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Shortcut to Export a DXF File?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Wrenchspinner14, Aug 10, 2020.

  1. Hi All

    I have been using Atom 3d for a while and am generally quite happy with it. I need to generate some DXF files for our waterjet at work. Is there a way to take a sketch directly to DXF? Doing a drawing and exporting it is a bit painful. If not, well I guess that's a feature request. ;-)

  2. bigseb

    bigseb Alibre Super User

    Painful? How? Open the model in a drawing, select the views yous want then export to dxf. Not exactly painful...

    If you're just making sketches and not creating 3D models then create you sketches in the drawing workspace instead. Imo that's a far more painful way to sketch and is not really how AD is meant to function, not to mention you'll still need to export as dxf.
  3. HaroldL

    HaroldL Alibre Super User

    Hi Pete,

    +10 for what bigseb stated.

    The additional benefit of creating 3D models is that you can put them together in an assembly to check fit, form and function. If you are recreating your sketches in Atom 3D from other drawings or CAD files there is always the possibility of small (or big) errors creeping in. This can be typos in entering dimension values or using different tolerance settings for the redraw than what is/was on the original drawing/model. Having the 3D models for an assembly check is best.

    Typos - I can't remember how many times I've seen 2d drawings get to programming or to the shop with a .125 dim that should have been .25 or visa versa. Since we started using 3D CAD that kind of error is glaring when the model is viewed.

    BTW, do you mind if I ask what your experience is with CAD/drafting?
  4. Lew_Merrick

    Lew_Merrick Alibre Super User

    Hi Pete -- If your "universe" works best with 2D, why not limit yourself to 2D? There are real "advantages" to using 3D, but you need to be set-up to take advantage of them. ??? -- Lew
  5. robertf

    robertf Member

    I will second Pete's request. selecting a face and exporting it to dxf is a big time saver, especially if its a non orthogonal plane.
  6. NateLiqGrav

    NateLiqGrav Alibre Super User

    In Alibre 3d model: Click face > Click Project To Sketch > Click OK > Press Ctrl+A

    In Alibre drawing: Right Click open area > Activate Sketch on Sheet > Press Ctrl+T > Click in open area
  7. robertf

    robertf Member

    Yes Nate. I'm familiar with the work flow, I just miss it as a standard automated feature that preserves profile origin like many of the other CAD packages I use.
  8. Tom1

    Tom1 Member

    +1 for exporting a DXF from a sketch.
    TimoCAD likes this.
  9. NateLiqGrav

    NateLiqGrav Alibre Super User

    I think I might be able to hack an Alibre Script for this.
    TimoCAD likes this.
  10. idslk

    idslk Alibre Super User

    only the sketch of this face or a complete view orthogonal to the face/sketch plane?
    How often to you do this a day?
  11. robertf

    robertf Member

    The other CAD packages I've used export only features on the plane. It might be nice to be able to export the transformed profiles that are visible from that plane. An option to place origin at the centroid and adjust angle or snap an axis to a line would be a big time saver too.

    Regarding frequency, every project is different. I've got 1 coming up that I'll likely end up importing in another CAD package to export all of the faces directly to save time.

    Don't take this as an Alibre bash. IMO it is far superior in many ways to the other CAD packages I use for many things, but there is always room for improvement and this seems like low hanging fruit.
  12. NateLiqGrav

    NateLiqGrav Alibre Super User

    OK, AlibreScript and the API was problematic - so I went back to my roots and made an AutoHotkey script.

    SendMode Input
    SetTitleMatchMode, 2
    ; === ALIBRE EXPORT FACE ====
    #IfWinActive, Alibre Design
    KeyWait Control
    BlockInput On
    Send {Alt Down}k{Alt Up}
    Send p
    WinWait, Project To Sketch,, 1
    if ErrorLevel
      Send {Esc}
      BlockInput Off
      MsgBox, Face must be selected first to export.
      Send {Enter}
      WinWaitClose, Project To Sketch
      Sleep 200
      Send {Control Down}a{Control Up}
      Send {Control Down}x{Control Up}
      Sleep 200
      Send {Alt Down}k{Alt Up}
      Send a
      Sleep 200
      Send {Control Down}{Shift Down}d{Shift Up}{Control Up}
      Sleep 200
      WinWait, New Sheet Properties, Blank Sheet
      ControlClick, Blank Sheet
      Send {Enter}
      Sleep 200
      WinWait, Standard Views Creation
      Send {Esc}
      Send {Control Down}k{Control Up}
      Send {Control Down}v{Control Up}
      Send {Control Down}k{Control Up}
      Send {Home}
      Send {Alt Down}f{Alt Up}
      Send e
    BlockInput Off
    To run the script you need AutoHotkey installed (or ask me for a standalone .exe version) :
    Download and Install the current version of AutoHotkey.
    Copy and paste the code into Notepad.
    Save the code into a text file with .ahk file extension. Double click on the script to run it.
    In Alibre select a face and press Ctrl+f
    Wait until it asks then save an export.

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