Laser Cutter/Fusion360

From Ace Monster Toys Wiki

We have an older blog article on using Fusion 360's CAM workflow with the laser cutter.

http://www.acemonstertoys.org/fusion-360-for-laser-cutting/

This may still be useful, but it's a bit involved to do, and is often not worth the trouble.  This page documents a simpler alternative.

I examined in detail and found that my DXF was using a multi-point spline format that LaserSoft apparently doesn't like.  I fixed it by opening and re-saving the DXF in Inkscape.  If you're not careful, you can inadvertently change the scale.  Here's what worked for me.  Note that I designed the original document using millimeters.  I don't know what happens if you use inches.

In Fusion 360:

  • I like to create a new component containing copies of the bodies I want to cut. Then I re-arrange them for efficient use of material, aligning all the faces in a plane.  The 'align' and 'point-to-point' tools are valuable for this.  See a picture of what I'm talking about in the blog article above.
  • Then create a new sketch; project all the parts into it, and close the sketch.  Do not add any dimensions, construction lines or any other guff to this sketch; it should contain only the lines to be cut.  Any text elements must be exploded.
  • Right-click the sketch and choose 'save as DXF.'  Fusion does not offer any export options.

 

Open Inkscape

(I'm using version 0.92 on OSX, in case it ever matters.)

  • Create a new document
  • If necessary, turn on the 'Tools Control Bar' via 'View; Show/hide.'
  • Choose import and select the dxf file created above.
  • Inkscape offers a dialog full of import options.  Set them like so:
    • scaling method: manual
    • scale factor: 1
    • X axis origin: 0
    • Y axis origin: 0
    • character encoding: latin1
    • text font: Arial
  • The newly imported artwork will be selected, and appears right under your mouse, wherever it happens to be.With the artwork still selected, enter 0 into the X and Y boxes in the 'Tools Control Bar.' 
  • The selection will now align with the lower-left corner of your page.  Press ESC to unselect.  It's OK if the artwork is bigger than your page.
  • Save as: "Desktop Cutting Plotter (AutoCAD DXF R14) (*.dxf)" and choose a new filename.
  • Now you get another dialog.  Set options like so:
    • Uncheck "use ROBO-Master..."
    • Uncheck "use LWPOLYLINE..."
    • Base Unit: mm
    • Encoding: Latin1
    • Layer export selection: All
    • Layer match name: leave blank

The resulting DXF may have elements at different coordinates, but their relative position and size will be correct, which is all that matters.

Good luck!