How can you produce an engineering drawing of a font?

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How can you produce an engineering drawing of a font?

Postby richard6776 » Fri Sep 13, 2013 4:06 am

I'm wanting to produce an engineering drawing of a number plaque.

I downloaded a trial copy of Coral Draw, and used the Text Tool, to create a drawing of a font. I scaled up the font I chose by dragging the corners of the font character. I was then able to save as a DWG file.

I also obtained a free copy of DraftSight, which allows you to make engineering drawings. I was successfully able to open the DWG file made by Coral draw.

Not seeking to rely on Coral Draw (because the trial period will end), I turned to Inkscape. Similarly, I can use a Text Tool to "draw" a number, and I can scale it in Inkscape. The save option I have used is DXF (Desktop Cutting Plotter), because I cannot save as DWG in Inkscape. DraftSight will open DXF, but when I do I see nothing, but get no error message.

Any ideas? Thanks.
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Re: How can you produce an engineering drawing of a font?

Postby Lazur URH » Sat Sep 14, 2013 8:29 am

Hi.

I would try converting the text to path (Ctrl+Shift+C),
ungrouping the characters (Ctrl+Shift+G),
and then combining them back together (Ctrl+K), and see if that would result in a better dxf file.

Good luck!
microUgly wrote:People who figure things out for themselves will be far better at their craft than people who are told how or have someone else do the work for them.
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Re: How can you produce an engineering drawing of a font?

Postby tylerdurden » Sat Sep 14, 2013 12:10 pm

I downloaded DraftSight to take a crack... It seems the curves don't come across so well, but the scaling seemed ok when I set the units to inches in Inkscape.

Image


Inkscape places the drawing figures off the sheet when saving as DXF, unless the object is placed at 0,0 before saving the dxf.

In Draftsight, I used View>Zoom>Fit to find the sketch figures.


If this is a one-off, I'd try Cubify Design trial version... I use Geomagic Design (formerly Alibre Design Professional) and I occasionally import/export DXF files from Inkscape. Cubify Design should open DXF from Inkscape, it is based on the same platform as Geomagic, with fewer features.

Image
Spec-comparisons: http://www.tronetix.com/3d/index.php?id ... roller=cms


Regards,
TD
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Re: How can you produce an engineering drawing of a font?

Postby richard6776 » Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:00 pm

Lazur URH wrote:Hi.

I would try converting the text to path (Ctrl+Shift+C),
ungrouping the characters (Ctrl+Shift+G),
and then combining them back together (Ctrl+K), and see if that would result in a better dxf file.

Good luck!


By the way, at the momement I'm working with just one character/font.

That procedure worked. You are a star. :-) I did what you said and I saw the drawing of a font come up in DraftSight.

I then proceded to put a dimension line on. Which I could, and shows a dimension value. But I need to tinker the get the demensions right. At the moment in DraftSight, when I finally can make out the number, the font is huge on the screen. Think there is some kind of Baseline Tool in DraftSight that might help.

So, to recap: I'm using Inkscape to "draw" a font. Doing the procedure you said. Then saving as DXF. Then opening up the file in an engineering drawing program called DraftSight.
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Re: How can you produce an engineering drawing of a font?

Postby richard6776 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:16 pm

Let me just add some more detail.

In Inkscape, I used the "create and edit text object" tool to "draw" a "picture" of a font.

I've made a font of 3 sizes: 144 pt (16 Kb), 340 pt (16 Kb) and 500 pt (16 Kb). I saved each file as a DXF file. Notice that I get the same file size no matter what the point size of the font.

I then opened each file up is DraftSight to add a dimension line.

Here are my results when I added the dimension line, that is, what value the dimension line gives:

144 pt - 24.4

340 pt - 57.7

500 pt - 85.6

I then saved the file, which now has a dimension line, and now I have 3 DWG files each having a size of 24 Kb.

