In this instructable I will teach you how to draw a simple object in Autodesk Inventor and save it as a .dxf file for use with a CNC Plasma Cutter.
You will need:
1) Access to Autodesk Inventor Software (Available on all computers at any TECHSHOP location!)
Step 1: Let's Begin
So first your going to open up the Autodesk Inventor Software. Select the "New" icon in the top left hand corner of the inventor screen. Then select the standard.ipt icon in the screen that pops up. Once the screen is finished loading you're going to select the rectangle icon in the top left hand corner of the screen. Click once at any point on the screen and then click once more on the opposite side above or below your original point to create a rectangle. The rectangle should be green now. It doesn't matter what size your rectangle is, we are going to change the dimensions anyway.
Step 2: Orient Your Object to the Origin
Now we are going to change the orientation of our rectangle. Start by selecting the horizontal constraint button at the top of the screen. Now click on the green midpoint of the vertical leg of the rectangle. Then click on the origin point. The object will now be horizontally centered in relation to the origin. Now select the vertical constraint button on the top of the screen. Select the midpoint of the top line and then click the origin point as we did before. Your object will now be perfectly centered around the origin.
Step 3: Resize You Object to Desired Dimension
Now we are going to dimension our object to the size we want. Our rectangle is going to be 4.5" x 2.5". Select the dimension icon at the top of the screen and then move your cursor onto the top line of the rectangle. It will turn white. Click on it move the cursor up to place your dimension line. Enter the desired size into the box and click the green check. Repeat this for the vertical line as well. You should end up with a blue rectangle 4.5" x 2.5".
Step 4: Extrude and Export Your Object
Next we're going to extrude the model so that we can export the face to .dxf. Right Click the object and select the extrude button that pops up in the menu. A box will appear that allows you to set how far you want the extrusion to go. Since my plates are going to be .25" thick, i selected .25. You'll now have a 3D model of your part. Right click the face of the part and scroll down to the option that say "Export Face As..." and click on it. A save screen will appear that will allow you to name the drawing and designate it's file type. Since we are trying to create a .dxf file, that's the type we'll select. You can name your object whatever you like. Click Save and your all done! Now open the save file and you'll have your object saved in .dxf format! This instructable was made at TECHSHOP! All members have free access to AUTODESK INVENTOR on any of the computers at our facilities!