high-count polygons

.

... Rather like the typical CNC mill does

MichaelG.

blowlamp14/03/2015 11:48:51
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1530 forum posts
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Posted by Michael Gilligan on 14/03/2015 11:11:13:
Posted by blowlamp on 14/03/2015 11:00:46:

it only represented them as such by making quite high-count polygons

.

... Rather like the typical CNC mill does

MichaelG.

The difference is that the CAM system will output only straight line moves (G01) to represent an arc or circle if that is all it is given. However, if supplied with true arcs and circles, it will produce genuine arc (G02) moves which the machine controller can then resolve down to whatever level of 'step' its setting may be.

Also, in CAD, it's pretty hard to do accurate tangent and perpendicular lines off a 'circular' polygon too.

 

Martin.

Edited By blowlamp on 14/03/2015 11:50:33

Michael Gilligan14/03/2015 13:29:21
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19599 forum posts
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Posted by blowlamp on 14/03/2015 11:48:51:

... The difference is that the CAM system will output only straight line moves (G01) to represent an arc or circle if that is all it is given. However, if supplied with true arcs and circles, it will produce genuine arc (G02) moves which the machine controller can then resolve down to whatever level of 'step' its setting may be. ...

.

I bow to your wisdom, Martin

MichaelG.

Nick Grant14/03/2015 21:29:03
32 forum posts

Have you tried 123d design? Its designed for 3d printers so might output in the correct format for a CNC machine. Ben Heck just uses illustrator for his CNC plans so I guess and good vector application should work as well.

John Alexander Stewart14/03/2015 22:45:30
821 forum posts
56 photos

Posted by Michael Gilligan on 14/03/2015 13:29:21:

Posted by blowlamp on 14/03/2015 11:48:51:

... The difference is that the CAM system will output only straight line moves (G01) to represent an arc or circle if that is all it is given. However, if supplied with true arcs and circles, it will produce genuine arc (G02) moves which the machine controller can then resolve down to whatever level of 'step' its setting may be. ...

.

I bow to your wisdom, Martin

Yes, as Martin infers, there's a big difference between CAD for Engineering and for "Hollywood" or games.

If you look closely at any curved surface on a game machine you'll see that curved shapes are made of straight lines, but lighting tricks and "texture mapping" can fool the eye.

Despite spending lots of professional work on 3D rendering (ISO standardization, W3C HTML5 work, software distributed by Apple, used by CERN, NASA, and well over a million downloads of my open source package, at last count) I still do 2D CAD for my model engineering.

(mainly, that is. Sometimes I write programs to generate GCODE)

People put down 2D CAD, but as Martin correctly states, the resolution of arcs is down to the machine, not the designer, or the geometry optimizer where rendering time is more important than accuracy of drawn 3D shapes.

Now, 3D CAD can be great, but so can 2D CAD, especially if you have a 3 axis CNC mill, a CNC lathe, or send stuff out for water jet cutting, or laser cutting or...

I guess the expression "use the correct tool for the job" might fit well here. Why not learn both 2D and 3D CAD so you know how to use both tools?

JohnS.

Michael Gilligan15/03/2015 09:06:43
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19599 forum posts
997 photos
Posted by Michael Gilligan on 14/03/2015 11:11:13:
Posted by blowlamp on 14/03/2015 11:00:46:

it only represented them as such by making quite high-count polygons

.

... Rather like the typical CNC mill does

MichaelG.

.

Gentlemen [Martin and John, in particular]

I should explain that my remark was not entirely flippant or naive, but intended as 'philosophical'. ... Unfortunately the result was exactly the opposite of what I had intended.

Iain [who preumably already uses SketchUp] had asked a reasonable question, but the answers were rapidly turning to "... if I were you, I wouldn't start from there ..." and my comment was meant as a 'reality-check'.

Although I would claim no great expertise in either; I was quite an 'early adopter' of 2D CAD [Autocad v2.1 in the mid 1980s] and I also purchased SketchUp Pro. [which I have currently 'frozen' at v8 due to OS limitations].

Frankly; I can't really get to grips with SketchUp, but that is obviously my failing, because I have seen the wonderful results produced by others ... The way it uses Layers is totally at odds with my [Autocad] mindset, and I find myself frustrated every time I try to draw something detailed. The reason for mentioning this is that, if Iain has successfully adopted the SketchUp mindset, I think he may experience comparable difficulty.

MichaelG.

Michael Gilligan15/03/2015 09:32:06
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19599 forum posts
997 photos

Iain,

Here is a demonstration video.

... Although it does seem that he discards much of the SketchUp file.

MichaelG.

iain anderson17/03/2015 09:58:26
5 forum posts

thanks for all the replies, good or bad.

Actually, I am pretty adept at sketchup mainly for doing 3d printer stuff and it just seemed logical to re-apply that knowledge and familiarity to the 2d cad. The only cad software i got remotely close to working was qcad

At the moment i write the gcode directly and it would be more efficient code if a cam system wrote it.

will try the recommended cambam

iain anderson17/03/2015 12:59:22
5 forum posts

i tried cambam and I like it, does anyone know if theres a post processor for the emco compact 5?

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