Inventables Community Forum

Easel Feature Request - Import File types .STL and .DXF

It would be very useful if Easel could import for .STL files for 3D drawings and .DXF for 2D drawings. This would eliminate the need to use a third application for file type conversion for most users of CAD programs like Vectorworks or Autocad. My preferred CAD program is Vectorworks (2015) for Macintosh.


I think this is already in the plans, but I second this suggestion.

I recently got into 3D printing and it’s amazing that there is free software available for every step of the way, from design to modelling to output to creation of the G-code, etc. - all free. For example, I can use TinkerCAD or 123D Design to generate a 3D model and then output an STL file - from there I can import the STL file into one of several free slicer apps to generate the G-Code and copy it to the printer.

You look at hobby level CNC and you don’t find that same free chain of software. There is free software out for some of the steps, but I’ve yet to find a completely free path from design to machining that doesn’t require multiple steps, conversions from one format to another, or some annoyance along the way. If Inventables can add that type of support to Easel, it adds a tremendous amount of value to their product line!

Does anyone know of a free route from design to machining - on Windows - with minimal steps and/or conversions?

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Two points:

  1. There are plenty of tools that will convert .DXF to .SVG (which can be directly imported into Easel.
  2. Easel (as-is) is a 2D editor. There would have to be a complete re-design to support .STL files. If you’re going to do full 3D caving you’re likely going to need a different tool path. Try Fusion 360 . It’s available for free and it’s great.

I seriously don’t expect Easel to be turned in to a 3D editor - there is no need for that. I don’t think that being able to import industry standard 3D files ist too much to ask.

They already support 2.5D carving through grey-scale .SVG files, so this isn’t some impossible task.

Also, isn’t Fusion 360 only free for hobbyists (meaning you can’t sell your work) and only for one year? I don’t want to get my work “stuck” in a product that 12 months from now says “Oops, sorry, you’ll have to pay if you want to keep using me” - and their website makes it clear they are moving to a monthly subscription service instead of outright purchasing - don’t know about you, but I really don’t need/want another recurring monthly bill…

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according to the fusion 360 web page

A free 1-year startup license is also available for hobbyists, enthusiasts, makers, and emerging businesses that make less than US$100,000 in revenue per year. At the end of 1 year, you can reselect the startup entitlement or transition to a commercial entitlement.

So, two-years free, maybe.

Obviously these things are subject to change, but from what I’ve read it’s a indefinite reoccurring single year license.

If you read the details in the Fusion 360 license, the $100,000 revenue is for startups working on a product or project not yet available for sale and earning less than $100,000 per year.

It is NOT for small businesses generating products for sale and earning less than $100,000 per year.

I run a small business and want to use my X-Carve to produce items for sale and so I need software that allows me to do that, preferably cheap or free.

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What are you making to sell? If you dont mind me asking

Ask away! I run a small sign business, dealing mostly with cut vinyl banners and such. I’m hoping to be able to do custom carved wooden signs as it seems every housewife or bored person has purchased a vinyl cutter/Cricut and it’s getting tougher to try and compete.

Thats cool. Im hoping to do some sign work too.

I cant imagine autodesk would know you were using their program to carve signs to sell.

We are rebuilding Easel to support other file types including 3D. I don’t want there to be rampant speculation but we will have some cool announcements later this year.


And that’s all I needed to hear. I’ve been playing with using grey-scales in SVG files to do 2.5D designs and I think that can hold me until you get 3D file import working…

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@MichaelSchafer you should be able to do most signs in Easel.

Is there a particular sign you were having a hard time with?

Not as yet, but my 3D modelling skills are basic (and that’s being generous), so if I could import .STL files of additional elements (ribbons, leaves, etc.) to enhance my limited skills, that would make things easier.

I am NOT an artist (which is why I like computer controlled equipment) and most of the work I do now in cut vinyl uses clip art that I’ve purchased or traced and not original designs.

3d printing is sort of a misnomer in that you are really dong a 2.5d in slices. That is the reason you have to process it though a “slicer”. So, for easel to be able to use .STL files would to process them into the grayscale that is already working in easel.

The trick is including a having easel then reslice the convered .stl to match your material setting…
ie; if you have material set to 1in… easel would take all the slices in 1in steps and create a flattened grayscale shape.

Ping. Any updates on whether Easel will be able to import STL files soon?



Ping. Any updates on whether Easel will be able to import STL files soon?


Double Ping!!

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I am also interested in importing STL files