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Oyvind

Export dxf

Question

We are currently using both mac and win versions of VW 12.5 and it seems the two versions are producing differt results when exporting dxf-files.

The dxf-files, version 12 text, are imported to a CNC plasmacutting machine. When importing the dxf-file from the windows-version of VW everything is OK, but when importing from the macintosh-version the file is not readable.

Does anyone know of this problem, and can it be fixed?

--

Oyvind

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It sounds like the Mac file is not being saved with the file extension. When this file is opened on Windows, the file extension is unknown and therefore cannot be opened.

You can do two things:

- When the Mac file is on the PC, right click on the file and add the file extension to the filename.

- On the Mac, be sure to save the files as blah.dxf as the filename. This will ensure the file extension is written in the filename.

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Not as simple, sorry. The files all have the dxf file extension.

VW exports the dxf-file to a seperat folder named after the file, and VW adds the file extension automatically to the file.

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There are 2 different options for DXF export - Text and Binary. Have you tried them both? The laser shop I use can't read the Binary ones, but has no problems with those exported with the Text setting.

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When importing the file for the CNC machine - what software are you using?

Are you able to find / locate the file using the Import, or is the problem that the import is not correctly reading all the information in the CNC machine software?

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Thank you, Katie and exocubic, for your answers!

Have tried both text and binary versions without success. The text version exported from VW windows works fine, but not the binary.

We use several programs, LogoTag, MagicTool and MicroStep. None of them are able to open/import the mac's dxf-files.

It's not a problem to locate the files, the problem is reading the them.

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When you look at the mac file, on a windows computer, what is the file name?

Does it have the DXF/DWG icon, or does it look like a blank piece of paper, or miscellaneous icon?

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Then the file is not being recognized by the OS, if it has a miscellaneous icon.

Right click on the file and choose Properties

Type of Document probably says Unknown (is this correct?)

Next to Opens With, click on Change and choose whatever program is set for the other Windows-based files.

If the files are being emailed from the Mac to the PC user, it could be the email program being used is stripping the file association files. To prevent this from happening, stuff the file on the Mac before emailing it to the Windows user.

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Type of Document says DXF file. The OS recognizes it as a dxf file but no program is set to open it. I'll assign a program and test if this has any effect but I am not to optimistic, as the windows version appears to have the same properties.

The files are not being emailed. All files, both mcd and dxf, resides on a NAS with Windows file sharing and is picked up directly bythe CNC machine's software.

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The file has now been changed to be opened with Microstep software, with no effect. Win-files open and mac-files don't.

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Try dragging the file from the server to the local computer and then open it from the local computer.

Can you save a word or text file from the MAC to the NAS, then access it from the computer attached to the CNC router? (As a test to see where the problem lies)

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It doesn't help moving the file to the local computer, and the text file opens fine. Have also tried using floppies and USB flash disk to no avail.

So there is no indication that the NAS is affecting this problem.

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I have done some more testing

- two different cnc cutting software programs refuses to accept dxf files from the macintosh.

- I have imported the dxf files to a spreadsheet as text to see if there are any differences. And there are! Lines in the mac version with 16 decimal places is rounded to 14-15 decimal places in the win version. Example: Win = -112.04164859785726 Mac = -112.0416485978572609. In my sample drawing file I have registered 11 lines witch are not identical.

Is it possible to resolve this?

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Oyvind - A couple longshot ideas.

The dxf version may be important. You say you are exporting to rev 12. I think it explodes everything into little bitty line segments. You might try some of the later or earlier versions.

and

Did you test with a simple Mac export file - say a circle and a square? Does the Mac VW file have beziers or splines? Some Machine software cannot read the exports of these types of polylines. But I never heard of that preventing the opening of the file.

The binary option is a Mac thing, so text is the correct one. Some Mac exports put the dxf file in a folder with a DB or database file (useless to the Windows world). Presumably you are trying to open a file rather than the folder, and using the dxf rather than the DB file from the folder. Just thought I would mention it.

I never had any trouble with those generic dwg file icons. They mount and open on the Windows machines.

-B

Edited by Benson Shaw

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Benson

Every idea is welcome at this point, thanks.

The dxf version may be important. You say you are exporting to rev 12. I think it explodes everything into little bitty line segments. You might try some of the later or earlier versions.

Yes, that is correct. Both dxf and dwg explodes polygons into line segments, but circles and arcs exports as circles and arcs.

Settled on using version 12 since that version imported fine from VW on Windows. I have tried every available version as text, and binary just to make sure.

My test file is a circle only, and opens easily in eDrawings.

As there don't seem to be any way to resolve the differences between the mac and win version, I will probably end up buying a add-on for the CNC-software.

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Check your Units settings on the Mac (in VectorWorks) and see if they differ from the settings on Windows.

If so, set the Mac Units to the same as the Units on Windows and try again.

Additionally, find out the most recent version of DXF files the CNC software will import as, and be sure to export from VW that version of DXF files.

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The units are then same.

dxf version 2004/2005/2006 saved the day! Thanks!

We didn't consider any later version than 14 since that has been the latest version that imported OK.

Still, it is a bit strange that the mac/win dxf-file differs.

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