17 Replies Latest reply on Jul 13, 2018 12:29 PM by David Matula

    Best Fonts For Cutting

    Joe Peacock

      Hello,

       

      The company I work for uses a Waterjet to cut just about everything we can. One thing we are starting to get into is marketing or branding our products when they are sold to our customers. Previously everything was done with etching. Does anyone have fonts they normally use? I have found "STENCIL" works well, but I am looking for other options. I have attached a picture for clarification. Are there any other places I should ask this question?

       

      Thank you,

      Joe

        • Re: Best Fonts For Cutting
          Rob Edwards

          We made some old fashioned stencils for marking up our packaging.  It was pretty easy to just add the tab's in to the company artwork.

          I think I used Corel Draw but it would be easy enough in SW, just extrude any font and then make some cuts

          • Re: Best Fonts For Cutting
            Craig Schultz

            You could use whatever font you wanted, then add the tabs in as you wish. It gives you the flexibility to do different tab widths for different metal thicknesses.

            • Re: Best Fonts For Cutting
              Mike Helsinger

              I'm also in a waterjet shop, I'll share with the group that our machines are unreliable at reading splines.  Sometimes they work and sometimes they don't and fonts are full of them so we avoid them.  Also it's desirable to minimize the number of sketch entities for the benefit of the waterjet operator, and Stencil has a lot.

              I made up my own stencil blocks, and I'm wanting to redo them to 1" height for easy scaling.  I have an archive file attached to this thread: Text cut on sheetmetal?  It's only numbers & partial alphabet but you are welcome to use it.

              If I ever update to 1" character height I'll include those files, some day..

                • Re: Best Fonts For Cutting
                  Joe Peacock

                  I haven't tried cutting any words yet, is this dependent on the small curves/splines associated with letter? Would it be better to trace over with a polyline?

                    • Re: Best Fonts For Cutting
                      Mike Helsinger

                      It may be.  I find that simple lines & arcs work without fail so I use those exclusively.  Sometimes that means I represent a variable radius curve as multiple fixed radius arcs for a close enough approximation.  Do some trial and error and see what works for your shop.  Depending on how you like approaching your designs you may need to look at your files in a case by case basis.  Watch for missing entities and work closely with the folks that use your files.

                    • Re: Best Fonts For Cutting
                      Dominic Falcione

                      I see a lot of people saying that they just use the SW fonts for laser cutting, etc. How are they getting these cut? The people I work with refuse anything not made of arcs and lines only. The splines that the SW fonts are composed of cannot be read by the machine, and the software/settings used to convert polylines into lines just makes hundreds of straight lines to assimilate the curve and I am told it is really hard on the machine so they refuse that as well.

                      -Any insight on how to use text in SW for lasercutting/etc. would be appreciated. Sometimes, I will spend days modeling text for a single project. Making everything consistent, tangent curves, fully-defined as possible takes a lot of time...

                    • Re: Best Fonts For Cutting
                      Mike Helsinger

                      I have created a complete character set, see post below.

                       

                      Line & Arc only stencils

                      • Re: Best Fonts For Cutting
                        David Matula

                        any font or shape can be cut it all comes down to how you bring it all together in the final assembly of it all.

                        • Re: Best Fonts For Cutting
                          David Matula

                          Darn that was like a thousand years ago when I had access to a burn table.  You ask me to make something and I could get it done one way or another.  It took some line drawing.  I would start out with a font like script mt bold and make a part with the sketch text.

                          Then I would make the drawing and scale it to the right dimensions since it was easier to do when they said can you make it bigger.

                          I would then make it into a dxf file, that I could either make a new part our of it, or take into the cnc programing software.

                          Some time in there I think that I had to explode the text.  I would then add lines and join the letters together to make sure that they would make a single solid part like I was looking for.

                            (I had to do this to get to the answer)  

                           

                          The jerking and crashing of the table is caused by the many lines that it takes to make some of the text.  Your cnc programing software should have something in there to smooth out some of the lines, or to remove duplicate lines.

                          Some of the manufacturers say all you need is a pdf or dxf to load into the machines to be able to cut.  I would rather go with the G code that you can enter.  As you are writing the code or going threw the steps to have the computer write the code for you, you can find all kinds of skips dips and jagged lines that may need to be repaired or redrawn to make the machine run smooth.