Inventables Community Forum

Convert Dwg/DXF to SVG

I have had zero successful attempts converting DWG/DXF to SVG. I have tried software such as Inkscape, AI, etc., as well as several online converters. I have hundreds of parts drawn in CAD that I would love to be able to cut on the X-Carve I have on order. Easel is fine for playing around, but unless I can find a reliable method to import accurately vectored drawings it will never be useful for much of what I need. So far, the files I export as SVG either don’t import to Easel, or they do but do not appear correct in Easel. I could use software from work–and ditch Easel altogether, but that would require a parallel connection. I really would like to get something figured out before my magic 3-4 weeks of waiting is over. Preferably, something that doesn’t cost a few hundred dollars more.

Two things that may be true: (1) I really don’t know what is truly involved in getting my CAD files prepped for CAM/gcode… I thought a simple export/import/import would suffice. (2) Easel is not a viable solution for translating a CAD drawing to a finished CNC milled product. Drawings from popular illustrating software, yes–drawings from CAD, no.

1 Like


I can completely relate, I am in the same situation. I was shocked that using a DWG/DXF files with X-Carve would be so difficult. Which CAD software do you use? I’m using Autodesk Inventor, and Sergio turned me on to HMF which I believe works with Solidworks and Inventor. The full version is expensive, but with Inventor you can use HMF Express for free, which appears to have quite a bit of capabilities.

As far as converting DWG/DXF to SVG, the only thing I have found that works for me is Corel Draw. Some people recommended Visio, but I didn’t want to buy a copy. At the end of the day, I gave up on SVG files with Easel, it’s just not a clean solution for me.

Even though HMF Express appears to do most of what I want, I have finally decided to just bite the bullet and purchase VCarve Pro. VCarve Desktop was cheaper, but I didn’t want to be limited to 24"x24" (I believe you can tile larger jobs). I want to make using the X-Carve as easy and convenient as possible, and creating the GCode and then using UGS (Universal GCode Sender) to upload to the X-Carve was just less convenient than I wanted.

I am using AutoCAD and ViaCAD Pro for my drawings. I just downloaded Autodesk Inventor Pro (free educator version) last night to try the HMF Express option. I have CAM software that I like, but I would need to buy a parallel interface to use it with X-Carve. So far I have not had to spend any extra money on software. I can see where VCarve Pro may ultimately be the best solution without adding more hardware and having to deal with extra software steps to produce a finished part on the X-Carve.

I guess I just feel a little disappointed. I know the software and control aspect of CNC can be a major expense. I pulled the trigger on X-Carve because it seemed like a lower cost solution than other well-known CNC kits. If it requires hundreds more in software to make its capabilities equal the competition, then it is really no savings at all. I guess I place my angst on Easel’s limitations.

I don’t regret my purchase. I love Inventables products, support, and users. I am happy to belong here. I can’t wait until the funky truck delivers boxes from Inventables to my door.

1 Like

Currently SVG is the only data format that can be used to import designs into Easel, but this will likely change in the future. The first thing Easel does after you import an SVG is convert it to an internal data model that represents all of the objects in your design in real world units. We’ve started giving developers early access to our Easel developer platform that we are in the process of building out. One of the things you can do with apps is ask the user to upload a file, and then perform some processing on that file and ultimately place a design on the Easel canvas. Right now these apps feed SVG to Easel behind the scenes to create the designs. However, we’ll be changing this very soon so that the apps will feed Easel data objects instead. This would open the door to any developer building a DXF file import app for Easel (or any other type of file format).


Well, for now it looks like Vcarve Pro will easily handle opening DWG and DXF files. It will even vectorize a CAD drawing and let you save a vectored copy in DXF format. I like Easel for picture based work, but for CAD it looks like Vcarve Pro is the answer for the X-Carve. The X-Carve will be able to earn back the extra software expense after a few jobs.

Now I’m just waiting for the X-Carve to arrive.

my problem is when i set a toolpats that required tow tools ( need to change from 6mm to 3mm ) and i like to save it as a svg it say easl can not handle tool change :frowning: what do i do now ?? any other software i can use ???

