Export to DXF with polylines

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Oct 09, 2011 Oct 09, 2011

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I need to export my logo from illustrator to a dxf for a sign I'm having made. However, they said that illustrator is exporting it using "splines" and they need me to change my settings to export as "polylines." I have no idea how to do this and didn't see it in my export options. I'm using Illustrator CS4...anyone have an idea? Thanks!

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

New Here , May 08, 2016 May 08, 2016

Jongware's method works very well.

Object > Path > Simplify

Check the straight lines box

If the curve does not fit the original at high zoom:

Object > Path > Add Anchor Points

Do this until it matches the original shape in Simplify

I learned this on a very large detailed piece with hundreds of thousands of anchor points. It is important to use the minimum number of anchor points necessary. I grouped each shape separately to ensure this.

Note: it is best if your line weight is set to 0.

If when you expor

...

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LEGEND ,
Oct 09, 2011 Oct 09, 2011

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You'd do best by asking the signmaker to explain what he needs.

Offhand, I'd guess that you need to Expand or Expand Appearance before exporting.

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LEGEND ,
Oct 09, 2011 Oct 09, 2011

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samdaugherty wrote:

.. illustrator is exporting it using "splines" and they need me to change my settings to export as "polylines."

The software used to further process your image cannot handle curved lines (more accurately, Illustrator uses "bezier curves", which are a subset of 'splines'). What the sign maker asks for is for all curved lines to be converted to straight segments.

Try this: select your artwork, then select "Object -> Path -> Simplify ...". At the bottom of this dialog is a checkbox ""Straight Lines". Enable the Preview, so you can see how badly your artwork gets mangled.

To see a bad case of Mangling, draw a regular circle and then try to flatten it -- you'll get to choose between a diamond and a straight line. The trick to make it appear more smooth is first to add lots of extra anchor points, and it depends on your artwork how much you need.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 10, 2011 Oct 10, 2011

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In case you're a courageous man, you also may want to export as .wmf, place that .wmf and export it to .dxf

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Explorer ,
Oct 11, 2011 Oct 11, 2011

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Sam,

Attach a link to the AI file you want converted to DXF, and I will download and convert it, and send you a link to a dropbox DXF file you can use.

Ralph

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New Here ,
Feb 20, 2014 Feb 20, 2014

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Ralf, you still up for a .ai to .dxf conversion? I actually need it to run in Rhino4

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Explorer ,
Feb 20, 2014 Feb 20, 2014

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Email me the ai file

Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

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New Here ,
Feb 20, 2014 Feb 20, 2014

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Thanks for doing this. I am running the new Ai Trial and it won’t export to DXF without buying the program. What I want to do is to wrap this on the surface of a sphere chord 4 cm across and 1.5 cm tall. Then the pattern will loft 1.5 mm, positive or negative I don’t know yet. This then will output as DXF to a milling machine into hard graphite for a glass mold.

You can see what I have been creating so far at: http://www.priestessalchemy.com/html/stone_of_heaven.html

I have no proven hypothesis why these things work but I have people all over the planet that love em. I’ll send you one, so send me your shipping address.

Thanks, Chaz

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New Here ,
Jun 18, 2015 Jun 18, 2015

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Hi - I am following this thread and see that you have the ability to convert a file from AI to DXF with Polylines. I want to send a monogram to my vendor and he is requiring a dxf with polylines. Would you kindly let me know if this can be done from an EPS vector file in Adobe or if he has to be done in AI.  If so, what steps are you using to convert?  My design is essentially the words "Mr & Mrs. Landrew" in a script font.

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New Here ,
May 08, 2016 May 08, 2016

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Jongware's method works very well.

Object > Path > Simplify

Check the straight lines box

If the curve does not fit the original at high zoom:

Object > Path > Add Anchor Points

Do this until it matches the original shape in Simplify

I learned this on a very large detailed piece with hundreds of thousands of anchor points. It is important to use the minimum number of anchor points necessary. I grouped each shape separately to ensure this.

Note: it is best if your line weight is set to 0.

If when you export, you do so with groups of shapes selected, it is a good idea to open the file in AutoCAD if you have it and flatten (type flatten after selecting the groups and press enter) the dxf and resave. Otherwise, ungroup all paths before saving.

I have tested this with PDF and EPS files opened in AI.

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New Here ,
Mar 07, 2022 Mar 07, 2022

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Following these steps, we just keep adding points to a straight line, the line never changes back to the original shape... what are we doing wrong?

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New Here ,
Mar 01, 2014 Mar 01, 2014

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Hi all,

I have a similar problem, trying to export AI lines to AutoCad for some metal laser cut for an art piece.

I tried exporting to DWG or DXF with all sort of parameters.

The lines are exported as splines. Inside Autocad I convert them into polylines, but even so, the lines remain too dense and not as round as they were drawn.

Any more ideas? It is all perfectly drawn in AI and it simply needs copy-pasting into ACD lines and arcs... (aka polylines)

Thanks! Tami

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New Here ,
Apr 15, 2022 Apr 15, 2022

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LATEST

Hi Ralph, 

 

you still up for .ai to .dwg/.dxf coversion? Im not able to remove dotted lines when exported to cad from Illustrator. Pls help me. 

