Engraving Single-Line Fonts

Work-around options for simple font routing. October 3, 2007

I am still looking for single line fonts and am having trouble finding one that will work for me. I don't want to spend a lot of money for a big program when all I want is a few types of letters for my projects that I rout. I use Enroute and KCDw on my router and need some fonts for certain projects.

Forum Responses
(CAD Forum)
From contributor S:
I don't know about KCDw, but I know that I can explode any font in AutoCAD using explode text command located in text menu in express tools. Then I can use that exploded text to route.

From the original questioner:
I can do the same thing in Enroute with the fonts I have but it brings them in hollow, not single line fonts. So when I run them, I can only run the inside width of the letter, not depth that I want. This makes the letters too wide or it will rout them twice inside, leaving a ridge in the rout. With single line fonts, I will be able to rout the letter to whatever depth I want and it will only get deeper as to cutter width, not letter width.

From contributor B:
I get most of my fonts from dafont.com, I believe they are almost all free. Many won't work very well because the vector lines will end up overlapping. Some cam programs can understand it and make toolpaths for them with no problem, but some won't. I like getting scripted fonts there for vcarving and thicker fonts for relief/2d profiling. Sometimes they get messed up going from AutoCAD to importing the stuff into a cam program, so just have to make sure everything is converted to a vector format so it is more universal between applications/programs.

From contributor C:
If you have 3-D Enroute, look for the check box for "3-D engrave toolpaths" in the "Engrave Parameters" box. Use a 90 degree conic bit, and this will go down the center between the two "hollow" font lines, and only deep enough to touch both lines. The bit will even rise up into the corners, to make them sharp. With a plain font like Simplex, the results should be just fine. If you only have 2-D Enroute, try inline offsetting with rounded corners by an amount just less than half the distance between the font lines. This can approximate a single line, by using the standard engrave toolpath, which will go around twice.

The comments below were added after this Forum discussion was archived as a Knowledge Base article (add your comment).

Comment from contributor D:
EnRoute only shows you the fonts that are in your Windows font library. Since those are used for word processing and not routing or engraving you will generally not have any single line fonts available.

What my customer's have done is simply order Flexi Design which gives them access to single line fonts that they can then import directly into EnRoute. That should save you a lot of time and it isn't terribly expensive.