TurboCAD SVG Export For Laser Cutters

This can be a tricky subject so I am setting out my own experiences using my TurboCAD Designer 24.

1 To Export SVG select the objects you wish to export. Make sure you Hide any layers you don’t want exported to the SVG file, see part 2 of this Post.

Use Save as and select the SVG format - Remember to change to Selection or you will get the whole file!. When the file exports, it is at whatever screen resolution the object was on the screen at the time in pixels, so when you import into a laser cutter program, (like Lightburn that I use, the size will be wrong).

It is possible to modify the SVG file manually using a text editor, as others have pointed out.

To work around this issue I draw a rectangle in TurboCAD with a known size e.g. A3 on a separate layer, for my laser cutter, and after importing the SVG into Lightburn I select everything and then magnify/reduce the object to A3 i.e. 297x210mm. Locking up the Aspect ratios in Lightburn makes this easy as I only have to enter the width 297mm for A3.

After resizing in Lightburn I simply delete the A3 outline layer and now my objects are the correct size.

  1. In my designs I use a lot of tabs and holes that fit together when I design
    wooden items. These tabs and holes are all defined as blocks in TurboCAD, and can also be saved in a library. In order to identify these I put some very small text into the block that defines the tab or hole size but on a special layer I call “Internal ID”. Nothing special about this layer it is only so I can hide all the text when I export the SVG file as these are not required by the Laser. This ID is so when I am linking separate parts together in TurboCAD I can check that I have matched a hole with the correct tab.

However, I have found that even if I hide this layer when I export the SVG file all this unwanted text is also exported and ends up on layer 0. I definitely don’t want this engraved or cut, so the work around is to modify the text in each block in TurboCAD.

Go to Block Edit each block, select the ID text, or any other text you don’t wish to be exported, Modify/Explode this text twice until you get access to its fill option and then set the fill to nothing. This has the effect of changing the text to a set of polylines on that layer. By deselecting that layer the text is not exported in the SVG file.

Simple when you know how but took me some time experimenting to find this one!

Hope this post helps others good luck with you Lightburn Projects.

I hope these notes help others with Laser cutters/engravers