AutoCAD->Inkscape->GF workflow question

First, maybe the better question is, are there any command line (OSX or open source) DXF/DWG to SVG converters that work well? I use Inkscape now because it works and because I do often use it to add engrave items to something I drew in AutoCAD. But I often find myself doing a lot of this:

Draw in AutoCAD, save, import into Inkscape, save to SVG, Cut, find problem with cut, make AutoCAD change, repeat.

It’s not until I get the cut worked out that I then actually use Inkscape to do any changes other than my SVG conversion, if at all. I know Inkscape has SOME capability at the command line, but can’t find anything that says it can do this. One thing I know I’d need to do is be able to set the scale factor on the command line since I sometimes draw in mm and sometimes in inches, and in my ideal world I’d like to set a position on the page since all AutoCAD imports seem to be way off the page by default and if you don’t move them in Inkscape then the GF also imports way off the bed.

I’m using OSX and am quite familiar with doing command line things, I’d just need to know the arguments that Inkscape needs, or to know if there’s another command line converter out there. Searching seems to find several web based ones and such, but that’s no easier than opening in the Inkscape GUI to me.

Basically I’m looking to vastly simplify my life of going from AutoCAD to GF when I don’t need any additional edits, just conversion. Help?


I think you will find most of what you want in shortcut keys which are typed but not necessarily in the command line. You can program anything you want of course, but it is in Python and not Lisp. I was super hot in Lisp but never got far in Python, but Lisp was like a native language and Python a foreign language, so while not so different hard to make that jump.

I use cloud convert. Not practical for everyday conversion sadly but I rarely have dxf or eps that needs changing, it works well enough for occasional conversions.

Should be able to export or print a PDF file from AutoCAD with the proper scaling embedded, then skip the Inkscape step altogether since the GF app can read PDF files without issue.


Cloud convert doesn’t help the workflow any that I can see over Inkscape. And while printing to PDF didn’t occur to me, it actually doesn’t work because I’m using the educational version of AutoCAD (I do some college mentoring) and it watermarks the PDF output. :frowning: You can remove the watermark I’m pretty sure, but that’s yet another set of steps that also doesn’t help the workflow.

I use QCAD to clean DXF/DWG and svg’s files and make them production ready the pro version has an Quick SVG Export that works perfect for Glowforge . The pro version is not free tho it will coast you 33 euro’s.

Oh yeah, now we’re talking. I’ll try this tomorrow…it has command line tools and they include units and scale factors. Should do exactly what I want. Thanks!

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Like you I do all the drawing in autocad or inventor. The downside is that it doesn’t work like Autocad but I actually prefer QCAD to make my file glowforce ready now I work with it for awhile.

You only need to look out for: if you change your drawing to polylines that you don’t select circles they give sometimes unexpected results in the GFUI .

They got also QCAD CAM if I little bit more expensive but it has a nice nesting option and you can convert NC files directly so I am thinking about switching to the CAM version.