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Author: Subject: Produce lettering as .DWG file
russbost

posted on 4/6/19 at 08:52 AM Reply With Quote
Produce lettering as .DWG file

As per the title, is there an easy way to get lettering/fonts etc translated into a .dwg file so it can be laser cut/water jetted etc

For instance, say you wanted "Lotus 7" made in lettering, in whatever font it's associated with, is there an easy way to create this as a .dwg without literally needing to draw each letter as an individual part of the drawing

From Googling I've found several basic alphabets, but these would only work in their existing font, I'm thinking more of being able to produce letters in any font you wanted & as either solid letters or a stencil - does anything exist?

I would add I only have access to/experience of a basic 2d drawing package, don't have access to, nor have ever worked with Autocad etc





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loggyboy

posted on 4/6/19 at 08:54 AM Reply With Quote
Send me what you want to my email
log underscore garside at yahoo dot com
and I can CAD it up for you.

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mcerd1

posted on 4/6/19 at 09:02 AM Reply With Quote
a few of the graphic design packages can do it I think


but personally I've had great results with Rhino: https://www.rhino3d.com/ (download a free trial for 90 days)

its just a case of pic you font, pick the size, select 2D or 3D letters and then type - just save as a dwg/dxf

works a treat on the plasma machine we have here





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russbost

posted on 4/6/19 at 09:02 AM Reply With Quote
Thanks, loggyboy, that's a very generous offer, but I was thinking more of a program (happy to pay for it as long as not extortionate) such that I could produce lettering, signs etc in any font I needed, I don't think you'd want me emailing you on a regular basis for specific lettering etc.!





Furore Formula Car - the only two seater modern Formula Car lookalike. I no longer run Furore Products or Furore Cars Ltd, but would still highly recommend them for Acewell dashes, projector headlights, dominator headlights, indicators, mirrors etc, best prices in the UK! Take a look at http://www.furoreproducts.co.uk/ or find more parts on Ebay, user names furoreltd & furoreproducts, discounts available for LCB users.
Don't forget Stainless Steel Braided brake hoses, made to your exact requirements in any of around 16 colours. http://shop.ebay.co.uk/furoreproducts/m.html?_dmd=1&_ipg=50&_sop=12&_rdc=1

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loggyboy

posted on 4/6/19 at 09:23 AM Reply With Quote
what is the source of the lettering? JPG? PDF?
Autocad (even the light version) has a pdf converter, that can take vector based PDFs and convert them to a cad file. However if the source isnt vector based you can use a few online resources to 'vectorise' images, which can then be imported in to CAD.

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russbost

posted on 4/6/19 at 11:05 AM Reply With Quote
I was thinking along the lines of being able to produce something within Word or similar, save as a pdf & then simply convert that to a DWG, where presumably you would be able to adjust to specific dimensions - am I being too simplistic. So far as I can see, even the Autocad light is a substantial chunk of money, but then ongoing subscription every month or year - not something I'd want to get into. I don't mind paying once for a programme, but object to being held to ransom for life for it!

Rhino looks about a billion times more complex & powerful than anything I'd ever want to use & you run into a problem of what to do after 90 days - again, it's far from cheap





Furore Formula Car - the only two seater modern Formula Car lookalike. I no longer run Furore Products or Furore Cars Ltd, but would still highly recommend them for Acewell dashes, projector headlights, dominator headlights, indicators, mirrors etc, best prices in the UK! Take a look at http://www.furoreproducts.co.uk/ or find more parts on Ebay, user names furoreltd & furoreproducts, discounts available for LCB users.
Don't forget Stainless Steel Braided brake hoses, made to your exact requirements in any of around 16 colours. http://shop.ebay.co.uk/furoreproducts/m.html?_dmd=1&_ipg=50&_sop=12&_rdc=1

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loggyboy

posted on 4/6/19 at 11:29 AM Reply With Quote
If you have a proper font already, PDFs should be suitable format to cut from as they are vector based automatically. (just keep zooming on on your PDF, if edges dont become pixelated then it is vectored.)
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furryeggs

posted on 4/6/19 at 01:41 PM Reply With Quote
I can do it in illustrator for you, I use it for my vinyl cutter... Itíll save as pretty much whatever you want it to.

they save as vectors as well so they donít loose resolution.

[Edited on 4/6/19 by furryeggs]

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mcerd1

posted on 4/6/19 at 03:04 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by russbost
I was thinking along the lines of being able to produce something within Word or similar, save as a pdf & then simply convert that to a DWG, where presumably you would be able to adjust to specific dimensions - am I being too simplistic. So far as I can see, even the Autocad light is a substantial chunk of money, but then ongoing subscription every month or year - not something I'd want to get into. I don't mind paying once for a programme, but object to being held to ransom for life for it!

Rhino looks about a billion times more complex & powerful than anything I'd ever want to use & you run into a problem of what to do after 90 days - again, it's far from cheap

Trouble I've always had with PDF's is they won't necessarily be in a vector format and not everything can take that vector data and turn it into something suitable for the CNC...

