View Full Version : Software design - Is AutoCad 2000 compatible

03-21-2002, 11:07 AM
I need some direction or guidance as to what are the first steps with familiarising oneself with the Shopbot software and other design tools. I have a PC running on Windows XP with Corel Draw, Photoshop and AutoCad 2000. I'm an experienced operator with Corel and Photoshop but a novice to AutoCad 2000 but very keen to get my head around the magic this program can perform. My partner and I are interested in purchasing a PRT96, but thought initially if I can get up to speed on the design side, then we wouldn't waste any down time once the tool has been purchased. I have seen there are downloadable files on the website, but a bit confused as to which one's to download and are they programs where I can start teaching myself the primary functions of design to run the tool.

03-21-2002, 12:33 PM
Karen, you can use the DXF output from Autocad 2000 with Vector 9.3, it supports most DXF entities including text and annotation, and dimensioning. For prior versions of Vector, you will need to export the Autocad files as an earlier version of Autocad. Version 12 is the least likely to be a problem, but you will be able to use V13 or V14 too, depending on the kind of entities that you use in your drawing. The exporting of older versions of DXF from Autocad 2000 will automatically explode complex entity types that were added in later versions of DXF files, into simpler entity types such as ellipses and splines, into poly lines and arcs.

03-21-2002, 03:51 PM
Karen, let's simplify what Fred said - methinks he may be frightening you off

- You need to be able to make .dxf files
- You can use Coreldraw or AutoCad 2000 to make .dxf files (I use AutoCad 2000, but have no experience of Coreldraw)
- Once you have a .dxf file, you need to convert it to the ShopBot language (.sbp file)
- Again you have 2 options; either use Vector, or use the converter supplied under the ShopBot software. (We use Vector)

Would suggest that you spend time learning to draw your designs in .dxf format with Coreldraw, AutoCad, or any other Cad program like TurboCad, IntelliCad, etc. Don't let Fred confuse you too much now with version numbers - that is easy to sort out later.

03-21-2002, 04:05 PM

I work with TurboCAD mostly but decided last Spring that I wanted to learn the nuances of AutoCAD. The local Community College offered a 3-weekend Intro to AutoCAD Class ( Friday evenings and all day Saturday) that was great. It didn't cost much and got me comfortable with AutoCAD in a short period of time. You might see if something like that is offered near you.


03-21-2002, 04:23 PM
If you want some inexpensive (free) AutoCad instruction on line go to http://www.fbe.unsw.edu.au/Learning/AutoCAD/

03-22-2002, 04:31 AM

All of us have now tried to steer you down the CAD path - maybe we have been too hasty! You have to get your mind focussed on the fact that you plan to move a cutting tool in a 3 dimensional space. This tool can accept commands to go in straight line segments from one x,y,z point to another x,y,z point (it can also do circular arc segments in the horizontal plane)

The easiest way for us to plan (and test) the path of the cutting tool, is to draw the object on our PC screens, one little line segment at a time, with a CAD program (like AutoCad etc.). Then, if we can print the line segments, we know that ShopBot will be able to understand our little lines.

However, if you plan on converting colorful graphic images to wooden art that has depth instead of color, then you are talking of raster images that will need converting to vectorised images. (The program named Vector does not do this for you) Our advice higher up is relevant after the raster to vector conversion process.

Could you give us an idea of what you want to make with the ShopBot? Because, if you are starting out from colour photographs (even shades of black & white) then my gut feel tells me that you should get to know Coreldraw better, before venturing further with AutoCad.

03-22-2002, 11:39 AM
Thanks to all of you, you've been very helpful.
To answer Gerald's question of what we're going to make with ShopBot... our initial plan is to design boat parts and accessories, ie. bulk heads, instrument panels, anything in size that can be made with a PRT96, which is why I thought going the AutoCad route. Eventually I'd love to convert artistic Coreldraw colour designs, but initially just sticking to the boat parts.
If I have any more problems, I know where to come. Thanks again.