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Exporting from Inventor to AutoCAD

Sketching in AutoCAD vs. Sketching in Inventor:

AutoCAD and Inventor share the same basic set of drawing tools, but there are several major differences between the two programs. AutoCAD is primarily a 2D drafting program, whereas Inventor really excels in 3D. As such, their tools each have a different set of strengths. With enough practice, AutoCAD can become faster for generating 2D drafts, and is preferred in many industries for 2D work. For our purposes, Inventor outshines AutoCAD in ease of use, as well as 3D modeling. It's still important to learn the basics of AutoCAD because of its prevalence in industry, as well as its compatibility with the lasercamm software.
  • AutoCAD has a command line
    • Command line allows you to type in commands using the keyboard.
    • command line can be much faster for 2D sketches
    • Example: type L, and the first highlighted option is the line tool, which can then be selected by pressing enter. The same method can be used for any tool within AutoCAD. 
  • AutoCAD is Cartesian Coordinate (x,y)
    • Every line that you draw is based on the starting and ending coordinate. 
    • In AutoCAD, you can either manually draw a line (like in Inventor) or you can type in a starting point and an ending point, and AutoCAD will draw a line connecting them. 
    • Inventor sketches are all dimensioned relative to other features
  • AutoCAD dimensions must be done during the drawing process
    • In AutoCAD you enter in dimensions while drawing.
    • In Inventor, you draw a shape then dimension it afterwards.

Exporting Inventor to Autocad:

In order to prepare your 3D model for the lasercamm, it must first be exported to AutoCAD. There are two different ways to go about this process. Both avenues require you to be in the actual computer lab to properly export, as the Virtual Labs cannot actually accomplish this task.

Method 1 - Export Face:

This method takes the basic geometry of a face of the pendulum, and turns it into a 2D sketch for AutoCAD. For etched lines, use "Export Sketch" instead.

Ensure that you are out of sketch mode, then select the front face of your extruded pendulum, right click it, and click "Export Face As." When the dialog box comes up, name it something simple (like "pendulum"). Select Save as Type as AutoCAD DXF (.dxf), and click save. 

Method 2 - Export Sketch:

For this method, it is important to clean up the sketch as best you can in Inventor before exporting. The basic goal is to get your shape's sketch to only include the basic outline, holes, and any etchings that you'd like to have on the surface. A basic cleaned up sketch may look something like this, where the yellow construction lines represent etchings that I would like on the surface of my pendulum:

After the sketch has been cleaned up, simply right click the sketch on the model tree, and click on Export Sketch As. Name it something simple, and then select the Save as Type as AutoCAD DXF (.dxf). 

Autocad to Lasercamm:

See this link: LINK