But I have a problem. In the engineering drawing the dimension line needs to be 5, it needs to show that it's 5 cm long. And this is where I'm now stuck. I don't know if I can make it 5 by something I can do in Inkscape or DraftSight.

The problem is, that I'm pretty sure the curves in the drawing in DraftSight get coarser the lower the font size. I'll double check that.
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Re: How can you produce an engineering drawing of a font?

Postby richard6776 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:41 pm

I think the answer is scaling within DraftSight.

To scale entities:

Click Modify > Scale (or type Scale).
In the graphics area, select entities to scale.
Press Enter.
Enter the base point.

The base point, if part of the specified entities, holds its original position during scaling, while all other points move by the same relative values in the direction of the X-, Y-, and optional Z-axis. For the base point, you can instead select a point not on an existing entity. In this case, the distance from the base point to all other points making up the entity change by the same scale factor.
Enter the scale factor or specify the Reference option to enter a reference length and a new length. Optionally, specify the Points option to represent the reference length as two points.

A scaling factor larger than 1 enlarges the entities by this factor. A scaling factor between 0 and 1 reduces the entities by this factor. For instance, the factor 3 enlarges the selected entities three times, while the factor 0.25 reduces the entities to a quarter of their original size.

Use Reference to specify an exact change in the lengths of entities. For example, to enlarge an entity with a side length of 3.45 drawing units up to 3.54, you have to calculate the scaling factor. With Reference, however, you specify the reference length (3.45) and the new length (3.54).
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Re: How can you produce an engineering drawing of a font?

Postby richard6776 » Mon Sep 16, 2013 9:52 pm

Okay, I've sorted my problem. I've used the REFERENCE feature to set the dimension line or drawing units to exactly 5.00000.

I'm guessing that actually starting out with a font at 144 pt is no better than starting with a font at 500 pt. I think that is because I'm dealing with something that is scaleable. So, I could have used a 12 point font - I suspect.
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Re: How can you produce an engineering drawing of a font?

Postby tylerdurden » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:05 pm

I get much smoother curves using large figures and setting units in Inkscape to points or px. Maybe DS sees all the segments as lines, not arcs.

Image
Have a nice day.

Inkscape 0.91pre2 r13516 (winXP)

Most answers are in the Inkscape Manual! :-)
http://tavmjong.free.fr/INKSCAPE/MANUAL/html/index.html


Looking for great tutorials? :-)
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=11981
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Re: How can you produce an engineering drawing of a font?

Postby tylerdurden » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:16 pm

PS
"When using DraftSight to view DXF’s, DWG’s or if you are using as a 2D drawing package, you may notice some circles that look like a ‘fifty-pence piece’ – heavily rasterised. With the 2D model open in Draftsight, type in ‘VIEWRES’ in the Command Window located on the bottom of the DraftSight User Interface, say no to fast zoom and then type in a higher resolution value between 1 and 20,000 (with 1 being the lowest setting) you will notice the rasterised circle becomes smoother and round. This issue does not just effect circles, but may also effect arcs, ellipses, splines and other curved geometry. The issue is not due to the output from CAD packages such as SolidWorks but the resolution of DraftSight."

http://www.solidapps.co.uk/blog/2012/06 ... raftsight/
Have a nice day.

Inkscape 0.91pre2 r13516 (winXP)

Most answers are in the Inkscape Manual! :-)
http://tavmjong.free.fr/INKSCAPE/MANUAL/html/index.html


Looking for great tutorials? :-)
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=11981
tylerdurden
 
Posts: 369
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:04 pm
Location: Michigan, USA

Re: How can you produce an engineering drawing of a font?

Postby tylerdurden » Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:22 pm

Here is the original test file that looked chunky, with the resolution set to 5000:

Image
Have a nice day.

Inkscape 0.91pre2 r13516 (winXP)

Most answers are in the Inkscape Manual! :-)
http://tavmjong.free.fr/INKSCAPE/MANUAL/html/index.html


Looking for great tutorials? :-)
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=11981
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Posts: 369
Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:04 pm
Location: Michigan, USA


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