Adobe Illustrator .DXF

I’m a professional graphic designer and primarily use Adobe Illustrator for my design work. I have no interest or time to learn a new, complex program to render a 2D product.

I’ve spent hours today trying to import both DXF and SVG files into Fusion with very little luck. I’ve been on the Autodesk help forums and it basically seems that these formats are pretty much useless with Fusion. Which is stupid.

At any rate, I send .DXF files to my CNC waterjet and router vendors with no issue all the time so I know they work. I’m not sure what program they are using for the CAD/CAM - which I am certainly going to find out on Monday - but I was wondering if anyone is using something other than Fusion to create the CAM and g-code?

I have had no problems at all importing all my old dxf’s that I drew up using Deltacad which is a $30 program. Some are 10 years old and some are downloaded. I am just learning Fusion myself and learned how to import from a YouTube video, what issues are you having?

The biggest single problem I am having at the moment is the size the files are importing into Fusion. I’ve coordinated the scales between the two programs but it doesn’t seem to matter and they keep importing huge (DXF) or tiny (SVG). And within Fusion I can only figure out how to scale the design as a proportion, not simply input a new value to match what I designed in Illustrator.

Just learning myself, I ha that problem and Fusion was set to mm and my drawings were in imperial. Once I changed the default in Fusion to imperial, everything has been fine.

I have found to cut a .svg file you have To insert it, click fix/unfix once sometimes twice, and its then workable. To do .dxf files they have to be uploaded then added to a new sketch. Havnt had any problems with either tho once changed to inches from mm.

Make sure the units are correct when you import the dxf files. Fusion has more options than mm and inches.

Thanks for your ideas. I’ve given up on Fusion for now and figured out SheetCam does the job. Illustrator SVG files import without any drama and setting up tool paths is super easy. I’ll probably still eventually learn Fusion, but unless there is a way to easily import AI based files it’s not going to be very helpful for running my plasma table.

Fusion 360 has been absolutely frustrating to learn. Do you have websites for the programs that you have found to be much easier?

Unfortunately I don’t… As I mentioned in my OP, I’m exporting files out of Adobe Illustrator (which essentially is acting as my CAD program) so I’m only looking for a simple CAM program to create tool paths. From what I hear from my friends who work in the CNC industry, AI related files are the worst kind of files to export for CNC so if you are just starting out I would learn a proper CAD/CAM software. There are a lot of options out there and anything worth your time will have trial software.

That said, I know why Langmuir Systems went with Fusion 360 for their “recommended” software. Once you start getting into the costs of CAD/CAM programs you’ll quickly realize most are extremely expensive. Fusion happens to be one of the more affordable programs out there. It’s actually pretty powerful software and is cross platform meaning once you learn program you’ll be able to use it for things like cnc plasma all the way to 3D printing. I’m not a huge fan of the work flow as I initially base a good software on how intuitive it is for a beginner - which Fusion is not. It’s slow learning for sure.

Honestly unless you have other options you already know for the design side of things and have figured out a way to reliably export your files I’d probably just stick with learning Fusion since there is a ton of support on here for it. All modern CAD programs will have a learning curve and it’s easier to be around a group going through it together that can be a resource for troubleshooting. For me, I was just looking for a fast way to get cutting based on my existing capabilities but I’m working on learning Fusion regardless (mostly because I’d like to get into 3D printing in the near future).

Here is a link to SheetCAM’s circa Windows 95 website if you are interested in taking a look at that. It’s pretty easy to setup tool paths but keep in mind this is a CAM program only and you can’t do any design with it.

I hope that long winded reply helps!

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I am looking at Sheetcam and downloaded the demo. What Post Processor did you choose and have you tested it out yet?

SheetCam has one built in and it can be setup to output for Mach3. There is also a toolpath simulation mode you can test your toolpaths before PP. I find the program extremely easy to use and it works great. Let me know if you have any questions and I’d be happy to help if I can.

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