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Exporting 2D drawings (from a 3D model) into usable 2D autocad files


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Posted (edited)

I am not very familiar with 2D.

But there is a DWG Exporter with lots of settings.

Just don't miss the Advanced Settings button at the bottom of the standard dialog.

 

You can set many things, like if you want to export Design Layers only, or Sheet Layers,

Layers from VW Classes or VW Layers, a separate File for each VW Layer or all in one,

ACIS or not, VW Groups as anonymous Blocks, .....

 

And you can save those setups for different purposes and re-use the later again.

Edited by zoomer
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Create your viewports showing the object(s) as you want them presented. Then use convert to lines or convert to polylines on the viewport. You will now have your flat representation of the view. Warning curving objects such as ovals, bezier curves and text can render into 1000s of miniature straight line segments. Copy and paste the objects from your sheet to a design layer if you intend them to be in Autocad's drawing space and not their paper space. You will need to scale them according to the former viewport's scale. Make sure if you are working in imperial measures that you have a minimum of six decimal places of accuracy set in your file. Export each design layer as one Autocad file. That should get you started. Editing it will not be enjoyable so keep the original at hand.

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1 hour ago, LarryO said:

Then use convert to lines or convert to polylines on the viewport.

 

Interesting.

I didn't expect that to be necessary.

I thought you just activate SLs in Export dialog ....

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Autocad being a three dimension coordinate system I flatten the 3D object in the various orientations required or I would expect VW's to export the three dimensional original into Autocad's drawing space with viewports to its paper space looking at said object. Now there is as you mentioned the flatten option in the export dialogue which I have not explored whether it removes the 3D original from the drawing environment or not in the exported file. I wonder which way the option would flatten the 3D object? Top/plan view? and what happens to viewports that present a front or side view of the original 3D object? hmmm.

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On 5/23/2021 at 5:42 PM, rafaelmartins.95 said:

Hello,

 

I have a 3D model on vectorworks and I've created 2D drawing sheets. I now need to prepare 2D drawings to send for laser cutting - these need to be in autocad. How can I export the 2D drawings into usable 2D dwg files that I can edit?

 

Thank you!

Hello.  Did you have any luck with this? and have you had the items laser cut?

 

I've had a problem when i've exported my 2D drawing into a DWG for a CNC cut. The shape is a series of sweeping curves The CNC company use autoCad to open the DWG file and export it as an Adbobe Illustrator file.  The resulting CNC has altered the curves, flattening it in areas so it loks quite different.

Speaking to the CNC comapny they suggested exporting straight to Adobe illustrator, to bypass the autoCAD stage. but I can't find an option to do this.

 

They said they've had a few problems over the last few months with files originating in VW

 

 

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Illustrator has the ability to open Autocad's dwg format directly without the use of Autocad as an intermediary.

My suspicion would lie in either Illustrator not supporting a certain type of curve or spline or the accuracy of the file is too low.

Or the exported dwg file had insufficient accuracy for the units involved.

The first can usually be addressed by exporting to version 12 of autocad's dwg.

The second by using six decimal places of accuracy when the units are inches or one decimal place if they are millimetres.

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Posted (edited)

Illustrator's import used to be mediocre at best with curve import being quite messy at times, CorelDRAW did a much better job in the past and still does a good job importing DWG files so I use CorelDRAW for importing DWG files. Because I haven't used Illustrator for years now I can't comment on the current quality of Illustrator's DWG import but you could try using CorelDRAW to see if it does a better job. There used to be a macro for CorelDRAW to export files for CNC use, but I'd have to look up if it is still current.

 

Another option could be exporting as R13 DXF and open the file in e.g. Inkscape to see if that gives a better result.

 

Exporting from AutoCAD to Illustrator is probably exporting to EPS, which has its limitations. It is better to open the DWG in CorelDRAW or to export to DXF R13 (or 12) and then open in a graphics program other than Illustrator.

Edited by Art V
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On 5/28/2021 at 9:01 PM, LarryO said:

Illustrator has the ability to open Autocad's dwg format directly without the use of Autocad as an intermediary.

My suspicion would lie in either Illustrator not supporting a certain type of curve or spline or the accuracy of the file is too low.

Or the exported dwg file had insufficient accuracy for the units involved.

The first can usually be addressed by exporting to version 12 of autocad's dwg.

The second by using six decimal places of accuracy when the units are inches or one decimal place if they are millimetres.

Thank you so much for this,  I adjusted the acccuracy to 6 decimal places before exporting to .dwg and that seems to have solved the problem.  The CNC company can see the curves much more accurately now.

 

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