My first *real* project

First, we received our Pro model a couple weeks ago and are loving it! (Of course.) I teach drafting and CAD, so figured this is a no brainer for the lab. Sadly, I can’t, as far as I can figure out at least, how to dxf a drawing in. I make do however.

My first project is a lettering guide that has morphed into a dual triangle/circle template/ruler/lettering guide. It is way cool, but still testing materials for the correct thickness to provide a useful tool that is both rigid and durable. Here is a display unit cut from MDF.


Very nice first project!

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Awesome! :grinning:

(We convert the DXF files to SVG in something like Inkscape or Illustrator. The GFUI currently accepts SVG and PDF vector file types.)


Very nice, what @Jules said about converting, Inkscape does a great job of it, just open your source file and do a save as.
Florescent acrylic engraved from the back makes projects like this one really pop.


I have Inkscape installed and the option to set up Illustrator. But 30 years an engineer and 20 teaching CAD, I like my lines and circles the way I know how to make them. :slight_smile: (I’m working on it though…) AutoCAD, for example, will output a PDF, so that’s what I use. I find the files to be quite accurate.


It’s perfectly okay to use CAD to create your drawings, a lot of people do, but there can be an issue with complex curvy CAD drawings coming across as disconnected short straight line segments instead of smooth Bezier curves, and the additional nodes created using that method can cause buffering issues in the GFUI.

There’s another problem with moving vector images around on the artboard if they consist of disconnected straight segments - it makes it hard to select everything if there is a lot of data on the board. If the lines are enclosed with a closed path, you can select groups of items and move everything inside the enclosed shape easily.

(And the GFUI will handle the disconnected segments without a problem, but if you have trouble loading certain complex files, that might be the reason…it’s just something to be aware of. Not all CAD programs do it, but some do.) :slightly_smiling_face:


You could even have your students design these in CAD based off your template and then print them!

Try lucent from Johnson plastics. Similar to the material used to make thin rulers, stencils and what not. Cuts easily with a laser.


Really cool. I would find something like that useful around my workshop.

In AutoCAD you want to have everything as closed polylines where possible. My old computer burned in a fire and I don’t have AutoCAD on the new computer as yet, but I started with version 9 which was immediately after version 3 and did not have 3d much less solids then. I learned Lisp early and wrote many of my own commands years before they were part of the native system.

Of those relevant to here one was to hand it a bunch of lunes and arcs and let AutoCAD turn as many as possible into as few polylines as possible another fillets polylines over a range making each as large as possible as the corner will be ignored if the size will not fit

Do they still teach students drafting with pencil and paper? Selecting the correct lead hardness and all that? I loved it.

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