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My company has asked me to try to find a good program that can assist in our producing diagrams for patent applications.

More specifically, we need to be able to open a STEP file, then manipulate (deleting/hiding lines) into a simplified view of the object in black-and-white profile, with just the edges and maybe some tangent lines, no shading, no hidden lines. (Something like the link below), and then export as a 2D .dwg file for final touch-ups in Corel.

enter image description here

Should I invest my time (and money) in Blender? Can it do this kind of thing simply? (If so, or if you have any tutorials to share for this, I would be interested to start immediately.)

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  • $\begingroup$ Exporting into .dwg isn't possible with Blender, the nearest thing is dxf. See blender3darchitect.com/cad/import-dwg-files-blender Rendering such image is generally possible with Blender, with Freestyle render engine. $\endgroup$ – Mr Zak Oct 29 '17 at 23:07
  • $\begingroup$ I would be looking at cad programs. while blender can do it, this is not one of its strong areas. $\endgroup$ – David Oct 29 '17 at 23:08
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    $\begingroup$ These could be rendered with Freestyle, and Freestyle can be exported as SVG vector files though. Those could then be imported into a CAD software capable of writing DXF or DWG $\endgroup$ – Duarte Farrajota Ramos Oct 30 '17 at 0:24
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    $\begingroup$ When you say Corel, I assume you mean CorelDRAW? if that is the case, there is no need for DXF/DWG, any common vector format such as SVG should be fine. $\endgroup$ – Sazerac Oct 30 '17 at 6:00
  • $\begingroup$ Not entirely solved, but of possible interest (also about rendering for patent applications): blender.stackexchange.com/questions/77981/…. in this case its a bitmap rather than a vector image though. $\endgroup$ – Sazerac Oct 30 '17 at 6:06
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You can render the outline if you enable Freestyle.

enter image description here

In the controls for freestyle enable Silhouette and border.

The outline can then be exported in SVG Format by enabling the Frrestyle SVG Exporter

The exported SVG can then be edited in any vector graphics program like Inkscape, Illustrator, etc.

enter image description here

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to make it shadeless just assign it a shadeless material in the materials panel.

with more research i found this /

"As neither RealDWG[10] nor DWGdirect are licensed on terms that are compatible with free software licenses like the GNU GPL, in 2008 the Free Software Foundation asserted the need for an open replacement for the DWG format. Therefore, the FSF placed the goal 'Replacement for OpenDWG libraries'[17] in 10th place on their High Priority Free Software Projects list.[48] Forked in late 2009 from libDWG as GNU LibreDWG project[18] it can read most parts of DWG files from version R13 up to 2004. But as the libreDWG library is released under the GNU GPLv3 it can't be used by most targeted FOSS graphic software, like FreeCAD, LibreCAD and Blender, due to a GPLv2/GPLv3 license incompatibility.[49][50][51] Due to this struggles in September 2013, the original project LibDWG re-forked its code from LibreDWG.[52] A GPLv2 licensed alternative is the libdxfrw project, which can read simple DWGs.[53]"(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.dwg)

So you actually can't do it with blender, BUT you can try .dxf, it comes pre installed with blender V2.6>>

you just have to turn this feature on in the user preferences.

I also found this resource https://cloudconvert.com/svg-to-dxf

so while it's not exactly what you want it's better than nothing.

also this: Blender to autocad

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