Inventor General Discussion

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*Ellingson, Kevin
Message 1 of 8 (94 Views)

Single Pass Text

94 Views, 7 Replies
11-22-2002 11:59 AM
Hello group. I am brand new to this group, Inventor, or for that matter any
other 3d modeling program. In fact, I have not even had any Inventor
training yet ( the program is in the mail). Hopefully it will be pretty
exciting stuff. I imagine I will lurk in the background and just observe and
maybe ask a question or 2 along the way.

This post could get a little long, so let me apologize up front. I'll try to
keep it as short as possible. Here is my current problem. I work for a
playground manufacturing company. The department I work in is called Custom
Products. We pretty much let the customer dream a paticular component for
their playground, and then we design it. The other thing my department does
is Custom Signs that are made from (hdpe) plastic, and then machined using a
CNC router. This is where we are having the problem. We use a letting
program for our signs called Lettease that runs inside of Autocad and
basicly works like the standard text commands in AutoCad work. The main
difference being that the text is exploded from blocks into true geometry
that out cam package can read and be used to machine the text into the
signs. We use a combination of outline text and single line text. Another
way some people refer to single line text is stick text. The reason we like
to use stick text is the ease and speed of maching. Instead of having to
perform a pocket operation, we can use a profile operation to run the
centerline of the text as the path for the cutting tool. Think of it this
way. Draw a T on a piece of paper with an pencil and then take a fat magic
marker and draw over the top of the T. You basicly just took a piece of
single line text and gave it thinkness. The problem is Inventor doesn't
support .shx fonts. O.K. I promise I am almost finished. Our current system
works great with one exception. When we send the drawing out for approval
the customer can't visualize what the sign is truly going to look like. The
material we use is made of 2 layers that are different colors. We rout
through the first layer exposing the color of the second layer. The customer
has a hard time visualizing this, which is where we would like inventor to
step in. We could use our standard AutoCad file for programming, and use
Inventor to give the customer a 3d model of what their sign will look like.
Does anyone have any good ideas on how to accomplish this. I know this is
kind of confusing. If Charles reads this maybe he can help clarify since he
is somewhat familiar to what I am talking about. I have talked briefly about
this with him in the past. Please feel free to email me direct, and if you
would like to try I can supply you with examples for you to try.

Once again, sorry for the long post. Hopefully it will never happen again.

Kevin
*Caldwell, Larry
Message 2 of 8 (94 Views)

Re: Single Pass Text

11-22-2002 01:14 PM in reply to: *Ellingson, Kevin
I don't know what fonts you mean specifically, but I will put an example of
embossed RomanS text in CF, then you can tell me what I'm missing.
~Larry


"Kevin Ellingson" wrote in message
news:848D22F1AD70795DBB1C82C43D3FE42A@in.WebX.maYIadrTaRb...
> Hello group. I am brand new to this group, Inventor, or for that matter
any
> other 3d modeling program. In fact, I have not even had any Inventor
> training yet ( the program is in the mail). Hopefully it will be pretty
> exciting stuff. I imagine I will lurk in the background and just observe
and
> maybe ask a question or 2 along the way.
>
> This post could get a little long, so let me apologize up front. I'll try
to
> keep it as short as possible. Here is my current problem. I work for a
> playground manufacturing company. The department I work in is called
Custom
> Products. We pretty much let the customer dream a paticular component for
> their playground, and then we design it. The other thing my department
does
> is Custom Signs that are made from (hdpe) plastic, and then machined using
a
> CNC router. This is where we are having the problem. We use a letting
> program for our signs called Lettease that runs inside of Autocad and
> basicly works like the standard text commands in AutoCad work. The main
> difference being that the text is exploded from blocks into true geometry
> that out cam package can read and be used to machine the text into the
> signs. We use a combination of outline text and single line text. Another
> way some people refer to single line text is stick text. The reason we
like
> to use stick text is the ease and speed of maching. Instead of having to
> perform a pocket operation, we can use a profile operation to run the
> centerline of the text as the path for the cutting tool. Think of it this
> way. Draw a T on a piece of paper with an pencil and then take a fat magic
> marker and draw over the top of the T. You basicly just took a piece of
> single line text and gave it thinkness. The problem is Inventor doesn't
> support .shx fonts. O.K. I promise I am almost finished. Our current
system
> works great with one exception. When we send the drawing out for approval
> the customer can't visualize what the sign is truly going to look like.
The
> material we use is made of 2 layers that are different colors. We rout
> through the first layer exposing the color of the second layer. The
customer
> has a hard time visualizing this, which is where we would like inventor to
> step in. We could use our standard AutoCad file for programming, and use
> Inventor to give the customer a 3d model of what their sign will look
like.
> Does anyone have any good ideas on how to accomplish this. I know this is
> kind of confusing. If Charles reads this maybe he can help clarify since
he
> is somewhat familiar to what I am talking about. I have talked briefly
about
> this with him in the past. Please feel free to email me direct, and if you
> would like to try I can supply you with examples for you to try.
>
> Once again, sorry for the long post. Hopefully it will never happen again.
>
> Kevin
>
>
*Zander, Quinn
Message 3 of 8 (94 Views)

