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Mike Boucher

3D printing raised text?

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Hi folks,

I'm still a novice with 3D printing, but I've done some pretty interesting designs using FreeCAD, mostly parts for a 3.5" gauge passenger car truck which I need to use as patterns for castings.  EG:

 

1676289882_Pedestal3Dview.jpg.adc1ffe258992f88bb4fd293142bfcb3.jpg

 

However, for a different project, I want to produce what's basically a cast "builders plate".  Raised text on a somewhat flat background, with a fancy font and lettering following curves.

Similar to this:

porter.jpg.17d5b90afd3d268c3dd3d946bece9852.jpg 

 

 

Making the plate back doesn't seem too hard.  Its the text that I'm struggling with.

Seems to me that in FreeCAD you would want to use the Part Design to create the lettering, and the extrude it to whatever thickness I want.  However, there's no obvious way (to me at least) do to the text other than drawing it one line/curve at a time, which seems quite tedious.

Anyone have any suggestions as to how I could do this?  Thanx!

Mike

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I've done something like this a fair while ago using Inkscape and an earlier version of Sketchup that allows importing of .svg files (taken away in later releases from memory).

 

Basically if you have a clear .jpg or whatever of your text, Inkscape has a utility that converts an image to vectors, so that the outline of the lettering becomes lines. The important bit here is to have a clear image otherwise you get a heap of noise that you need to clean out. This is saved to an .svg file which is  then imported into sketchup, where you can manipulate the individual letters by extruding them. Possibly FreeCAD allows import of .svg files - I know TinkerCAD does. Sory this is a bit broad-brush stroke but it is possible and their are tutorials out their about it, or someone else here can chime in with greater detail.

Edited by monkeysarefun

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Easiest thing in the world using Autodesk Inventor or CatiaV5 or SolidWorks. I regularly use the process to "write" e.g., DUNLOP on 1/43rd scale model tyres. A student subscription to these programmes can be almost free. Without being rude, if you're going to do 3D design seriously, then it makes sense to use a serious and capable package.

 

 

Edited by Arun Sharma

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I used Blender to create the models for the platform and nameboard, in 2mm/ft scale. Used the 'Text' tool to write the text, and then extruded to required depth. You would need to find a suitable font for the computer to use to replicate your plate though. Otherwise, use the photo of the plate as a background image, then 'trace' round each letter to form a face, then extrude.

 

43214832404_da939a38fc_o.jpg.453b4087c712087da827abc45598bad5.jpg

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I use tinkercad for my models, and there is an option to put text in there. Doing curved words will be tricky as each letter will need to be placed individually, but straight names (station names etc.) are fine :)

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SolveSpace is another CAD program that will let you draw text directly, though to my knowledge it won't draw a curved line of text (as in a your locomotive builder's plate).

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This simple rectanglular version was produced in a few minutes using Sketchup.

Text is in 'Iskoola Pota' font, which seemed to be the nearest to hand.

The '1715' is in 'Bodoni MT Bold to get the '7' about right.

The curved text was laid letter by letter on arcs drawn beforehand.

Builders plate 1.PNG

Edited by Gordon H

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