Overview

With this menu command you'll be able to export objects on a Vectorworks® layer (such as polylines, polygons, rects, arcs etc.) to a SVG file suitable for CNC machines.

This menu command is just a shortcut for who needs perfectly shaped curves out of Vectorworks® to feed modern CNC machines that uses SVG as preferred vectorial curves representation.

Important:
The conversion produced with this command is accurate for all geometric shapes (beziers, splines, arcs) and the SVG produced aims to communicate the cutting info for cutting / engraving digital machines.

To get a graphically accurate SVG conversion from a Vectorworks® document, it is preferred to pass from PDF export, then PDF to SVG conversion (with programs such Inkscape or Adobe® Illustrator).

Prerequisites

Not all objects of your drawing can be exported in the SVG file.
Currently the types exported are:

  1. Lines
  2. Rects
  3. Rounded rects
  4. Arcs / circles
  5. Ellipses
  6. Polygons
  7. Polylines (also with holes)
  8. Texts* (as polylines)
  9. Groups (members belonging to the types above)
  10. Symbols (2D components belonging to the types above)
  11. Plugin objects (2D components belonging to the types above)
  12. Bitmap images
  13. Dimensions
  14. Architectural components (Slab, Wall, Roof)

(*) Texts: Texts are exported as polylines, a conversion to true type is done behind the scenes.

The plugin CANNOT** export all the other types that are not included in the above types such as:

  1. 3D objects
  2. Viewports
  3. PDF, eps, ps images (copy and paste as bitmap to get them eligible.)
  4. …and all that is not specifically mentioned in the above list

(**) Note: You can convert, of course, these types, into lines, polygons etc. so that you can get representations of these same objects into eligible objects.
The plugin is new, other types will be implemented (whenever this is feasible) and included in next releases.

Attributes

Currently only certain attributes are exported:

  1. Stroke color
  2. Stroke weight
  3. Solid fills
  4. Gradient fills (linear and radial)
  5. Line dashes
  6. Markers
  7. Transparencies (use CSS styles in the settings dialog)
  8. Shadows
These other attributes CANNOT currently be exported:
  1. Hatches
  2. Tessellations
  3. Textures

Usage

Select the Export to SVG menu from the File menu (see installation notes).

The settings dialog appears:

export to SVG settings dialog

The program will export all eligible objects present on the active layer according with the above settings.

As a first step, the program checks if there are objects not eligible for the export (see the prerequisites list above).
If some object cannot be exported, you'll be proposed to continue with the exportable objects or to cancel the operation and, in case, make some modify to get objects exportable.

For example, if you have a 3D view in your selection, currently it cannot be exported "as is", so you could copy / convert it into lines (line is in eligible types).

When the check is passed (or you have chosen OK), you'll be asked to save a file. Type a file name, select a folder where to save, then click OK.

The program will produce the correct SVG code to replicate your currently active layer objects.

Note: Object are exported relatively to the active layer scale, so, if you need them for CNC purposes, better set the layer scale to 1:1 before exporting.

Shaper Origin®

export to SVG packageThe "Export to SVG" plugin allows you to export SVG files that you can cut directly with Origin. In the PlugIn folder you will also find the VWX template file "template for Origin" suitable for the version of Vectorworks® indicated in the package name:

export to SVG template savingIf you want to work with it, you can save under "File" > "Save as Template", and you will always have a clean template file.

export to SVG pipette ToolTo apply the filling colours to your design, we recommend to use the pipette tool:

export to SVG scale 1:1But you can also work without a template. The precondition is that the contours you want to export are on the same layer with a scale of 1:1. Otherwise, the dimensions will be scaled accordingly.

New! Depth feature
Coming with the new 2.4 version of the plugin (available only for Vectorworks® 2022 and over) a cutting depth value can be set directly in Vectorworks.
The trick is to use "special classes", containing the depth value directly inside their name.
While fill and stroke attributes keeps their old meanings (interior cut, exterior cut, in line cut, pocketing cut and guide), you can add to object an appropriate class to have that cut type of that depth.

Classes names must follow a simple syntax, for example:
shaper-depth-7mm
means that an object of that class (path, circle, square etc.) will be set to have a cut depth of 7mm when imported into Shaper ORIGIN.

Of course the shaper-depth- part is mandatory while the depth value (with unit) is up to you.

The new version's template comes with some classes preset, so that you can pick them with the eyedropper tool and apply with the bucket to your drawing elements as you need. You can modify the template with your usual depth classes and resave it as template for future uses.

export to SVG Template for Origin

Installation

Unpacking the downloaded zip file, you'll find a couple of element:

  • Export to SVG.vsm
  • Template for Origin*

The template for Origin® is an (unofficial) Vectorworks® version of the template to refer to when exporting for Shaper Origin® tools.

  1. Move the “Export to SVG.vsm” file inside your Vectorworks Plug-ins folder (app or user folder).
  2. Restart Vectorworks.
  3. Edit your workspace adding the menu Export to SVG command (you'll find it in Import/Export category)
  4. Usually you'll add it in the File menu, Export submenu.
  5. Save the workspace.
In the end you should get a new menu item Export to SVG in the File -> Export submenu.

Here the official instructions (from help.vectorworks.net) for editing the workspaces:

And here instructions to add a menu command:

Get it!

Follow Paolo Marcuccetti's Gumroad® shop page where you can browse/buy my productions for Vectorworks®.

Beta version

Available for testing, the current Beta version will cease to work on december 15th 2020.
On request, I'll send you a Beta version for a limited time evaluation.
Please send your requests / comments / feedback using the form at the bottom of this same page.

  • Export SVG Demo is not available at this time.