 

 

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New Here ,
Mar 01, 2014 Mar 01, 2014

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Hi all,

I have a similar problem, trying to export AI lines to AutoCad for some metal laser cut for an art piece.

I tried exporting to DWG or DXF with all sort of parameters.

The lines are exported as splines. Inside Autocad I convert them into polylines, but even so, the lines remain too dense and not as round as they were drawn.

Any more ideas? It is all perfectly drawn in AI and it simply needs copy-pasting into ACD lines and arcs... (aka polylines)

Thanks! Tami

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New Here ,
Mar 01, 2014 Mar 01, 2014

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Tami,

Get the Rhino 5 trial. you get 25 saves. There are some YouTube vids on how to export Ai to Rhino. Basically you get the image in Ai then Expand and Save. Rhino 5 will open the .ai file. Rhino will write/save the file to .dxf

Chaz

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New Here ,
Mar 01, 2014 Mar 01, 2014

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Thanks Chaz,

Would the Rhino keep the simple polylines?

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New Here ,
Mar 02, 2014 Mar 02, 2014

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I don’t see why not. I have an Ai object with 6 circles and a bunch of line and the curves came out fine in Rhino.

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New Here ,
Mar 02, 2014 Mar 02, 2014

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I don’t see why not. I have an Ai object with 6 circles and a bunch of line and the curves came out fine in Rhino.

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New Here ,
Mar 08, 2016 Mar 08, 2016

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Hi, I would suggest getting a free dxf converter online to to translate the dxf into a DIE file. Those are easily readable for cnc machines. the trick is setting up your parameters for it to work properly

CONTOUR

DRILL1

DRILL2    etc....

MARKS

CUTS

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New Here ,
Sep 11, 2014 Sep 11, 2014

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1. Find a logo image, preferably an eps.

2. Open in Adobe Illustrator.

3. Delete the part of the image you don't want.

4. Select logo text.

5. Set fill to none and stroke to none.

6. Select Object, Path, Simplify. Check box next to straight lines. Threshold angle stays at 0 degrees. Click Ok.

    I know that using straight lines may look rough, but unless the logo you are making is huge (bigger than 6-10 inches) it will still look great.

7. Export to dxf, select location and enter file name.

8. On the DXF/DWG Export Options, Version 2004/2005/2006. Scale 1 mm = 1 Unit. Do not scale lineweights. True color, PNG.

9. Only thing checked under options is Preserve Appearance.

10. Click Ok.

11. Open your newly exported file in AutoCad.

12. Delete anything extra that may have been generated. For me there was a small group of arcs off to the left that were polylines.

    Eliminate them. They will make the file unusable.

13. What you should have in front of you now is a block of a text/shape outline. All you need to do is select all of it, type "explode" and hit enter.

14. Save the file. You should now be able to use this DXF on a CNC Mill to engrave.

The programs I used were Adobe Illustrator CS6 and Autocad 2012. And an internet browser to find the image.

Good Luck,

Scott

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New Here ,
Sep 11, 2014 Sep 11, 2014

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BTW, if you have a logo that needs to appear more round, once you get the straight lines in AutoCad that aren't polylines, it's rather easy to replace lines with arcs. Just delete a couple lines and replace them with a tangent arc. It takes some time, but is the most direct way to get this done and it will look beautiful.

If you export and still end up with splines, right click and convert them to polylines. Then explode. This will make a bunch of small lines that you'll most likely have to replace with one bigger line but it will be better than having those splines/polylines present. Most CNC software will not accept splines/polylines.

Also another note, if your lettering comes out too square, another thing to try is after step 5, go to Object, Path, Add Anchor Points. This gives you more individual lines thus making the object appear more round.

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New Here ,
Apr 01, 2016 Apr 01, 2016

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I'm not sure if this helps, but you can do "viewres" on autocad, "Y", and maybe go from "100" to "20000". Hope that helps. I'm not 100% sure if that gets imported into any software being used by your machine but it might help you. Let me know if it does.

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New Here ,
Nov 28, 2017 Nov 28, 2017

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Hi to all,

Key thing about making those curves if your exporting from an AI file to an DXF file.... ADD anchor points. Select your curve or layer that has the curve/circle, or arch ( use the directional tool to see the anchor points better) go to object>path>add anchor points. Add as many as you want until you are satisfied. Probably don't want to add too much anchors because this would make the file possibly bigger...I would think...not an expert... but every detail everyone else said has helped. Once I played and experimented on Adobe and previewed the exported DXF file made a big difference.

The other thing that helped was when I exported my DXF file in Adobe Illustrator, when the window pops up. Select the most newest highest quality or version you have. I choose the AutoCAD 2010/2011/2012 in the pull down tab. Then I deselect the "Scale Lineweights", Colors 8, Raster file to PNG, and select Maximum Editability and Export Selected Art Only. I also notice it helps to select your design that you want to laser cut than send to export.  When I emailed it to myself big difference in file size...don't know why but it helped me.

Hope this helps for all other users.

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New Here ,
Feb 24, 2020 Feb 24, 2020

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Rhino saved my life as usual 🙂

import ai file to Rhino than export to dwg. 

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