Semi-OT: CAD gurus

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  • sfdoddsy
    Senior Member
    • Sep 2000
    • 496

    Semi-OT: CAD gurus


    I need a bit of advice. I have a shape for the final baffle for my speakers which I am trying to have cut for me by a computerized routing place.

    The design is a jpeg, which I created in Quark. I also have Photoshop.

    However, the cutting place needs the file as a .dxf file. Does anyone have any idea how to convert either a jpeg (or other graphic file) or Photoshop or Quark picture to a .dxf file?



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  • JonMarsh
    Mad Max Moderator
    • Aug 2000
    • 15336

    Hi Steve,

    No can do. JPEG is a bit map image format. DXF is "Drawing eXchange File" format, from AutoDesk, for the AutoCAD program. It's a translation of the binary AutoCAD file format into a readily human and machine readable format for data exchange between programs, and it's based on the concept of "vectors", i.e., a mathematical description of lines, line thickness, angles, etc, in a manner more resembling what windows metafiles or postscript EPS files are like. I.e, coordinate locations in a 3 dimensional space, and descriptions of all the entities therein, based on their numerical properties. You can readily export a JPEG file from an AutoCAD drawing, but that's because you're taking essentially taking a bitmap view of the current drawing window or view- say, as I do with my prototype 3D cabinet renderings in the Avalon Klone thread or the M8ta thread.

    Other programs that can read DXF files are things like my PCB cad program, and a few vector based image programs can read 2D subsets of DXF files, such as Corel Draw. But they generally can't generate DXF files (though the PCB CAD program can). You usually need AutoCAD, or AutoCAD LT for that. (the latter is a 2D only program, would probably do what you need, and is much, much less expensive, at $725. You can order a 30 day free trial CD from AutoDesk of AutoCAD LT.

    Autodesk is a global leader in design and make technology, with expertise across architecture, engineering, construction, design, manufacturing, and entertainment.

    Best regards,


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    • Dennis H
      Ultra Senior Member
      • Aug 2002
      • 3798

      What Jon said......

      I would add that AutoCAD has a loooooooong learning curve. Cheapest and easiest would probably be if the routing place can recommend a local draftsman to draw the baffle in a format they can use. Have you showed the shop the drawing you made? Most CNC programs include a primitive drafting module and, for something as simple as a baffle, they might be able to work from your "sketch" if you give them exact dimensions.


      • sfdoddsy
        Senior Member
        • Sep 2000
        • 496

        I've downloaded the free version of TurboCAD and will try to teach myself to redraw it over the weekend.

        Thanks for the tip.


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        Steve's OB Journey


        • BigSky
          Junior Member
          • Mar 2003
          • 8


          Here's another possibility - you might like Rhinoceros,a top flight modelling programme,used by many professionals.I'm quite sure it outputs the files you need.

          The demo is fully functional,and non time-limited.It can save 25 times,but remains fully functional thereafter,apart from the ability to save.

          It's supposed to be the one of the best,and easiest to learn.

          Here's the link,if you're interested -



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