With SolidWorks 2015 Beta just a few weeks away, it was a post from Matt Lorono – Product Definition Manager at SolidWorks Dassault Systemes which reminded me that I still haven’t fully utilised SolidWorks 2014.
SolidWorks 2014 added the “Stick” or Single line Font – OLF SimpleSansOC to provide a better resource for those who need to export to CNC machines (Routers, engraves) . We don’t do a lot of Text engraving with our CNC Router (Multicam CNC SR2415). When we do it is to most often label or add instructions when producing Templates. The Templates are normally used for marking out locations or cutting fabrics and the like. Much of the time the text would be added to the dxf in DraftSight. It is quick and simple often copy & pasted across multiple parts and we are normally in there nesting the components anyway.
As we would use a True Type Font, normally Verdana. (although it makes little difference as shown later) When cut on the CNC we end up with an outline text. For us it was not a big problem but it does take additional time to run and can get messy when the tool starts to lose an edge depending on the size of the text.Having to produce a few new templates today there was no better time than now to start to swing across to using the Stick Font. Add text to a SolidWorks Part by starting a new sketch> Select Text Tool > Deselect Use document Font> Select Font – OLF SimpleSansOC. The graphical preview of the Font in the Choose Font box is a little off-putting at first. The text on the part however displays quite normal. Once the font was sized and positioned>Right Mouse Button the face of the part> Export to dxf/ dwgBefore taking the dxf file into our CAM program – Entroute5 I had a look at an existing file in DraftSight. I wanted to see if it had the same font and if we could make use of it. In DraftSight >Open the Format Tab > Format Text, OLF SimpleSansOC showed as a True Type Font and when selected …. well you got to see those graphical displays again. This time in the display area! That was not going to work!So I looked at the SXF Fonts and settled on ARSimp.shx This looks similar to OLF SimpleSansOC and was single line.Looking at the SolidWorks Export dxf in DraftSight shows the OLF SimpleSansOC font is no longer a font but individual letter and lines.Where the ARSimp.shx although shows a single line is still a font which cannot be exploded! When the two dxf files are Imported into Enroute5 the SolidWorks dxf export with OLF SimpleSansOC font (on the left) comes in as single lines but the dxf with ARSimp.shx font has reverted back to an outline series of lines and loops A closer look, at the text, in Enroute5 shows the individual linesOnce programed it shows the individual start points for each line. The final result!
OLF SimpleSansOC “Stick Font” in SolidWorks 2014 provides better engraving choice for CNC machines and that can’t be a bad thing!