This is a niche solution to a niche problem, but it may come handy to someone at some point.

I have a friend who had issues importing a sketch from Adobe Illustrator into Onshape.

Quick answer for the impatient

Use Inkscape as the dxf convertor.

The issue: Illustrator exported dxf did not work in Onshape

Onshape only supports dxf (and dwg) for import as sketches.

No matter what we tried (literary hours of troubleshooting), the sketch would not work. The sketch imported looking normally, but we could not get all the shapes to extrude. Specifically, some outlined letters. No matter what font.

Onshape just could not import any of the illustrator generated dxfs properly. For a task that was supposed to be 30 minutes of modeling as a preparation for a beginner’s CAD workshop, we were not able to make it work at all! :angry:

Further Experimentation

I couldn’t let it go. Since I myself think that Onshape is a good fit for cases when Tinkercad is not enough, but Fusion is too complex and an overkill, I felt like I needed to know if there is a simple Illustrator to Onshape workflow that works.

Basically, I converted the illustrator file into dxf with different methods and then tried to import and extrude.

  1. Illustrator
    • As we know, there are issues with extruding some shapes, while the sketch looks normal. Bizzare.
    • It imports, but at a super tiny scale, which compromises detail when enlarged.
    • It doesn’t work at all. Seems like an empty dxf.
    • It imports, but at a super tiny scale, which compromises detail when enlarged.
  5. Inkscape.
    • WORKS WITH NO ISSUES 😄. It just works. So, there. Done. Just open the .ai with Inkscape, save as .dxf, and you’re good.

PS: It seems that offdrive and cloudconvert use the same library here, while convertio a different one (could come handy to know with future similar issues)

The test file for the curious

Here’s the file I used to test this. You can make a copy and finish it up. For the small versions I had to extrude, and then resize the thing…