Auto cad

anyone have any solutions instead of buying an expensive auto cad software ? want to make boxes and other 3d objects

Free Autocad equivalent made by Solidworks. I use this a lot.

Export directly to SVG.

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Awesome I’ll look into it

I use AutoDesk Fusion 360. It’s currently free for hobbyists. You have to renew your free license every year.

How do you sign up for free ?

i figured out how to get it… but how do you export a file to use in the glowforge?

We have a great set of learning materials over at “The Matrix”: , in which you’ll find a set of F360 tutorials contributed by your fellow users

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I use three different methods, but most often I do this, YMMV:

  • I use sketches like normal to create 3D solid bodies (extrude material thickness)
  • I create a new “output” sketch on the face that I think of as the “top” when cutting (I have automatic projection turned off)
  • I project the face on to that new sketch and close the sketch
  • I right click on the sketch in the navigator and choose “Save to DXF”

Then in Inkscape, I have a “Glowforge” template that is 20"x12" but in mm (because I like them better) with guides for cut limits and engrave limits). I create a new document on that template and:

  • Import the dxf I saved out from Fusion 360
  • Do any tweaking I need, usually adding colors to things I want to be separate operations on the Glowforge
  • Save as SVG (the community recommends Plain SVG, but I usually just use Inkscape SVG and it seems to work anyway)

Then in I import that svg and away to the races.

Other folks find that the Laser DXF plugin (adjusts for kerf) and/or the Shaper Origin plugin stream line their workflow, but I’m a control freak so I like having a sketch I can edit in Fusion that is the output I want.


There’s also free Sketchup Make, but it’s not so good for curves and lacks Fusion 360’s parametric awesomesauce.

i appreciate the help !!

There is also Freecad, and opensource cluster of programs and the evolution to Babacad that solves some of the problems with freecad

And to round out the free choices there is OnShape.