I have done this hundreds of times in the last several months and it works for me. I draw my projects in AutoCAD and save it as both a DWG (for a record) and a DXF (2007).
I am an Adobe Illustrator user and open up the DXF file, be sure to set the scale to 1:1 (important). I do my text and other things in Illustrator and then save it as both an AI and a SVG file. Easel has read 100% of my SVG’s and carved them great. I am not an Inkscape user, but I don’t see why the same process will not work with Inkscape. I just tried the same thing in Inkscape with excellent results.
I created a rectangle 2" wide and 3" long in AutoCad. I saved the drawing as a 2013 DXF file. I opened up Inkscape and set my drawing to 8 1/2 X 11 and inches as default. Next I imported the DXF, I tried several tomes as a scale of 1 and that did not work. I googled DXF into Inkscape and the answer was to change the scale factor in Inkscape Import to 25.4. Once I used the 25.4, it worked great. I then saved the drawing as an OPTIMIZED SVG. I opened up easel and it imported with no problem. I also verified the size and it was right on. It is possible to at least do the conversion from DXF to SVG with a free program. Those that do not have AutoCAD can opt for a free program called Draftsight. This works just like AutoCAD. This is a free program, but be aware, if you do not have any CAD skills, this program, as any CAD program can be unsetteling.

I’ve made a simple command line utility for macOS to convert .dxf (and other formats) to .svg if you have Inkscape installed as this is a common operation:

1 Like

It’s been almost 2 years…any progress here?

This is a reply to @JeffTalbot who mentions above… [quote=“JeffTalbot, post:18, topic:11756”]
However, we’ll be changing this very soon so that the apps will feed Easel data objects instead. This would open the door to any developer building a DXF file import app for Easel (or any other type of file format).

Just exactly how long is ‘very soon’?

Hi Traxxtar,

We launched the updated Easel developer platform last summer: API version 2.0


[quote=“JeffTalbot, post:18, topic:11756”]
Right now these apps feed SVG to Easel behind the scenes to create the designs. However, we’ll be changing this very soon…[/quote]

I interpreted your comments above to mean that not only would you open the door to developers to build file import options for Easel, but that Inventables would also create something allowing what would appear to be ‘native’ import of various file formats. So instead of using separate Easel ‘apps’, you would give us a menu item to import various formats. No?

Any app that implements file import functionality can actually be presented in the “Import” menu instead of in the apps window.

To quote myself “…but that Inventables would also create something…”, I mean, why doesn’t Inventables create the feature for allowing other file formats to be imported directly into Easel. Developers haven’t done it yet and it’s been 2 years since you mentioned a method would be made available for developers to do so, but it’s still not a feature or app that allows it. Can you guys just do it?

1 Like

I certainly agree. I’m a self-taught AutoCAD hack and I have had immense trouble being able to generate DXF’s that were acceptable to import/convert…

1 Like

x-carve hardware: pretty great - Easel however is severely crippled. Importing DXFs is a BASIC requirement for 2D cutting of any sort. The convoluted “solution” of converting DXF to SVG using one or more 3rd party programs is really not a solution at all. Whoever decided that DXF support was fine to “add later” rather than an essential feature at launch and whoever agreed: Really poor decision. If Easel had DXF support I’d likely pay for a monthly pro subscription. Instead I apparently have to look elsewhere for basic 2D cutting features. This has been a huge disappointment.

So stupid question however, how would you transfer this to Inkscape which I have on my Mac to transfer any file to svg! Cause the long method is well long to convert but doable ! Thanks for the code and thanks in advance if you can explain it to me ! Thanks

You can look for a used copy of Illustrator CS5 or CS6. I have had a few times where I imported a DWG from AutoCad into Adobe Illustrator and then saved it as a an SVG. It worked great.

If you find a copy CS5 or CS6 then you can always use it. It will not be Cloud Subscription based.

We have an Easel app to import DXF files into Easel that is in beta testing:

just select the file type you want and make sure you embed images.