Inventor > G-Code - HOW!!??

OK. So, I have a project that needs some pretty fancy cutting. I’ve never converted anything to G-code before - always just written the code myself from drawings.

My mill control program (Mach 3) can convert .dxf files to g-code fairly easily. But inventor doesn’t export .dxf’s…

I searched the forums and was rather shocked to see that this has never been discussed before. I’d think with all the Inventor users in the FIRST community at least someone would know how to do this.

So what’s the best way to go about getting a 2-D g-code out of Inventor?

much better answer below…

Inventor will export as DXF. You need to create an IDW drawing first.

To make G-Code, Flashcut and Ace DXF Converter are some free programs out there. SheetCAM is pretty nice for 2D and is inexpensive. MasterCAM is the full featured high dollar package used in many shops.

We too used to just hand write the g-code for simple parts, but we managed to get our county ROP office to purchase 2 licenses of MasterCAM. MasterCAM imports inventor files directly very easily and some of my students who learned AutoCAD before Inventor find it very easy to just draw up parts in MasterCAM. Anyway, try to scrounge up a used copy of MasterCAM or maybe visit your local community college - they’re a good resource as well. Sorry about all the MasterCAM plugs.

PS: check your pm

On this topic, anyone in the Bay Area interested in CNC machining should check out DeAnza College’s program at They offer a number of courses in both hand programming, and CAM using MasterCAM. I’ve taken the basic and advanced CNC classes, and the intro to MasterCAM class. All were pretty good.

After completing the initial classes, you can also take 1 or 2 unit open lab classes to work on personal projects.