Import/Export

This section covers how to move designs into eMachineShop CAD from other sources, and exporting designs to STL.

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Import a Design

Import file types such as DXF, STP, STEP, IGS, IGES or SLDPRT.

Export to STL

You can export an eMachineShop CAD file to STL format.


Import a Design

Import file types such as DXF, STP, STEP, IGS, IGES or SLDPRT.

  1. Choose File > New > Blank Design.
  2. In eMachineShop CAD, choose menu File > Import and select Files of type:
    • All files (.dxf .step . stp)
    • AutoCAD R12/LT12 DXF (.dxf)
    • STEP file (.step .stp)

Import via DXF From a Different CAD Software

  1. In the original CAD program, open the design and set scaling to 1:1.
  2. Make the design using the minimum views that represent all of the features. (The needed views match the orientation of the material during machining. 2D parts only need one view. For 3D parts, start with one or two key views and if needed, add other views later).
  3. Turn off title blocks, dimension lines and all unnecessary lines that do not detail the shape of the part.
  4. Export the drawing to ASCII (not binary) DXF format.
  5. In eMachineShop CAD, choose menu File > Import and select the DXF file.

Import a Turned Shape

If you have a CAD file that can output the cross-section of a turned part, it can be imported into eMachineShop CAD.

  1. In the original CAD software export the side view profile to DXF format.
  2. In eMachineShop CAD, import via menu File > Import and select the file.
  3. Select the imported lines and choose menu Edit > Cut.
  4. Draw a circle with a diameter equal to the maximum diameter of the part.
  5. In the line type drop list, ensure the line is set to Auto.
  6. In the Z-Control, set the value to the part length.
  7. Choose menu View > Front, then menu Edit > Paste.
  8. Move the pasted profile within the boundary line to the right of the center axis. If using the full side view, divide it in half to show only the right side.
  9. Set “Z” to Revolve
  10. Choose menu View > 3D to verify the turned part.

Simplify an Imported File

Imported files often have many small line segments that may increase pricing.

Simplify lines after importing to reduce the amount of line segments.

  1. On the bottom of the screen, view the number of line segments.
  2. If there are many segments, simplify the lines.
  3. Depending on how many lines there are, it may be worthwhile to draw new lines over the existing segments, then delete the old lines. This will simplify the drawings the most effectively.

Trace Images

“Import” an existing physical object using an image using the Tracing feature.

Export to STL

You can export an eMachineShop CAD file to STL format.

  1. Create your design in eMachineShop CAD.
  2. Choose menu File > Export to STL.

Export to STL Troubleshooting

If you have trouble exporting to STL, the following may fix the issue.

  1. If one line or shape is partly collinear with another, choose menu Line > Contour to expand or contract the line a small amount, then delete the original line.
  2. You may need to remove near edge chamfers (bevels) or rounding.
  3. If splines are not considered closed in your design, choose menu Line > Convert Splines To Arcs.
  4. If any lines have many small segments, choose menu Line > Simplify or redraw lines by tracing over existing ones.
  5. Remove thread and bend lines.
  6. If the shape is a turned shape (like a chess pawn), but is not designed using the Revolve feature, choose menu Tools > Convert To Revolve.
  7. When a contour has arc to arc connections, try adding a small straight segment between the arcs.
  8. If none of the above works, make a copy of the design file, open it in a new design, and remove one feature at a time to isolate the issue.