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How can I bring a shape from a PDF into OnShape

andy_mankoandy_manko Member Posts: 9
I have a shape I want to copy into ONShape, it is in PDF form, I also have it in SVG (vector file).  I can't seem to figure out how to bring it into OnShape so I can create a 3d version.

Any ideas what I am doing wrong?

I am brand new to this and trying to figure out how it all works.


  • mahirmahir Member, Developers Posts: 1,135 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 2019
    If you import the PDF, it would just be a PDF - no geometry data. Best you could do there is take a screenshot of the PDF and use that in a sketch to trace over. If you import the SVG you should be able to turn that directly into a sketch. To import files you just click the + sign in the lower left of the CAD window and select Import. But if this is your first foray into CAD, you'd be better off completing some basic tutorials. You may have a particular goal, but learning the basics will help you get there much faster than stumblinging on every step. Here's a link to the Onshape tutorials.

  • justin_gasaljustin_gasal Member Posts: 5
    Mahir, I can import a SVG file to OnShape, but I can't figure out how to get it into a sketch after that.  The "Insert DXF or DWG" tool doesn't show the SVG as an option, and I can't find any equivalent tool for SVGs.  I searched the help files and didn't find anything.  Can you please explain how to do this?
  • KrzKrz Member, Developers Posts: 67 ✭✭✭
    edited May 2020
  • justin_gasaljustin_gasal Member Posts: 5
    That won't work.  "Supported image types include: PNG, JPEG, and BMP."  I want it to come in as sketch lines, not an image.
  • mahirmahir Member, Developers Posts: 1,135 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The only time I've worked with SVG files was with Inkscape. It's a free vector image editor. It has the capability to import/export to many different file types, including DXF. It's a bit roundabout, but you can open your SVG or PDF in Inkscape, export to DXF, then import the DXF to an Onshape sketch. You can even do some editing in Inkscape prior to export if the original file could use some cleanup, e.g. removing borders, etc.
  • justin_gasaljustin_gasal Member Posts: 5
    Yes.  I create my files in Inkscape.  Unfortunately, exporting to DXF and then importing into OnShape creates a number of errors and artifacts.  Points move, curves change shape, and all the line segments and curves come into the sketch with no Coincident constraints between endpoints.
  • mahirmahir Member, Developers Posts: 1,135 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Unfortunately, the lack of relations comes with the territory, and inserting a DXF is about as close to a direct translation as you're going to get. You can check the SVG source in Inkscape to make sure that your endpoints are actually overlapping. Inkscape gives lines a stroke thickness, so if endpoints aren't right on top of eachother, you don't really notice. It's not CAD, so precision isn't super important. But on that same note, if you're exporting to CAD, you also won't get any better precision than what you put in.
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