Guys!! I’ve figured it out!! I’ve seen a few threads asking about this, but no one seems to have a solid solution. Instead of answering each, I’m just posting it as a new thread. It’ll be interesting to see if this works for other people, and what other variations people might come up with.
OK so the goal was to generate text that consists only of single line paths that can be used in Easel; not outlined characters, not filled. This way it can be engraved/carved/lasered in a single pass, without tracing back, without thickening/bolding the characters, just like writing by hand with a pen.
Here’s how I’ve done it:
- Type text in AutoCAD using ‘simplex’ font (other software and fonts may work too)
- Print to .pdf using Adobe pdf printer application (this is the key step!)
- Open pdf in Illustrator and save as .svg. Do not expand it! (Or another program that you normally use)
- Import into Easel
I’m using 2009 AutoCAD LT. I use this because I’m already familiar with it and can draw to scale.
Other fonts might work, but most likely they’ll need to be .shx fonts. My understanding is that they’re made with line paths, unlike normal truetype fonts that are outlines…??
Printing to pdf is the key to this puzzle. It’s the only way I’ve found that converts the text to single line paths. Exploding in acad didn’t work, and expanding in illustrator generated outlined font. Also, I think you’ll need to use the pdf printer from Adobe, not another software company. I’ve had trouble with others in the past. Could be wrong, but that’s my experience.
I use Illustrator to convert to svg just because that’s what I have and it works. I’m sure you’ve all got different programs to do this.
Anyway I hope this helps some of you. It’s certainly opened the door to a lot more projects and paid work for me. Happy carving!