I want to use CATIA sketches and get sheets of acrylic cut to shapes. How do I do that?
Are you sure you are exporting a true DXF. A DXF is a vector format by design. Working with lasers and turret punches on a daily basis, the quality of DXF files can vary greatly from excellent, load straight into CNC programming software, and away you go, to complete rubbish that requires a bit of work to be able to use it to generate tool paths. If you wish to do work in engineering / manufacturing environment you need to learn how to produce good DXF files to enable manufacture. The best way to do this varies with the different design software, I have no experience with CATIA so I don't know the exact procedure with this software.
If I am required to send a DXF file to anyone for parts cutting and the like, I always check the actual file I am sending to ensure there will be no problems. So I open file in cad software to check, AutoCad if you have it or you can download Draftsight, free from : http://www.3ds.com/products-services/draftsight-cad-software/free-download/ which will open DXF files and check for ends of lines connected, lines on top of lines and other faults that will upset the profile cutter and add uneccesary cost to your parts.
You can send me an example of the files you had problems with at email@example.com and I will take a look and let you know as regards to suitability for laser cutting
Today I will take the file to a new cutter shop and see what happens there. Looks like it is the shop and not me causing problems.
Most CNC laser and router programming software, even older versions import DXF files so you will need to output DXF profiles of the parts you wish to have cut. The most important thing is to make sure the generated DXF files are at 1:1 scale and the units are consistent, so it pays to give the laser cutting programer / operator a paper drg with some overall dimensions so that parts can be checked for correct size before cutting
I did that and took the dxf to the cutter, and they said the drawing is not vector graphics and the lines are not connected. And they had to sketch over it which risked the drawing being altered where we had to confirm by crosschecking with some dimensions. I believed there should be a better way to do it neatly.
My last work order to the machine shop hasn't been fulfilled yet but I have been told that the dxf file that I submitted is ok and they already prepared the rounter machine program. I also learned that they are using Coral Draw to manipulate the file that I have submitted. The process certainly works but I am still shocked that there is no direct way to do the job end to end from Catia to the router machine.