How to import a dfx file into Carbide Create

I am brand spanking new with my Nomad 883. I opened the Sarge Semi skinner handle outline.dxf in Carbide Create and it is not visible. I am able to find it but when I do the the work area is reduced to almost a small dot on my computer screen.
My question is “How do I import into Carbide Create so it appears on the grid?”. Just point me to a tutorial on this operation.
Thank you very much.
I have made several signs for my Grandsons and now I would like to really get into the operation of this machine and do more than just signs. I have seen some beautiful boxes and jewelry mad. My goal was to make wooden grips for 1911’s as I have access to some beautiful wood scraps.

Sorry for the long wind.


It depends on the file.

I find it most expedient usually to open the DXF in Inkscape, touch it up there as need be, then save as an SVG and open that in Carbide Create. Basic rules:

  • no over-lapping geometry
  • if possible, no intersecting paths
  • entire object should be one composite path
  • use the PostScript winding rule, outermost path is counterclockwise, next path is clockwise, fill is towards the left-hand of the path

List of tutorials and notes at:

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I am working on it. Thanks for the quick reply. Do you save it as an Inkscape SVG or an Open SVG or does it make a difference?
I downloaded the 2 dxf files for the folding knife handle and also sarge semi skinner handle.Should I take those into Inkscape and then
convert them to SVG files to import into Carbide Motion?

Thanks for you patience

Inkscape SVG — not sure that it matters, but it’s nice to keep all the metadata.

I think it’s best to handle elements equivalently where possible, so yes, SVG, then into CM.

Umm… I bet I know what your issue is. After you generate and import (using the open) function in CC, click “Reset View” I bet your DXF is huge and you don’t see it in your work area. I had my wife export some vector-graphics files I was going to carve and when CC opened them, they were like 1600 inches tall, so on my 8x8" workspace, I didn’t even see it.

This is probably your issue. Try it, if it doesn’t work let me know and I’ll rack my brain to see if there’s another answer.

I’ve kinda been pushing librecad for a lot of people, it’s a great-way to check your DXF before you import it in carbide create, and allows you to do some of the advanced things that may solve problems that are simply not solvable in CC, such as exploding blocks.

At the moment, all I’ve been using carbide create for is generating toolpaths, and it does this generally pretty well. I don’t consider it a very good design option at the moment.


I like your moniker. Thanks, I will give it a try. I will also look at Librecad as I use LibreOffice also. I will let you know how things work out.


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Are you looking for the Skinner handles from this video:

Here they are in Carbide Create:
Skinner Handles Pair Zeus.c2d (215.8 KB)

Double check the scaling though,… measure twice, cut 50 of 'em.

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It’s my company name (ammunition manufacturing products…) It’ll make sense more when I finish my current project (what I bought the shapeoko for) and post it in the gallery.

I definitely recommend LibreCAD if you’re going to do a lot of design work, I started with it’s progenitor QCAD years ago. I’ve moved on to using Solidworks for most of my design work, but LibreCAD is still my go-to for handling DXF files (SW is terrible at it).

late to the party, but here are a few DXF issues i have had so far:

  1. exporting out of SketchUp, do NOT use 3D DXF, use 2D (i know, i know, makes ZERO sense to me why i am doing a 3D model in SketchUp, make all my stuff work right, then export to a 2D DXF where all the 3D info is lost, frankly, i don’t get it, seems like the CNC world is stuck in 1960, or something)
  2. i think out of 4-5 DXF files i have imported, only one was actually scaled correctly, REALLY dislike making something absolutely deadon in my CAD/3D program, then use some arbitrary number to scale it in Create… REALLY don’t like that…
  3. while i’m carping, don’t like websites who demand javascript be used either…

Arguably for 3D, one ought to use a 3D CAM program, and either an STL or tool which will accept a DXF with 3D information.

That said, for Sketchup, you may want to look into: — Google SketchUp plugin for generating G-code.

Other 3D options are listed here:

and since you’re okay with closed source, more are on the commercial software page: — MeshCAM is awesome and easy enough for even me to wrap my mind around, so recommend it.

Mr. Adams, THANKS again for great advice. come from a heavy CAD background and a lot of ‘normal’ woodworking as a hobby (mostly wood turning), but getting my head around the software situation of taking graphic to CNC is pretty confusing. actually have trial of ArtCAM and MESHCAM installed, but free is good if it works okay. thought i could make my 2D or 3D model in CAD or SketchUp or even Fusion360, export to a g-code prog, and prop my feet up and watch the magic take place… still looking for that magic wand, i guess…
right now, i would be happy if Create would import/use a SVG or DXF correctly… right now, wrestling with importing either DXF or SVG (don’t really care, whichever works, which seems random) of some text and doing a V-bit on the letters, but about a third of the letters won’t make a toolpath… similar text graphic had some would make the tool path, but the same letter rotated a bit would not, the same letter rotated another bit, would ! ! !
A LOT of speedbumps in doing what are seemingly simple, non-complex tasks; i guess you get what you pay for…

Fusion 360 is supposed to have CAM installed / built-in:

For SketchUp, please try the PhlatScript plugin, or export an STL and try MeshCAM on it.

There’s a lot to learn — please let us know if you have some specific difficulty and we’ll do our best to help.

You can test drive Estlcam which does a really good job of DXF and SVG importing for tool path assignments. I’ve had many occassion where Create pukes the files vs. Estlcam importing without issue. It’s tool path strategies also are amazing and it also supports G-Code or it can runs its own feature packed CNC controller directly.

one thing frustrating me here, is i went back in original corel draw file, converted all the text to curves, so it was JUST linework, no text complications, save as SVG, bring back into Create okay, but then will NOT make the same toolpaths twice with v-carve option… import once, does NOT do all the outlines, and it does this or that letter, but not the same letter rotated (and sometimes, does the rotated letter, but NOT the ‘normal’ oriented one)… import EXACT same SVG file, and then does other letters, but NOT ones it did before ! ! ! not cool, dude… guess i might need to give up on this create/motion s/w and work around that random number generator… i need something that works correctly and consistently, i can’t afford to waste hours/days dicking around with stuff like this…

Send me your file and I’ll do an import test for you.

For SVG import, the following seem to be requirements/helpful:

  • single composite path (helpful, not an option for complex files)
  • correct winding (counterclockwise for outermost, then clockwise, then alternating (required for certain paths to work)
  • no overlaps (overlapping geometry seems to be ignored)
  • no intersections (but may be unioned in Carbide Create)

Files created using the above guidelines import reliably in my experience — may need a program which affords suitable controls — Cenon and Inkscape do well, Freehand of course, as best-of-breed works perfectly (using Inkscape to convert pdf to svg), Illustrator works w/ some struggle (as is typical for it) but may need a script — haven’t had to use CorelDraw since they dropped their Mac version (started at v1.21).

I am using Turbo Cad to create and save the Drawing. I too have been having difficulty opening a DXF in Create. I finally figured it out and maybe it will help others. The drawing has to be one contiguous line, no breaks, one closed polyline.

After joining all the lines and saving as a DXF it opened flawlessly in Create

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Just wondering what you mean by “left hand”?
Do you mean interior of shape or exterior of shape? Thanks!

A given path will have a begin point and an ending point which defines its direction — the fill (when following the traditional PostScript winding rule) should be towards the left-hand side of the path if one envisions walking along it.

Got it. That’s an interesting way to describe interior vs exterior I guess?