Simple start - dxf to svg (Linux, Windows, MAC)

I am still a “noob,” as I have not received my x-carve, yet, but I do have a home-made “plotter” I use…

I’m sure this topic is on the forum SOMEWHERE, but I never found it (Moderator, please remove if this is covered a million times). After a weekend of learning 3 different CAD programs and never quite mastering any CAM program, I finally came up with this simple solution (cannot believe I didn’t try it first).

Sometimes the guys who are really good at something have a hard time explaining it in simple terms - in other words, for a “3rd grader.” And sometimes, those who are new, don’t exactly know how to ask the question.

The Easel has got to be the simplest and easiest way to start carving. It’s one limitation, that I can find, is it is great for making basic shapes, but I have yet to learn how to use Easel to make a hole or a cut in a place/area/vector relative (with accuracy) to another hole or cut. SO, here’s what I came up with…

I run Linux (Ubuntu), but I don’t know why this wouldn’t work on MAC or Windows (I mean, it will run on Windows after 3 pop-ups for anti-virus software, 2 “blue screens” and a viagra ad… - lol)

Here is the SIMPLEST way I have found to get your idea out of your head and into your hand!

  1. I draw my “idea” (or my “part”) in LibraCAD and create a .dxf file (I assume any CAD software can create a .dxf file).
  2. I then open the .dxf file in Inkscape.
  3. I immediately save the object as a .svg file
  4. I open the .svg file in Easel.

BOOM! There it is in all it’s splendour and glory!

LibraCAD and Inkscape are available in the Ubuntu “Software Center” for free!

Easel then creates a downloadable g-code path that I can send to ANY machine (including my “plotter” with “universal g-code sender”).

It takes some tweaking to get exactly what you want, but the easel tools will help once you have your accurate “outline.”

I’d love for some of y’all who are “experts” to give this method a try and tweak it to see where I’m wrong… It seems too simple, but I cannot see where it won’t work on the X-Carve…

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You just gave me a good reason to resurrect my Linux box…

Thanks. I use ubuntu on one of my laptop. Im new too. can you give a simple lesson on drawing something up in Librecad?

The beauty of Libracad is ANYTHING you want to do has a YouTube video or explaination somewhere on the web…

I learned to use it just making my normal everyday drawings at work - and googling things that I need to learn… NO WAY I was gonna pay for AutoCAD or something similar…

But If you hit a bump, hit me up!

Yes i have been watching youtube videos on librecad. I think I can play around with what i’ve seen on youtube and make a few simple projects. Thanks for the info on librecad, that will really help. To bad easel didn’t have a good line tool. I think you could do more in easel with one and also easier then other drawing programs.

The two most USEFUL functions I have found are:

  1. SNAP - found in the top menu bar. It tells the cad where you want to put your cursor when drawing objects. Sometimes you may want nothing, sometimes just the grid, or intersections or mid-point of a line, etc.

  2. Divide - It is found under the “Modify” tab in the main menu. This lets you divide a line into sections that can be deleted or moved. Say you want a semicircle. Draw a circle, then a line thru the circle… now you can “divide” using the “Snap” to intersection. once “divided,” you can delete 1/2 the circle.

use these 2 for designing sprockets out of 2 concentric circles