Exporting inventor so it can be read for CAM

We built a part in Inventor and took it to a supplier so they could produce it on a CNC machine. They could not open the file in their version of Autodesk (not sure what they have). We tried 2 different file types. One was the inventor file. The other was as a dwg file. Also this shop is using version 13? Any suggestions?

Also we are looking at creating parts to be cut on a waterjet. Are we going to run into problems with inventor? We don’t have much time invested in any software package and could easily switch if needed.

Try a .stp, or .step file. Go though the Save As menu to “Save copy as” and find the STEP file convention.

The computers at a community college I took shop classes at were running an old version of Inventor as well (version 9, I think), so I just converted to STEP whenever I did work from my home computer (which was running Inventor 2011 at the time).

Are you saying that the shop is using Autodesk Inventor 2013 and they can’t open the files you gave them? What kind of “inventor file” did you provide them with - an assembly or part?

You may be able to transfer the part information using a STEP file, which is a fairly universal format (in the main menu, go to Export).

STEP files generally resolve any issues with file transfer between different CAD or CNC applications.

Let me know if the machine shop still have problems opening the STEP file you create.

Also, do you know what CNC application they are using?

Hey. Feel free to try the following. It has always worked for me, though your software and/or experience may differ.

Step one: open .ipt in inventor and export as a .dwg.
Step two: open .dwg into autocad
Step three: use the flatshot command to flatten the geometry. Basically gives you a 2d version of your 3d drawing
Step four: save file as a .dfg
Step five: open .dfg into your CAM software and assign tool paths
Step six: print out part on CNC

These steps generally work for me. Let me know if you try it and it works/ doesn’t work.! Ill find out what CAM software we use to add to this to hopefully make it as relevant as possible.

Good luck!!

Another alternative is to select a face of your part, and then export it as DXF. Most CAM programs can handle DXF input.

Your absolute best bet is to ask them what file format they need.