ems2obj: How to convert eMachineShop .ems files into a real 3D file format like Wavefront .obj or DXF

What is this?

On this page you'll find a small program and instructions to export the real 3D data from the free CAD program of eMachineShop. eMachineShop only has limited 2D DXF export.

How does it work?

The trick is to capture the drawing instructions ( which are just a large bunch of 3D triangles ) going to the 3D engine when you open the 3D view in the eMachineShop software. These captured triangles are then converted to a Wavefront .obj file format by the ems2obj executable.

What do I need?

How do I install?

How do I use it?

What's the catch?

The 3D object does not have the same scale as your design. That's because it was just made for screen viewing. There is no way of retrieving ( as far as I know ) the original scale from the 3D instruction capture. So if you want to send your DXF to your local machine shop, always add the standard crummy 2D DXF export of eMachineShop because it has a scale indication. ( in eMachineShop: File > Export... )

I got a problem, what do I do?

I made this just as a quick fix and I do not intend to spend time to really develop this and add features. I guess the best place to post any problems is on the forum of CNCzone or the forum of OGLE. I'll check those forums once in a while and update this page and ems2obj if needed.

Any source?

ems2obj is actually a very small Perl script. It was converted to an executable by perlapp from the Perl Dev Kit of ActiveState so you don't have to install Perl. Have a look at the source. As you can see it would take very little effort from the developers of eMachineShop to build this functionality into the eMachineShop software.

I want to thank the makers of OGLE that gave me the inspiration to crack this problem.