Inkscape and DXF

So for those of you like me bought the Arcdroid with very little experience with CAD I have worked out a reasonably easy way to create DXF files utilising the program called “Inkscape” (its free!) :slight_smile:

So you can import your design into Inkscape, then use the trace bitmap function to auto trace, then delete the original file (few videos online how this function works) then you can save the design as a “Desktop Cutting Plotter (AutoCAD DXF R12)”*.dxf I have found this format will allow import into the Arcdroid fairly easily and accurately allowing you to setup the cutting parameters within the Arcdroid and not needing the post processing in SheetCAM or Fusion 360.

I hope this can help a few of you along the way and simplify the process a little!:blush::call_me_hand:


@Surfpig4 thanks for the advice. I’ll have to try Inkscape. I was finding that most of the DXF files that I was creating on another program were too large for the Droid. Only the simplest designs worked for me. I ultimately needed to import the DXF’s & SVG’s into Fusion360, adjust the tolerance, and smooth the curves to get to a manageable cut file. If your idea works, I’m all in. The project below, when a DXF, could only partially be loaded into the interface. I made the first cut file in Fusion, but that was way too many lines to be read by the interface - over 17K. Did a few more experiments in Fusion with “smoothing” and tolerances, and got the file down to 1300 lines. Cut time for this project was about 6 1/2 minutes at 2000mm/min. Always lots to learn, but that’s what keeps us sharp.


Inkscape is a very powerful piece of software. For 2d drawing and putting out stuff to create drawing files I would probably choose it over Fusion. It’s free for one, and not limited in the way fusion is with output and saving files. I’ve just not dabbled with converting to CNC from inkskape so glad to see it is functional. You can also get your photos and other type sof scalable SVG’s into inkscape and convert them to cad friendly plasma files pretty easy I imagine. I love fusion 360 for making stuff for the 3d printer but it seems like it would be complicated as heck for just drawing a shape I wanted in metal.

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I just want to add my experience here for others reading this.

Don’t be discouraged about the “complicated as heck” comment about fusion 360. The steps required for making a cut file with fusion 360 is minimal. A 2d “sketch” is all that is required, no 3d stuff, no extrusions into bodies, etc.


Is there a tutorial to fumble through the process?

Thanks for posting!

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I’m using Inkscape. It’s free and there are a ton of YouTube University resources to help you get going. I subscribed to this channel because he has a bunch of great walk-thru videos. Bad Dog Metalworks

EDIT: No I’m not Bad Dog Metalworks or affiliated with them.


I’m using QCAD/CAM. There is a free version and a paid version but it’s cheap to buy. Andrew made a postprocessor for it and it’s working good.

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