Learn how to export DWG files from geometry created or imported into SOLIDWORKS.
[Narrator] Once you've created your design in SolidWorks you're going to want to export your geometry so that it can be created. There are many operations out there that can be utilized when trying to create parts. For this specific example I'm going to focus on CNC operations. Now looking at my part it's really just a top and bottom CNC operation. They can do all the cuts on this face and then flip it over, do all the cuts on this face, or vice versa depending on the tool holding. So I'm going to export 2D geometry to give our vendors all the information they need to cut this face.
For creating 2D geometry we're going to want to export a DXF or DWG. For this specific example, it doesn't matter which I choose. I'm going to go up to my Save As dropdown then go to Save as type and select DWG. Really quick I want to take a look at our options. Most of these options are going to stay as the default. The two to pay attention to though are the Version and Spline export options.
For the Version, I always choose R2000-2002. This is an AutoCAD format of DWG that I find to be the most stable when sending to other vendors. You're not sure what software you're vendors are going to use on the other side to open up this DWG so it's best to go with a file that's older, stable, and will have less issues when dealing with modern softwares. Going down to the Spline export options, we want to make sure that we Export all splines as polylines. This is going to give CNC manufacturers, for example, the ability to create tool paths on your 2D geometry.
I'm going to click OK and then click save. You can see here that I've got a new prompt in the property manager and this relates to creating your DXF or DWG output. Now by default it's set to Annotation views. So you can select your top, front, right, bottom view, or even the isometric, trimetric, and dimetric views to export a DWG. But for this I want to make sure that I'm normal to this face. So I'm going to select this face and then I'm going to realign my coordinate system.
Now you can see that the coordinate system has popped up in the middle of the screen here. Naturally my origin is in the center of this part from when I created it. But I want to realign the origin so that my CNC manufacturer can use this as his origin. So with the windows selected, I'm going to select this point. Now you can see the coordinate system has moved from the center of the part down to this corner. But now my Z and Y-axis aren't aligned correctly. So I'm going to realign the X and Y-axis to fix this.
First I'm going to select my X-axis and then next I'm going to select my Y-axis. And you can see now the Y, X, and Z coordinates are properly constrained. I'm going to click the green OK check box and now I get a preview of my part. You can see all the geometry that was created on that 2D face. If we want to edit it, maybe take out one of these circles, I simply click on it, it highlights red, and then we choose Remove Entities. If that was done by mistake we can undo all these changes.
And now click Save. Let's take a look at the 2D geometry we've just made. Going in a draft site, I'm going to open that file. He we see our MACHINED PART DWG file. As you can see our Y and X-axis are located in the correct position in the bottom left corner and all of our geometry is created. This is now ready to be sent to, for example, a CNC manufacturer to do the 2D cutting operation.
- Opening files from different versions of SOLIDWORKS
- Importing models from online sources
- Importing 3D files
- Importing 2D files
- Exporting 2D and 3D files