In digital fabrication we have many design tools available that can help you to take your ideas, design them and make it. One that we love is Fusion360, this tools lets us design in 2D, 3D, test, render, simulate and more… but when it comes to taking that design and sending it to the Glowforge laser cutter to make it we need to have a .SVG file and Fusion360 (at the time of this writing and years before it) does not have a direct way to export to SVG by default.
Using a free plug-in for Fusion360 from Shaper Tools called Shaper Utilities (available here) will help. Once you install this it will allow you to save your 2d geometry or 3d faces to SVG.
This works well, but there are a few minor catches. For the purposes of this post, let’s assume you are working with Sketches in Fusion360. On export from the Shaper Utilities everything that you have in your sketch is exported as a single line weight and single color. Ex. Outline of your part, any text you added, every piece of geometry. For many cases this will be fine and achieve what you may need for the Glowforge.
In the situation where you need to adjust the geometry to correct for cuts, etches and scoring for the laser cutters, we just need to open that file up and make an adjustment and to do that we can use Adobe Illustrator (Inkscape and other 2D Vector tools work well too).
Check out the video below as we step through how to accomplish this successfully and if you like it make sure to hit the subscribe button.
And lastly, for the advanced users of Fusion360 who might run into this:
- Text in 2d sketches automatically get exported (no need to explode text).
- Construction lines (dashed lines) are ignored on export.
Thanks for reading. If you are ready to get started using tools like these to take your ideas and make them real, then come join us at 757 Makerspace where you get access to tools and equipment like this and a great community of makers and do’ers that take their ideas everyday and make them real.