Export for laser cutting

I’m trying to exports parts of a 3D model to flat DXF (or similar) files for laser cutting.

However when I use the export command, it seems that Rhino (PC - v6) exports a projection of the part on the XY axis, not the object itself. As a result, the dimensions are of course incorrect. I found a manual workaround, taking each piece and putting them “flat” on the XY axis before exporting, but it obviously takes a lot of time, as I need to repeat the operation everytime I modify the model.

What is the proper way to do it?


Hi Cedric,

Rhino won’t automatically know which way you want your parts orientated of course, you need to put that logic in somewhere. You can use the Orient command in Rhino to speed up this process if you’re not already doing it. For more than one element, it does sound like using Grasshopper to automate your manual layout process might be the way to go. I just wrote a post on using the ‘Orient’ component for that purpose that you might find helpful:

Best wishes,


PS: Adding an image with a question like this would help us understand your problem more clearly.

If it’s a polysurface composed of planar (flat) surfaces, you can also use UnrollSrf to get all the surfaces flat on the XY plane without distortion. Then use DupBorder to get the outlines for cutting.

Thank you both.
I’ll try the second option as I don’t know how to use grasshoper (yet).
@johnharding the object is composed of flat surfaces or polysurfaces, which are 2D objects, so I assumed Rhino would/could take this into account and adjust the orientation accordingly when exporting
thanks again