Re:

11-22-2002 01:25 PM in reply to: *Ellingson, Kevin
Larry,

I think the whole post should be read after eliminating the font
statement. It seems to me he wants to use "stick" letters (which would
in effect be sweep paths when the DWG is brought into the sketch) in
Acad, but have a "routed" (sweep path) model in IV.

This seems so basic.... I must be missing something.

QBZ


"Larry Caldwell" wrote in message
news:91084D5E3BA87AD1ADD63CA2CD167876@in.WebX.maYIadrTaRb...
> I don't know what fonts you mean specifically, but I will put an
example of
> embossed RomanS text in CF, then you can tell me what I'm missing.
*Caldwell, Larry
Message 4 of 8 (94 Views)

Re:

11-22-2002 02:44 PM in reply to: *Ellingson, Kevin
Yeah ... I think what he might be talking about is making a model of the
sign made with different size end mills, in which case, he would need to
trace over Charles' text to make his stick letters (drawing is what we do,
no?) and dim the letters with parameters so he could use any size end mill
and copy that size into his sign sketch to extrude. I'm not sure about that
though, just what I'm thinking.
~Larry

"Quinn Zander" wrote in message
news:358FCADE9C35B253F8A3CF7A16EAC2F7@in.WebX.maYIadrTaRb...
> Larry,
>
> I think the whole post should be read after eliminating the font
> statement. It seems to me he wants to use "stick" letters (which would
> in effect be sweep paths when the DWG is brought into the sketch) in
> Acad, but have a "routed" (sweep path) model in IV.
>
> This seems so basic.... I must be missing something.
>
> QBZ
>
>
> "Larry Caldwell" wrote in message
> news:91084D5E3BA87AD1ADD63CA2CD167876@in.WebX.maYIadrTaRb...
> > I don't know what fonts you mean specifically, but I will put an
> example of
> > embossed RomanS text in CF, then you can tell me what I'm missing.
>
>
>
*Bliss, Charles
Message 5 of 8 (94 Views)

Re: Single Pass Text

11-22-2002 03:37 PM in reply to: *Ellingson, Kevin
Kevin, first let me say that I did cause the city to replace the wood
chips with sand in some of the play areas so thank you for your
assistance on that.

The problem with Windows fonts is that they are ALL closed regions.
This is the nature of TrueType fonts. Even the fake AutoCAD true type
fonts are closed regions. If you use some of them in Inventor using my
tool, you will see there are very thin spaces.

With R6, you can add decal text which should show your customers what
the text will look like (sort of). As to the probem with doing the
engraving, I would be inclined to export the solids to AutoCAD and use a
program like TahlCAM to do the text GCode. This is a pretty fast way of
getting the CNC output for not a lot of money. You need to avoid the
Windows fonts, even the ones which look like AutoCAD stick fonts.
*Ellingson, Kevin
Message 6 of 8 (94 Views)

Re:

11-23-2002 11:30 AM in reply to: *Ellingson, Kevin
This would seem to be very basic, but it is not, unless I am mistaken.We may
draw a donor sign that could have up to 200 or so names on it. To manually
go through and sweep every letter would be far too tedious and time
consuming. We also do not want to retype the text for 2 reasons. Chance for
spelling errors, and the fact that retyping is also time consuming. You guys
are getting the right concept of what I want to do. We are trying to come up
with a simple and quick method to create these 3d signs.

I am going to post an example of a sign that Avatech Solutions did for us.
We sent them the AutoCad drawing, and this is what they sent us back. It was
made from single line text, but the person who did it said it was pretty
tedious work to make this model. We are also maybe looking to do a VBA
program. Here is kind of how we envison that working. Keep in mind I know
absolutely nothing about VBA. You paste your geometry from AutoCad on the
face of sign in IV. Then you would window pick the text (geometry) and a
little dialog box would come up and ask "specify cutter diameter". It would
then offset the lines half the diameter of the cutter, and then you could do
a simple extrude command. Does this sound feasible???


