Exporting linework from alias to illustrator?

Does anyone have a method? Alias does not seem to make this easy…

try DXF?

i use to export from alias to rhino then to illustrator!

With Alias, it never is.

Here is my workflow and some tips.

The cleanest way to export good line art is using single curves. Alias will export every curve, which means if you have a surface that you are looking at from an orthographic view, it can actually export multiple lines in the same space which makes for a heavy file that is difficult to work with. I suggest either exporting Curves if possible, or if you need to do surfaces hide everything below what will be visible in your view (hidden line functionality sucks as well, so don’t expect that to work if you need it).

Go to your print setup tab:

Output tab: Printer can be anything, Style Post Script, Output to File

Info tab: Uncheck draw titlebox

Viewing tab: Objects All (or active, but I usually hide everything I don’t want) viewing type scale (line art will be 1:1) layout style Single View (current camera)

Drawing: Uncheck Draw Grid and Draw Border

Then when you hit print it should show you a wire of your current view and let you save a file when you hit print.

When you bring it into Illustrator I usually immediately select everything and do a path->Simplify with the tolerance set to 100% this does a pretty good job of reducing all the heavy geometry but keeping the line art intact and making something easy to work with.

Hope that helps. Thats my normal process for plotting geometry 1:1 so I can make artwork to send to vendors, etc.

i use this method as well, i believe there was even a tutorial here on core77 (on the main site, not the forums) at one point, worth the search for sure.

depending on what the line work is for, you can set the path->simplifiy tolerance lower in illustrator to clean it up further if desired (make sure to check “preview” in the path-> simplify dialog box to monitor the results). since most of my line work is sent to be cut on a CNC router, with hand sanding to follow, strict tolerances are out the window as soon as the sand paper comes out

Thanks guys this seemed to work perfect for what I needed! Wish I could un-group the lines in illustrator but that is not a huge issue.


if the standard “ungroup” funtion doesn’t do the trick, then you have a compund path. highlight the objects and go to compound paths → “release”

edit: for reference, here is the tutorial i was speaking of, there is one for sending illustrator vectors to alias as well