Writing and calligraphy with XCarve

Wonder how hard it’d be to get my XC to do this?

If you can find pen attachments it is easy. I’m already using marker for writing Garage Sale signs. But for those writing modes, you need that software. X carve works with G code, you have to prepare letter on some cam software and export G codes. This machine’s software does it both on same screen.

If a machine does it, it’s lettering or typography, not calligraphy.

There aren’t any markers which are as light fast as the best dip pen inks. Dip pens require constant modulation of pressure, speed and refilling of inks.

That said, attaching a ball-point pen or marker used to be the very first test:

Herald is a design by a group of engineering students from a couple of years ago, GRBL based. Don’t know if any of the software is available. EDIT: Yes it is!

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Anyone know anything more about using the XCarve for calligraphy?
I know I can do something similar through VCarve, but I was thinking more along the lines of software specifically designed for this…

Do you have the font you need?

I made a mount for a pen and used the X-Carve as a drawing machine so I assume you could use it for calligraphy too if you had the right font.

Should be easy.

I’ll try a different pen tip and see how it works

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I probably didn’t frame my question properly, I guess I was wondering more about software designed specifically for calligraphy rather than using Easel or VCarve.
Maybe there’s essentially no difference…

The problem is, most fonts are outlines which describe the perimeter — to use the machine for writing with a pen, you’d need a font which described the motion of the pen along the centerline — bonus points if it includes information on how hard to press and when to release and lift, as well as how to twist the pen for entasis.

See Don Knuth’s book on Metafont for a discussion of this. His Digital Typography is very approachable.

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There was a company that used X-Carve parts to make a machine and software for that application.


From that article:

The robot is basically a hand using a fountain pen that uses varying pressure as it scribes to mimic your natural writing.

So rather than using normal outline fonts, they have a system which describes the letterforms along the ductus and includes pressure information.

Thanks everyone, that’s roughly what I thought. I may have to make myself a holder and start playing a little more…

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There’s always this…