View Full Version : Engraving Fonts

John Stevenson
01-07-2008, 04:10 PM
Prompted by Evan's post on his CNC and engraving plus some 'emails' we both have had, actually PM's as ower two ISP must have a spat on with each other and we have problems seeing each others files.

Engraving fonts really need to be single line fonts or stick fonts to get uniform shape. Unfortunatly most windows fonts are true type which have a thickness.
This is handy if you engrave such as the photographer plate that Evan did but not for simple work.

Evan commented to me that V Carve didn't engrave stick fonts Ok as it missed bits out wheras it's not that but the way it handles varying width toolpaths, A lot like his picture of the dawg.

This is Evan name done in V Carve in Script font.
Now as we know Script is quite fancy but this looks terrible, it looks like a dyslectic spider that's fallin into an ink well.


The reason for this is the toolpath has been optimised to work with the Z axis so in effect it's a 3D file.

This is the same file / picture showing the 3D toolpath.


And this is a close up of the toolpath with the fill switched off so you can see it better.


You may need to stare at it a bit to get perspective, the shapes are valleys and note the sharp end causes by the tool retracting so that only the tip is cutting to give the sharp corners.

By altering the depth it also alters the width to make the most of a fancy font such as Script.


01-07-2008, 05:29 PM
Is there a list somewhere, that tells what features, if any, are not in the trial version of V-Carve?

I don't seem to be able to create a curved text. So if it is crippled, I would like to stop trying.

01-07-2008, 06:58 PM
Topct, I dont believe anything is crippled except for the post processer part of parts you make yourself. Here is a link to make sure your hitting all the steps http://www.vectric.com/WebSite/Vectric/support/ht_draw_text.htm

John, from the pictures it looks like you are vcarving and not engraving. VcarvePro has a engraving function in it that will do most fonts. Here is a link on how to do that. http://www.vectric.eu/support/VCarvePro/V4/GettingStarted_Quick_Engrave.pdf

Link to image and how he did it http://vectric.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2006&highlight=engrave

01-07-2008, 08:16 PM
Holy crap Regnar -- that's awesome!

I especially like the cross-hatching on the letters!

01-07-2008, 08:59 PM

That's not what I am seeing. I downloaded some stroked single line fonts from Delcam's site. These are CHR fonts, the same as the BGI font format originally used by Borland and somewhat of an early standard. There are many of these fonts available and are what are used most often for engraving it seems.

This is the tool path that Vcarve makes with one of these fonts. The fonts are listed as TTF fonts but are in reality CHR fonts (character fonts). Vcarve is trying to treat them as True Type instead of examining the font structure to find out how to render them.


I tried dumping the fonts in the Vcarve single line font directory but it seems it won't recognize them as they aren't in Vcarve's proprietary format.

01-07-2008, 09:17 PM
Here is acouple of photos of all the single line and some true type engaving tool paths. Also look for a "T" under toolpath operations this is the engraving tool I think you are missing this very important part.




01-07-2008, 09:56 PM
I asked it to do an engraving toolpath. I just tried it again and it locked up. Everything else is running ok.

01-07-2008, 11:32 PM
Evan and John I made a video for you guys. Please bear with the jumping mouse, with the recording software going it kinda makes it hesitant to go. I will show you how to do an outline,hatch and cross hatch. In there is also what to do if you are missing some letters. Here is the link http://screencast.com/t/uedUKfozZs

Also if you want to do line text instead of truetype just use line instead and do everything the same although you will not be able to use hatch or cross hatch. I like to use line on engraving tools and serial numbers. Takes up less room and is usually easy on the eyes. I use truetype to do artsy stuff. I should also mention that if you want to just engrave a design use the same method. Or if you want to carve something out on the line use profile toolpath and vector on line. This pretty much the same as engraving but you can go deeper and with multiple passes.

01-08-2008, 12:09 AM
Topcp, here is how to do curved text. Dont forget that you need to shift+click the curve that you want the text to wrap around to get the curve options to be active. http://screencast.com/t/95rQRXlAYIE

01-08-2008, 01:59 AM
Sorry but the video doesn't work. All I get is a blank screen. The question is how do you make vcarve use chr fonts. They are an established standard but it doesn't seem to be able to use any except the ones included with the program which are in a proprietary format.

John Stevenson
01-08-2008, 03:32 AM
The video is very informative, Evan I don't know why you can see it but it is good and answers a lot of questions.

I must admit I use carve more than engrave as I have never tried drag engraving but next time I'm down the importers I'm going to look thru the rack of wheel dressers to get a few points to use as drag points, at 4.00 or so each it's no contest.

I did try those fonts you linked to but had no joy with them, they look to be propriatory, even the font preview packages can't show then as usable fonts In Gothic the E comes out as two square blocks similar to an 8 but all squared corners.

Have you tried clicking on the single line fonts button, there are about 15 odd simple fonts there.


01-08-2008, 07:57 AM
Regnor, thanks for the video. I see what I was doing wrong.

Interesting program.