Sheet metal to dxf for laser cutting machine

Dear forum members,
We have a few customers who use ZW3D for sheet metal products only.
One of them has used Solid Edge in the past and was used to a one button command that unfolds the product, creates a silhouette contour from it and exports it as dxf file for sending to the laser cutting machine.
ZW3D needs 3 separate commands to do this: Unfold, silhouette with internal loops checked (wireframe) and finally export the result to dxf.
ZW3D support has tried to write an API script for it, but did not succeed.
R&D is fully involved in 2022 development and will only invest time in such a function/API program when it is paying off in terms of sales.
Therefore I would like to launch a survey on the forum, if there would be a broad demand for such a function.

Luurt (from the Dutch ZW3D reseller)

Whilst I pass all of my Zw3D enquiries to Mike at DM-Smart Zwcad 3D reseller, I do have an active interest in sales of all Zwcad products.

That looks like a feature that could act as a significant sales puller. Especially if included in a web demonstration of the product.

Hope that helps.

Peter Jones

Currently we are busy with the development of an metal aircraft for the GA and started in ZW3D to see if it fulfill the job. So this feature is highly appreciated.

Kind regards

Hi Luurt,
It seems odd than one would fail in an API development.
I certainly agree a single button flat profile would be good and if nothing else, make Z3 comparable with almost every other CAD software.
No question ZW need to deal with real user requirements and one would thing API/UI/Top level mods were low hanging fruit.

The process I use is to make a drawing an annotate check dimensions and anything else I want the profiler to know, then export that. Takes a little longer but unless production is inhouse, you kinda need the process.

Cheers - Paul

Hi Paul,
The drawing is indeed good when production is not in-house.
The customer that first raised the question after purchasing ZW3D in January, has its laser machines in the shop and needs no additional info for production.
Engineering needs to keep 3 of those machines running and therefore they like to spend as little time as possible for exporting those files.

About the API issue, If anyone on the forum has experience in this field and sees a chance to tie these functions together, please contact us.
I understood that it requires Visual Studio 2017 to do it.
Later versions might mot work well, according to ZW support.


Hi Peter.
Me too.
Thanks for responding


Hi Roland,

Looking forward to see some results


We use a contractor to do sheetmetal work. It would certainly be quicker to do the single button to dxf for laser cutting. Our contractor needs a dimensioned drawing of the flat shape for the fold lines as well so no great time saving for us.