Gemini64, thank you for the short breakdown on exportable file formats and which program opens which. I was hesitant to ask any questions about AutoCAD because I know it isn’t open, it just happens to be the tool I’ve used for the last 21 years; I guess I’ve been in the Autodesk bubble for quite a while. I am now trying to learn freeCAD, but get frustrated sometimes when I don’t know if it is operator error or software error. For example:
I figured out I have to hold down the shift key (I am running Windows 8 64bit) while clicking points in freeCAD to take a measurement or dimension. So, operator error there, I have no problem admitting it.
I exported a STEP file from freeCAD, opened in Inventor (not everything transferred over but more than nothing did) and exported it as *.DWG, opened it in AutoCAD and had something to work with. So then I uninstalled freeCAD v.13.1828_x86 and installed the latest unstable version v.14.2370_x86_RC and tried to export again, but it wouldn’t export. It would bring up the dialog window, and ask what format, and you can type your file name, but after you do the save, you go to the location where you saved the exported file and nothing was there, no matter which type of file I exported it as. So uninstalled the v.14 and reinstalled v.13 and had no problem exporting. So I’ll have to stick with v.13 for now. But then I could not figure out why everything would not transfer in the STEP export from freeCAD. Sometimes when I opened it in Inventor, it would just be a 3 dimensional block, sometimes it would look almost like the piece but be missing a few things. I know freeCAD asks you to select an object before you can perform the export, sometimes I would do a CTR+A (control all) in the small window that lists (Pad, Pocket, Pad001, etc.) and do the export, sometimes I would select the bottom one of the list and do a shift+click to the item at the top of the list to select them all, or the opposite, select top item then shift+click the bottom item, and each way would produce a different output STEP file. So, I finally figured out that I have to select the last item on the list, and the last item alone, and perform the export with just that item selected, and it would properly output the entire model in the STEP file. Then the hop, skip, and a jump to Inventor then AutoCAD gave me a completely workable DWG.
Gemini64, thanks again for your initial help that pointed me in the right direction.