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john yoder

CAD Designer/Draftsman

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I’m the sole cad-operator for a plastic fabricator company, providing containment for waste mgt. & chemical control.  I currently use VectroWorks 2020 as my primary drafting software, but only in 2D.  Recently our fabrication department purchased a AVID CNC Pro Series machine to cutout simple pipe fittings out of solid HDPE sheet stock (up to 4” thick).  The software they’re using is Vetric, by Aspire.

The shop mgr. claims that VW & Vetric is essentially the same software, however, I’ve done considerable amount of research on compatibility from Vectorworks to Vetric and I cannot find the link between the two.  I’ve discovered that I can export a VW drawing to .dxf which apparently Vetric can import and use (as per the “playbook” for Vetric).  This is all new to me, and I’m at a loss – maybe I just don’t know where to look or what to look for (I feel like I showed up for a baseball game with a tennis racket).

Is there anyone out there that would be so kind to please enlighten me, or help me through this difficulty I’m experiencing and maybe point me in the right direction?

Also while I’m on this platform, I’m located in Huntsville, AL and it would be awesome if someone near me is also using Vectorworks and wouldn’t mind reaching out for a possible meetup.  I sure would appreciate having some one-on-one time with another user ( obviously AFTER we are clear of all this terrible coronavirus, please be safe ).

Thanks in advance,

 J. Yoder ( Plastic Fusion Fabricators, Inc. )

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I would not say that it's the same software, but you should be able to communicate using a number of different intermediate file formats. The very essence of their software is to import and process imported files, and not so much being a top notch modeler in themselves even though you can do some things with it. These smaller developers usually have much volumes compared to major CAD developers, so their import filters may be more flaky and fussy than stuff coming from the bigger developers. 


This is what I could extract from their web site: 


For 2D, you can use DXF, DWG, EPS, and perhaps SKP files if I read their specifications. VW does not export SVG, yet and unfortunately, but you can use for example Affinity Designer as an intermediate exporter. 


For 3D, you can use STL, OBJ, 3DM, 3D-DXF, VRML, and SKP files. I'm pretty sure that most of it will work in one way or another, though you may need to experiment to find the optimal file format or file formats.

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That's what I found as well & that's the information I've shared with our shop mgr.  He seems to be under the impression the shop can just access my

drawings & simply mill from them.  I just didn't know if I may have been missing a obvious link.


Thank you very much for your response, I've been using VW since 2007 & have become semi-comfortable with what I need to do to accomplish for

our company, but this has thrown a curve in my process.  I appreciate all the valuable info I find on this platform.


Cheers & Be Safe All !

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for 2D objects, stay with these simple rules:

1/ Reduce everything to the simple basic drawing objects such as lines, circles, arcs and polygons.


2/ No symbols, fills, textures, layers, poly lines, NURBS, Berzier curves, splines, 3D, etc, unless you are sure that the receiving program is able to handle it.


3/ I typically run "Decompose" on everything and ten group the objects if required.


4/ Remember to save you work first, and don't save it after exporting.


5/ Make sure that the models actually fit into the machine area in scale 1:1. Check that both sides use the same drawing units when using DXF, as it may not be obvious when reading the files. 


For 3D usd for milling, be sure that you use real solids, that is closed shapes. For more simple machines and 3D printers, STL usually works. OBJ may also work. Experiment!  

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Hi John,  Welcome to the forum.


As a VW trainer I find that it is often very difficult for users to learn a second CAD software. Just when you think you have internalized the commands, workflow & 'character' of your chosen software you are confronted with another paradigm set that is similar enough to look like it must be a simple task to learn but therein lie two key obstacles:

  • It is new. There is actually a lot to learn
  • It is different - but similar - but different, often deceivingly so. Users often have a difficult time resisting the impulse to make it work like their old cad

It's less like driving a different car, more like learning to drive a car after knowing how to ride a unicycle or vice versa.

One of the key instructions for someone coming from ACAD to VW for example is to forget everything you know about ACAD - while not possible it does help the user to approach the new sw with more openness, humility & curiosity. Then you can optimize your learning. This will also hold for your move to learn Vetric after knowing VW.


On a related note, I notice that students find learning a third CAD package to be actually much much easier. Once you have broken through the 'oh but it should work like this' mindset the unpuzzling and learning is rewarding and fun!



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