Need something other than inkscape

And not illustrator. Mostly because I’m cheap…

I am doing my cad in SolidWorks. But going to SVG is tricky. There are a few articles on setting up for a laser that I’m still going through , but just not happy yet.

My main problem is that DXF exports from SAW sometimes just don’t go right into inkscape. I set SAW to R13 autocad and splines to poly, but just doesn’t come in right sometimes. I found a free DXF to SVG converter on the next, but some of my smooth lines come in more straight then curved.


I really didn’t like fusion really clunky. Ran slow on my system but SolidWorks runs great. So don’t really want to switch the cad.

As I think it through I guess I want a better way to get from SW making a DXF or something to my GFUI.

Corel Draw - affordable and user friendly

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How about free?
I don’t see why glowforge couldn’t add (or license) something like these into their interface. You still would need to convert your DXF to SVG.


I find myself really hating Fusion 360 lately. Clunky doesn’t even begin to cover it. I was working on a design earlier, had to quit it to work on some stencils (in Affinity Designer) to import into the project, and when I next fired it up I found out that it arbitrarily deleted a large portion of the Bodies and 4 hours of work.

Sometimes it just decides to do random **** whenever it feels like it.


I’ve been been able to use it long enough to find out its bugs. It lags so much and just sputters. I don’t get how something that is suppose to be partially cloud base runs slower then SW2012 running on my 2009 beaten laptop.

As long as you save often, you’re mostly good. I find that saving after every new Sketch creation, or major move operation, or Extrude, or rectangular/circular object creation, or…basically, save every 5 minutes.

I tried the recent CAM export to SVG tutorial. And I think that really turned me off using it in my workflow for lasering.

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I do all my work in SW 2017 and then save as PDF. I haven’t had a problem so far. Sometimes I will have to bring in an image using the GFUI if SW doesn’t like it.


The trick here is… knowing that the DXF file format does NOT support curves. Yes it’s OK with circles and circular arcs, maybe even ellipses/elliptical arcs, but not bezier or spline curves. Doesn’t matter which CAD package or vector illustration program you’re using, DXF simply doesn’t support complex curves.

If you can get a PDF file output, that’s the way to go.


You could try Onshape’s for the CAD. It’s definitely slower but the workflow is pretty much identical to SAW. I found it a very easy move.


Rhino might be a good option. Unlike Illustrator it’s not a POS toy and it will import and export the vast majority of the filetypes you might throw at it. Version 6 even supports SVGs (which have been conspiciously missing).

It took me many tries to switch from SW to F360. The transition wasn’t easy, but I’m really happy that I won’t be extorted into paying their absurd “maintenance” fees* any more. 2017 seemed to be all about copying Fusion 360 anyway, so if you’re able to use SW17 you might have a leg up on switching to Fusion 360.

I’ve saved splines to DXF just fine. Some crappy software does seem to have trouble opening them though.

  • $1000 a year, for anyone curious

OpenSCAD can import DXF and export SVG.


Say what? They’re aren’t even similar :flushed:

They have similarities.

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Awesome. Just need a translator.

The Venn diagram of their capabilities has the slimmest sliver of overlap :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: I just don’t get why you call Illustrator a toy?

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He just hates illustrator, no worries.


Nearly every time I’ve used Illustrator I’ve hated the experience. You’re right though, the fact that I hate it doesn’t mean it’s a toy. I do stand by my POS description though. Last I saw the software doesn’t even have the option of reversing the direction of zoom when you scroll. Also, its apparently unable to open DXFs with splines in them without ruining them. And it can’t join multiple sets of touching-but-separated lines (eg. two squares that don’t overlap, each made of four individual lines with their endpoints connected) in a single step without drawing an additional (pointless) line between them. Not the biggest deal if you have two squares to deal with, but a total PITA if you have 100. I also find the bitmap to vector conversion to be terrible, worse than Inkscape and far, far inferior to Vector Magic (which does an excellent job).

The only way to maintain access to the software is to perpetually rent it from Adobe for a somewhat high price, and when/if you stop paying, the software stops functioning - good for Adobe’s bottom line, bad for anyone who isn’t making a living with it.

People can make very nice artwork with it though.

Writing this post inspired me to go uninstall my old Adobe programs from when I had a Creative Cloud subscription. Starting the uninstall process brought up the Creative Cloud manager program, which immediately started updating… or so it says. Unfortunately, the update is not actually progressing and appears to be frozen. Great job Adobe!

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Know a guy who worked almost exclusively in Adobe for his own products and apple when he worked with us. He liked the monthly subscription as it was cheaper than buying the software every time it came out. Not a whole lot but savings are savings and this way he was always up to date with the latest fixes too(for good or bad)


I have had alot of luck with DraftSight. It’s a 2D autocad type software made by the same folks that make Solidworks. Import DXF, make adjustments if required, export as SVG. Bonus is they offer a free version.