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What to know if you are sending us CAD / How to make a good knife design in CAD:

Updated: Sep 22, 2023

In this post, we are sharing tips on how you can be a better CAD designer specifically when it comes to knives.

We have created a checklist to make sure there are no geometry errors in your file before it is sent to us for cutting. Keep reading for more things you should know when designing and exporting a knife in CAD.

Tips for designing knives in CAD:

Degree of Splines

Cleanup Allowances


What to Include

folder knife hardware

drawing of knife components with dimensions and operations

Example of supporting documents and hardware provided with CAD files.

Include design name, dimensions, material, hole diameters, finish thicknesses, surface and edge finishes, secondary operations, quantity, tolerances, and notes.

supporting machining document for knife handle

Another example of a supporting document that we would receive with CAD for lockside handle machining.

Include design name, material, dimensions, hole diameters, tolerances, secondary operations, finish thicknesses, surface and edge finishes, quantity, and notes.

How should my CAD be exported?

  • In .DXF, .DWG, .STP/ .STEP, or parasolid formats

  • 2D (.dxf, .dwg) is preferred for shape cutting

  • 3D (.stp, .step, parasolid) is ideal for models of folding knife designs and CNC milled components

  • Name files with identifying design names and material being used.

examples: CPM154_BladeDesign.dxf



"Free CAD"

For anyone looking for free CAD, there is no shortage of examples of "you get what you pay for." Even for experienced CAD designers, free CAD software can be difficult to use. If you are someone new to CAD, this is not a good place to start.

No one wants to waste their time trying to learn a program that may not even produce a machinable file, so send us a template and we can create the file and cut the parts for you.

low quality cut knife blank

low quality cut knife blank

Here's an example of what you might get from a machine shop that isn't experienced with cutting knives.

If you have questions about how to get the end product that is ideal for your custom knifemaking project- contact us!

Leave additional topics or questions in the comments here or on Instagram.

Check out this video if you are interested in more detailed design tutorials.


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