[edit]all of the tools you'd need in autocad for this are not available in the lite (LT) version
Autocad LT won't do text like you want easily anyway - it can do the text ok, but thats just text and not a DWG of the text outline (if that makes sense)



Like you say Rhino is far more powerful than you really need, but its actually pretty easy to learn what you'd need and it'll cover anything you'll need for any plasma / laser / waterjet projects (and I'm afraid under £900 for a commercial licence is very cheap as CAD goes - the main one we use at work goes for £11,000 per licence)


I'm not sure whats available in the free CAD packages, but one of the guys here has used a free graphic design / logo design package that seems to manage a decent DWG export (I'll try and get link for you later)

[Edited on 4/6/2019 by mcerd1]

[Edited on 4/6/2019 by mcerd1]





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scudderfish

posted on 4/6/19 at 05:36 PM Reply With Quote
This might work for you https://librecad.org/
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pigeondave

posted on 4/6/19 at 09:46 PM Reply With Quote
I thought laser cutting uses a .dxf file ?

Also Autodesk give very good discounts do students, so if you have access to a student you might be able to buy the software cheap.

Open University also works as a student address i think. Could be worth looking into either way.

Students also get cheap spotify if you're in to your music.

And discounts at co-op so I've heard

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jerker84

posted on 5/6/19 at 12:24 PM Reply With Quote
Hi Russbost,

I have worked for a CAD/CAM software company who specialise in programming laser, waterjets, plasmas, punches etc for over 10 years.
I also have a hobby laser at home for cutting wood, so I have alot of experience with this.

Most CNC profiling companies will be able import DXF, DWG, DSTV and some will even accept PDF or SVG files. However, the industry standards are DXF and DWG.

If you don't want to spend any money, I would recommend Inkscape which is freeware vector software https://inkscape.org/
It uses the windows font library and is able to export to a variety of formats including DXF.

Here are some instructions for installing windows fonts which can be used in inkscape http://logosbynick.com/how-to-add-fonts-to-gimp-and-inkscape/

My second choice would be Draftsight which was developed by the same company that develops solidworks (a high end 3D Modeling software), but I'm not sure how well it handles windows fonts.

There are lots of alternatives, like: freecad, illustrator, solidworks, autocad, Inventor, Rhinocad, bricscad, librecad etc.

Another way to do it (I wouldnt recommend it though), is to draw it in paint, then use an online vectorising software to convert it to a DXF.

Btw, If you send any geometry files to a CNC profiling company, make sure the contours are closed (no gaps in the geometry lines). Sometimes their CAM software can try and automatically close these elements and distort your part.

If you need any more help, let me know.

[Edited on 5/6/19 by jerker84]

[Edited on 5/6/19 by jerker84]

[Edited on 5/6/19 by jerker84]

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russbost

posted on 5/6/19 at 12:34 PM Reply With Quote
Thanks for all the info guys, will have a play around with some of it & see how I get on!





Furore Formula Car - the only two seater modern Formula Car lookalike. I no longer run Furore Products or Furore Cars Ltd, but would still highly recommend them for Acewell dashes, projector headlights, dominator headlights, indicators, mirrors etc, best prices in the UK! Take a look at http://www.furoreproducts.co.uk/ or find more parts on Ebay, user names furoreltd & furoreproducts, discounts available for LCB users.
Don't forget Stainless Steel Braided brake hoses, made to your exact requirements in any of around 16 colours. http://shop.ebay.co.uk/furoreproducts/m.html?_dmd=1&_ipg=50&_sop=12&_rdc=1

NOTE:This user is registered as a LocostBuilders trader and may offer commercial services to other users
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mcerd1

posted on 5/6/19 at 03:15 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by mcerd1I'm not sure whats available in the free CAD packages, but one of the guys here has used a free graphic design / logo design package that seems to manage a decent DWG export (I'll try and get link for you later)

Turns out the guy I work with is using Inkscape too





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Irony

posted on 6/6/19 at 01:42 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jerker84
Hi Russbost,

I have worked for a CAD/CAM software company who specialise in programming laser, waterjets, plasmas, punches etc for over 10 years.
I also have a hobby laser at home for cutting wood, so I have alot of experience with this.

Most CNC profiling companies will be able import DXF, DWG, DSTV and some will even accept PDF or SVG files. However, the industry standards are DXF and DWG.

If you don't want to spend any money, I would recommend Inkscape which is freeware vector software https://inkscape.org/
It uses the windows font library and is able to export to a variety of formats including DXF.

Here are some instructions for installing windows fonts which can be used in inkscape http://logosbynick.com/how-to-add-fonts-to-gimp-and-inkscape/

My second choice would be Draftsight which was developed by the same company that develops solidworks (a high end 3D Modeling software), but I'm not sure how well it handles windows fonts.

There are lots of alternatives, like: freecad, illustrator, solidworks, autocad, Inventor, Rhinocad, bricscad, librecad etc.

Another way to do it (I wouldnt recommend it though), is to draw it in paint, then use an online vectorising software to convert it to a DXF.

Btw, If you send any geometry files to a CNC profiling company, make sure the contours are closed (no gaps in the geometry lines). Sometimes their CAM software can try and automatically close these elements and distort your part.

If you need any more help, let me know.

[Edited on 5/6/19 by jerker84]

[Edited on 5/6/19 by jerker84]

[Edited on 5/6/19 by jerker84]


Exactly what this guy says.

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