My design is a loose irregular circle with an internal design made up of round holes - numbering hundreds. I exported the Ai file (1MB) as outlines to .dxf, ending up with a 3MB file. The intention is to laser cut it from steel. However the fabricator says it has come out as a 140MB file consisting of polylines and splines but he needs lines and arcs. I can only open the dxf in Illustrator so I can't see what's happened. First time I've had this result. Any suggestions from the experts out there?
Unless you are willing to write your own exporter. Its not going to happen. Illusrator has no arc or line primitives so all these things need to be recognized from the data by infering from the shape.
Converting your file to what you want shouldnt be that much of a pain though if you have a decent cad system. But if illustrator is all you got then not going to happen.
Occam's razor type simple answer here - as a longtime CAD user (ACad and its many competitors) I suggest opening the
.dxf in your CAD tool of choice, setting the curve resolution quite high, then exploding all the splines and polylines - you'll get segments out of all of them - then resave with an iterated filename.
Curve resolution is set via the CAD command prompt >VIEWRES This will give a question / prompt about Fast Zooms - say Yes and when the query is asked for Curve / circle Zoom value, put in a value higher than 1000 to get better curve resolution- for this one, go seriously high - say 10000. CAD will then rerender all curves and splines and arcs and circles with this higher curve resolution - which may take an appreciable calculation time. Once this is done, and you can see your geometry with its lovely smooth curves, save under the new filename.
Then select all polylines, and Explode them. Do the same with all splines, then arcs, then circles.
Resave under that new name.
This file should be slightly larger than the previous un-exploded version, and may take some time on first opening, but should give your fabricator what they need.
If you don't have access to AutoCAD, and/or don't have money to burn on such software at the moment, there are alternatives which are quite serviceable:
Hope this helps.