mslevin New Reader
2/17/22 2:52 a.m.

I have a PDF which has a variety of sizes of templates that I'd like to have cut out of thing metal or polycarbonate. I'd like to try out SendCutSend for this as it seems pretty straightforward and I've heard lots of good things about it. 

The question is: what is the best way to get a cuttable/usable design/drawing when I have a PRF with the template? The template is to scale on the PDF, and the critical dimensions are posted as well. I have some experience with SketchUp and Illustrator (SCS can take an AI file apparently). 

Any input is appreciated. I'd like to avoid having to buy new software for this as I'm unlikely to do much other modeling anytime soon! 

The templates in question here are the NASA Tire Section Width Tool templates, which can be seen here

akylekoz SuperDork
2/17/22 6:28 a.m.

My Laser guy here could work from those drawings to cut those.  Why do you need a solid Model?  I could model those in a few minutes and send a file.  Our Laser likes DWG files a generic Step file will work for most CNC programmers.  I run SolidWorks and can translate out to most other formats.

Mr_Asa PowerDork
2/17/22 6:54 a.m.

He doesn't need a model, he is saying he needs a .dxf or similar. 

It has been many many years, but I think Inkscape allows you to convert pdf to various vector formats?  I think .dxf is in that group 

OHSCrifle UltraDork
2/17/22 7:12 a.m.

Following. Curious. Those do appear to be PDF straight outta software (vector files) not scans so it should be possible.. also about fifteen minutes of effort to reproduce if you have cad and a "stencil" font. 

Furious_E (Forum Supporter)
Furious_E (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
2/17/22 9:12 a.m.

DXF seems to be the preferred format for most flat laser work, in my experience. Autocad will import .pdf files and can save to .dxf. Well, most of the time anyway, you run into goofy issues on the import end from time to time depending on how the .pdf was generated. 

Ian F (Forum Supporter)
Ian F (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
2/17/22 9:25 a.m.

The architectural companies I've worked with over the years have looked for ways to convert PDFs into AutoCAD data.   None of them have been very good.  Since you need rather specific and accurate information, the easiest way is to overlay the PDF in the CAD software and trace it.  Especially if the PDF has dimensions on it allowing precise drawing.  

lnlogauge HalfDork
2/17/22 9:36 a.m.

As long as its not overly complicated, Ive had success with PDF to DXF converters.

Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter)
Paul_VR6 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
2/17/22 9:52 a.m.

I used to have a plugin for Acad that would take a pdf and do 2d out of it. Can't find the stupid thing but the above linked one is very similar. 

bluej (Forum Supporter)
bluej (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
2/17/22 9:57 a.m.

Have you tried opening the pdf in illustrator yet? Since scs will take native ai files, it might be as simple as saving them out that way. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
2/17/22 10:05 a.m.

In reply to bluej (Forum Supporter) :

That was my first thought too. PDF is more of a container of various file types than a file type itself and it can contain text, bitmaps and vector types.

I opened the PDF in Illustrator and voila, vector. Just save as and there's your conversion. I'll bet SCS would take EPS, AI or SVG. Getting DXF is an "export" function, that's just a different menu.

Note that I had to open the specific page to get the vector file.

Also, this would be a ridiculously simple thing to redraw since there's really only one dimension that really matters.

WonkoTheSane UltraDork
2/17/22 11:17 a.m.

To do it for free, you can use Inkscape.  File > Open.  Just like Illustrator, you'll have to do it as one page at a time, though.

Depending on how Sendcutsend wants it, you may need to ungroup the object (select the template then Object > Ungroup) the break the path into its component pieces (arcs and lines) by selecting it then using Path > Break Apart.

warpedredneck Reader
2/17/22 2:17 p.m.

convertio i think can convert pdf to dxf


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