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transform custom text into dxf for cnc machines

We have some customers that want their custom logos created into sheetmetal products. They will send us a pdf and then we are tasked with getting that into a dxf to cut on cnc machines. I've found a converter that worked real quickly, but it ends up with a dxf with LOTS of little line segments that need cleaned up. There has to be an easy way to turn this stuff around in minutes, and not hours that it currently takes.

 

I've seen some of the stuff you folks work with, so I feel confident you've found a more effecient way to work with this stuff. The time it takes now is hindering our ability to do more, so it's really a big deal right now..........

 

Thanks

Michael

ST8 MP9
Go FAST, or go home.
13 REPLIES

Re: transform custom text into dxf for cnc machines

The key is gettign a vector image to start with.

 

I used to make a lot of labels and human interfaces...  The industrial designes used to give me stuff that came in as you say with small line segments and was just never good or very usable...  We words to find a better way for them to save out their artwork that would import as lines and arcs and not segments.

 

This is key gettign a Vector image as opposed to a Raster image.  I beleive that they can change their AI settings to save out Vector instead of Raster.

 

So maybe ask your customer to supply another image...  Otherwise There are softwares taht help in converting raster to vector...

 

In Solid Edge I'm afraid you r only option is to use that import as reference to trace over adn re draw over top of it...  ...

 

maybe others will have better solution but this has been my real life experiance   YMMV...

Re: transform custom text into dxf for cnc machines

Here is a link to a software that seems to be able to transfer from many file types (PDF, raster image, ...) to editable cad data (vector).

 

http://www.scan2cad.com/

 

HTH,

 

 

Michel Corriveau

 

Re: transform custom text into dxf for cnc machines

An option to convert a spline to lines/arcs with a user-specified tolerance band, and vice-versa, are glaring holes in capability when you get into doing this stuff. Draw a spline over a picture, then draw lines/arcs over this spline to make it laser/waterjet ready...I HATE having to do this! It doesnt help that there are a ton of bugs that affect this specific workflow, such as an element refusing to place when you click if the software sees two intellisketch relationships at once, like tangent to curve and point on element. 

-Dylan Gondyke

Re: transform custom text into dxf for cnc machines

Is there some reason you don't use the "Simplify BSplines" functionality? It seems to do just what you are describing?

Dan Staples
Director, Solid Edge Product Development

Re: transform custom text into dxf for cnc machines

[ Edited ]

The issue is that the user is at the mercy of a simplify option that is applied across an entire document- and one that only has two user-set controls.

 

Some scenarios where this is insufficient-

 

-A user wants to simplify some splines in a file for text, but not simplify other splines, such as for profile where the shape has to be more strictly controlled. In this case, two different tolerances are needed for different elements in a file, but only one generic tolerance can be applied across the entire sheet metal export.

Current workaround- export the text to DXF with simplify option enabled, then copy/paste the simplified line/arc converted text back in the original document, OR redraw the spline profiles as lines/arcs and leave the simplify flat pattern option on. I've done both, depending on which is easier.

 

-A user wants to control the minimum length of line elements created, as well as arc elements. This is critical particularly with downstream processes that use older CNC equipment, where tool/beam compensation, machine positioning, and controller lookahead capability become issues with feeding ~200 lines of code for a quarter inch length of profile.

Current workaround- I use a 15 year old 3rd party software to open the DXF and check for and eliminate/combine line elements that fall under a certain filter value for length.

 

Those are two big ones right off the top of my head. If this drop to line/arc capability were given to the user directly at the sketch level, with a bit more control on options, the software would be much more powerful. IE..right click a spline, and in addition to the Simplify option that drops the number of control points, you have a "Drop to Line/Arc" command that does the same thing as this Simplify B-Spline flat pattern export option, but only for the selected geometry. 

 

I would use a sketch command like this literally every single day.

-Dylan Gondyke

Re: transform custom text into dxf for cnc machines

Wow, lots of stuff to wrap my head around! I did download the scan2cad trial software, and it generated a nice text, but it had double lines throughout the whole word. There's a ton of setting in the software for conversion, so I'll play with it a little and see if I can make some headway.

 

Thanks for all the suggestions, and input.

 

Michael

ST8 MP9
Go FAST, or go home.

Re: transform custom text into dxf for cnc machines

Michael, keep in mind there is also a Clean Sketch command that will allow you to delete double elements laid over each other, if you get the geometry to the Solid Edge stage.

 

-Dylan Gondyke

Re: transform custom text into dxf for cnc machines

Hmmm, lots of line segments come in with these pdf conversions. I would imagine these original text fonts were created with smooth arcs. As stated above, the CNC machines work much better with arcs. Maybe this isn't as easy as I thought it "should" be.....

ST8 MP9
Go FAST, or go home.

Re: transform custom text into dxf for cnc machines

Hi,

 

I don't know "perfect" solution for this, but suggest using a free tool its name is Inkscape.

I can vectorize bitmaps after this saving as dxf... The dxf sometimes is messy...

 

Here is a video:

 

BR,

 

 

Imics
http://solidedgest.wordpress.com/