How can one save a 2D part--that is, as connected paths--in Illustrator so that it can be "read" by AutoCAD?


Go to File > Export...

Set "Save as type:" to AutoCAD Drawing (*.DWG)

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  • Yes, but how do I know that my manufacturer will be able to read it in his AutoCAD correctly? This part will be lasered out of metal. I keep sending him files, but he keeps saying that there are no lines in the file. Perhaps you have AutoCAD, and you can check. – Black Like Me Dec 13 '13 at 0:09
  • FYI, "lasere"d apparently isn't a word. I checked the OED--how sad. Perhaps "lased" is more correct, seeing how "lase" is a word. – Black Like Me Dec 13 '13 at 0:09
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    I just sent .dxf, .dwg, and .svg. Those are the files he can apparently handle. Is there an AutoCAD friendly stackexchange? – Black Like Me Dec 13 '13 at 0:16
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    Your Illustrator file had a bunch of open paths. Take a look at this .ai file, or the .dwg and .dxf files: fileswap.com/dl/rCqa6LLcj , fileswap.com/dl/5COELWjbSC , fileswap.com/dl/kMg9Teg1vl – TunaMaxx Dec 13 '13 at 0:24
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    I opened the dwg and dxf files provided by @TunaMaxx in AutoCAD 2014. The file itself is fine, however, the fact that the shape is filled is a bit alien to most CAD users. So i would eliminate that. – joojaa Dec 16 '13 at 11:26

There is no way to guarantee things will work perfectly, that's why you find the functionality under file > export. One of the real problems of illustrator is that the bezier splines used by illustrator can not do perfect circular arcs, so what you get is just approximate. This may be fine in many cases but for general mechanical engineering this is a big problem.

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