After spending a lot of time on a sheet metal model, we often like additional details to be shown in our DXF export. The same steps we cover here can be applied to DWG files and non-sheet metal parts as well.
In this post we will be manipulating our options to create separate layers for various items in our DXF file. This will enable the end user to turn on/off various layers in their 2D program and get a clearer picture of the final design. Let’s begin!
After we have completed our 3D model, we can right-click on our part and select Export to DXF/DWG. Specify the name, the location and confirm that the file type is set to DXF. Click Options… before saving. I repeat, DO NOT click save yet! As shown in the picture below, we want to select the Enable option for Custom Map SOLIDWORKS to DXF/DWG. Click OK and NOW we can save!
When we export to DXF or DWG, our PropertyManager provides us with a number of output options. Since our current part was created in sheet metal, we will select the Sheet Metal button under Export. Next, the options under Entities To Export are important options to consider. Select the wrong checkbox and you could end up laser cutting your form features from your part. Ouch! For this example, we will select Geometry and Bend Lines only.
Next comes the fun part!
Under the Define Layers section, we want to type the name of the layer to create. Next, identify the color and line style to apply to that layer. Once we have fully defined our layers, we will move onto Map Entities. Select your layer from the first drop down. Click into the Line Style column to select BYLAYER. The last step is to select the appropriate entity in that column’s dropdown window.
Optionally, if you would like to save the mapped settings, click on Save Map File… then specify the name and location.Click OK a couple times and SOLIDWORKS will translate the data to a colorful DXF file with amazing character! Depending on the version of eDrawings available, we can add markups as well as measure and toggle the layers we would like to be visible. Great job!
Check out my blog post Converting to Sheet Metal: Work Smarter not Harder! Plus, take a minute to for great content delivered straight to your inbox
Written by Travis Quick
Travis Quick is an Application Engineer at Alignex, Inc. Travis spends his days teaching SOLIDWORKS courses and helping customers on the Alignex Help Desk. If he's not there when you call, he's probably playing video games or testing his physical strength on an outdoor obstacle course.