"Quinn Zander" wrote in message
news:358FCADE9C35B253F8A3CF7A16EAC2F7@in.WebX.maYIadrTaRb...
> Larry,
>
> I think the whole post should be read after eliminating the font
> statement. It seems to me he wants to use "stick" letters (which would
> in effect be sweep paths when the DWG is brought into the sketch) in
> Acad, but have a "routed" (sweep path) model in IV.
>
> This seems so basic.... I must be missing something.
>
> QBZ
>
>
> "Larry Caldwell" wrote in message
> news:91084D5E3BA87AD1ADD63CA2CD167876@in.WebX.maYIadrTaRb...
> > I don't know what fonts you mean specifically, but I will put an
> example of
> > embossed RomanS text in CF, then you can tell me what I'm missing.
>
>
>
*darvinv
Message 7 of 8 (94 Views)

Re:

11-23-2002 12:30 PM in reply to: *Ellingson, Kevin
kevin,
Most single stroke engraving fonts (TT, OT or PS) just
don't appear properly in programs that don't have a special
interpreter built in to them (CAM packages usually). I have
a couple of single strokes for Gibbscam and they are
completely illegible anywhere else. But in Gibbs they show
up as real slick single pass text at any scale.
I would contact a font publisher and describe the
problem to them. They could probably develope a single
stroke and an outline that emulated the effect of applying a
1/2 cutter width offset outline. The scaling problems seem
nightmarish to me. Then you would have a font for the cad
side and another one for the cam side.
darvin
*Caldwell, Larry
Message 8 of 8 (94 Views)

Re:

11-23-2002 01:20 PM in reply to: *Ellingson, Kevin
You're going to do the CAM in AutoCAD the way you always have and, in
addition to that, you want a model for show in Inventor, right? I don't know
anything about VBA either, but I'm pretty sure it can be done going by
Charles's 3D Text routine. Still, seems to me (could be wrong) the fonts
have to be made one way or another to be parametric so that they can change
size which still leaves the prospect of doing a set of parametric fonts. If
that's true, then they could all be done using the same parameter to update
the size from their center lines and they would only need to be copied into
the model for extrusion, no? If the model is just to show, wouldn't even
matter if the accuracy was off a little.
~Larry



"Kevin Ellingson" wrote in message
news:210B6D2A06572D94E39C3D71BCF63AFF@in.WebX.maYIadrTaRb...
> This would seem to be very basic, but it is not, unless I am mistaken.We
may
> draw a donor sign that could have up to 200 or so names on it. To manually
> go through and sweep every letter would be far too tedious and time
> consuming. We also do not want to retype the text for 2 reasons. Chance
for
> spelling errors, and the fact that retyping is also time consuming. You
guys
> are getting the right concept of what I want to do. We are trying to come
up
> with a simple and quick method to create these 3d signs.
>
> I am going to post an example of a sign that Avatech Solutions did for us.
> We sent them the AutoCad drawing, and this is what they sent us back. It
was
> made from single line text, but the person who did it said it was pretty
> tedious work to make this model. We are also maybe looking to do a VBA
> program. Here is kind of how we envison that working. Keep in mind I know
> absolutely nothing about VBA. You paste your geometry from AutoCad on the
> face of sign in IV. Then you would window pick the text (geometry) and a
> little dialog box would come up and ask "specify cutter diameter". It
would
> then offset the lines half the diameter of the cutter, and then you could
do
> a simple extrude command. Does this sound feasible???
>
>
> "Quinn Zander" wrote in message
> news:358FCADE9C35B253F8A3CF7A16EAC2F7@in.WebX.maYIadrTaRb...
> > Larry,
> >
> > I think the whole post should be read after eliminating the font
> > statement. It seems to me he wants to use "stick" letters (which would
> > in effect be sweep paths when the DWG is brought into the sketch) in
> > Acad, but have a "routed" (sweep path) model in IV.
> >
> > This seems so basic.... I must be missing something.
> >
> > QBZ
> >
> >
> > "Larry Caldwell" wrote in message
> > news:91084D5E3BA87AD1ADD63CA2CD167876@in.WebX.maYIadrTaRb...
> > > I don't know what fonts you mean specifically, but I will put an
> > example of
> > > embossed RomanS text in CF, then you can tell me what I'm missing.
> >
> >
> >
>
>

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