I need to save an Inkscape file as DXF for a laser cutter and a CNC router. The Inkscape manual mentions I can save a file as DXF, which I do through the GUI and it works: File > Save As > Desktop Plotting Cutter (AutoCAD DXF R14) (*.dxf). The manual also gives the example of manipulating and saving an SVG file through the command-line:

inkscape filename.svg --select=path1555 --verb=EditDuplicate --verb=ObjectRotate90 --verb=FileSave --verb=FileClose

The list of verbs in the Inkscape command-line tools has only two references to DXF inside gcode options, and none to DXF:

> inkscape --verb-list | grep -i "dxf\|autocad"
ru.cnc-club.filter.gcodetools_dxfpoints_no_options: DXF Points...
ru.cnc-club.filter.gcodetools_dxfpoints_no_options.noprefs: DXF Points (No preferences)

How can I save a file as DXF programmatically?

  • Really unclear how this is a "graphic design" question.
    – Scott
    Commented May 1, 2020 at 0:18
  • @Scott I use Inkscape for graphic design and the CNC router for manufacturing. Shall I move the question to another forum, maybe engineering?
    – emonigma
    Commented May 2, 2020 at 17:54
  • 1
    I think it's far more an engineering question than a design question. Graphic designers rarely use DXF format and I've yet to hear of one using CNC machines. But that's all merely my opinion. I am by no means the definitive authority.
    – Scott
    Commented May 2, 2020 at 19:15

1 Answer 1


It seems that 'output' type extensions are not available as verbs in the verb list, in contrary to 'effect' type extensions. I couldn't find any of the others, either.

There's a shell script for DXF 12 included with Inkscape (/usr/share/extensions/ps2dxf.sh). It can convert postscript files programmatically to dxf - using pstoedit. Maybe that's an option for you.

  • I am interested in DXF or gcode. Can you confirm the ps2pdf.sh option? And would I have to save the SVG as PS by some other means?
    – emonigma
    Commented Jun 24, 2018 at 19:40
  • Yes, it would require to export to ps (Inkscape can do that programmatically). Not sure what you mean by 'confirm the option'?
    – Moini
    Commented Jun 27, 2018 at 12:44
  • I meant that I wanted to convert SVG to DXF and your answer seemed to be for PS to PDF, so I wanted to confirm that PS to PDF would also work for SVG to DXF.
    – emonigma
    Commented Jun 27, 2018 at 14:47
  • I didn't try, but it should work to programmatically export from SVG to PS, and then use the script (or the commands it contains) to do the next conversion to dxf.
    – Moini
    Commented Jun 28, 2018 at 11:43
  • 1
    That script is in /usr/share/inkscape/extensions. It's called ps2dxf.sh, I'm very sorry about the typo.
    – Moini
    Commented Sep 8, 2018 at 20:19

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