Can anyone help with CAD problems?

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ZOMBIEREPELLENT

Sr Member
Hey guys, I've been having issues trying to get water jet cutters to cut motherboards for my proton packs. The first one said they could use an EPS file, but when I sent it to them, they said only the two holes that I want drilled in them came up. So I had someone that uses the program regularly take a look, they tweaked it a bit by subtracting the holes from the outline, where I basically just had them painted on there. I contacted a couple other companies that needed it to be in DXF format. So I downloaded Autodesk, exported the image from illustrator to it. Saved it as a DXF, and on my computer it opens just fine. But when I sent it to the water jet companies, one says it's blank, and the other says "it's jagged, round parts aren't round, and the right hand side has jagged edges overall." and is asking me to "Please please please scan the image and let them do the program for it" at $65.00 an hour. I don't know If I'm being jerked around, or if there is a legitimate problem. Can anyone take a look at it for me? Please?
 
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Commander Max

Sr Member
The problem is the original drawing is from illustrator. When I get those files I have to redraft the files in Autocad. Autocad will see the lines, but the basis of how each program works(lines) is not necessarily compatible. The Illustrator files when imported doesn't have true circles. Sometimes I have to take illustrator files through another program.

My CNC software doesn't see the imported DXF's from illustrator. You have recreate the drawing.
$65 an hour doesn't sound bad to me. When I was a draftsman my rate topped out at $50 an hour. Your real worry is how fast is their draftsman.
 

darthviper107

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
If you have an Illustrator file with vector lines, you can save that as an illustrator 8.0 file which can be imported into 3ds Max as splines, then 3ds Max, you might have to mess with it to make sure it's got proper smoothing from there but you can export as .dxf
 

ZOMBIEREPELLENT

Sr Member
Thanks for your help guys. It's just really frustrating when everything LOOKS like its working on my end, but not on theirs, and since they don't really know what it's supposed to look like I couldn't tell if it was just their opinion when saying it was off.
 

GDCarlyle

New Member
In fact, there are great problems with compatibility of CAD-System. It is true that the dxf file is the best way to exchange files. But as you already mentioned, sometimes the shapes will show only as lines even curves etc.
In my time as a draftsman, we exported our .part-files to dxf (different versions), dwg and iges, included a pdf of the actuall drawing and sent all files to our customers. This way they could check if it is correct.
Nevertheless, most of the drawings had to be redrawn to fit perfectly.

Sadly I don't have any experience with Illustrator exported files.

The rate seems to be fine compared to those here in Germany. But not to know how long it will take is not really satisfying.
I'd say, the company should make you an offer with the estimation of the needed time.
#1 you can compare it with other companies
#2 you know how much it will cost
#3 if they say it will be much more afterwards, you have an offer you can argue with.
 

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zookone

Well-Known Member
Zombie, if you want pm and email the files to me I can take a look at them. Illustrator will export right to DWG so not sure why DXF is coming into the mix. I have had problems with Illustrator EPS files also, messed up a vinyl plot I did once.

-Z
 

ZOMBIEREPELLENT

Sr Member
I sent them a PDF of my image along with the dxf file. after knowing what it was supposed to look like, they gave me an estimate, so I'm not sure if my file is perfect but at least they gave me a price. My problem wasn't the 65 an hour. I thought that was completely reasonable. My problem was that I had it converted to a DXF, it opened ok on my end, and the measurements seemed fine when double checking in autodesk, but I still had someone telling me I should just pay their rate for an uncertain amount of time, that I already spent a bunch of time working on.

Zookone, I checked to see if I could save it as DWG from illustrator after reading your comment, but it doesn't give me the option. I will send you my file tho just to be safe.

Thank you guys for your input, I really appreciate it.
 

hankey01

Sr Member
A dxf file can be to scale but some entities can be made in unusual ways after a conversion like that. When using splines in our old CNC plasma table I used to have to export them as a WMF file then re-import back into the DWG file as a series of short lone segments. Occasionally the quantity of lines would crash the CNC software.

My point is...something may look and scale right but still create a lot of trouble with a program that needs to handle it. I'd like to see what you are dealing with before I offer to redraw it (I can't have it take up my days at work if I am going to try to sneak it in).
 

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hankey01

Sr Member
I could easily trace that on cad and make you a dxf file but I'm guessing there are specific dimensions you are working towards..

Doesn't look like a lot of work..you just need the shapes? I'll do what I can.
 

hankey01

Sr Member
If you have any measurements that you used to draw it I could try to draw it from scratch rather than trace your PDF...or I can trace the PDF and tweak parts to specified dimensions...

I should be able to come up with something tomorrow from work.
 

ZOMBIEREPELLENT

Sr Member
What I did, was trace one of my pack shells onto 6 pieces of paper. Scanned them into my computer, and put them all together in photoshop, and then opened it in illustrator to trace it. Then I printed it out to see how it fit, and tweaked it as needed, until it fit perfectly. I never actually measured every part of it.
 

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hankey01

Sr Member
I had to convert it to a Jpg to import into AutoCAD to trace..but I did my best. I scaled it based on your 1"x1" square. Some areas didn't quite match up geometrically (the circle at the bottom, where the 'tabs' meet..the arcs had to be stretched here and there to line up but I did my best. I Can't vouch for any of the accuracy but this is a trace of your file. Hope it helps!!

If you can PM me your email address I'll send it along. If you are able to check some dimensions let me know if you need any changes. :)
 

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