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Extruding a text form to hold a LED strip.

bart_wybouwbart_wybouw Member Posts: 4
Hi all,

I've been following training on onshape and am impressed with what is possible.
Now I've been foolish enough to promise a friend of mine to make a "neon" sign with her daughter's name, using a LED-strip so it can change colour and we can have the colours running, etc.
I've tried a couple of methods but nothing seems to work.
Importing the text (in a special font) as SVG, then using splines to "copy" and mold the shape in a new sketch, and I thought extruding that would work. But, it seems the constraints don't hold. Not sure why. Also trying to use the offset tool creates all kinds of issues, from parts of the splines disappearing to the offset not being respected after I further work on the sketch. 
I've also tried using a shape-and-sweep approach but given that the letter cut into themselves, this also cause again issues.

It's probably me missing somewhere a vital insight into how I am supposed to do this but I'm at a loss at this moment.

If someone could enlighten me on how I am supposed to do something like that, I would really appreciate the help.

The project can be found here. You will find the A already extrude but the offset has gone all over the place. 



  • Evan_ReeseEvan_Reese Member Posts: 2,064 PRO
    The best way to do what I think you want is to convert the text to a DWG or DXF, which can be imported to a sketch directly. You should be able to just extrude that directly and be off to modeling the rest.
    Evan Reese / Principal and Industrial Designer with Ovyl
    Website: ovyl.io
  • bart_wybouwbart_wybouw Member Posts: 4
    Thanks, It did not solve the problem that I then cannot set the width to the desired size but I kind of got it to work. Now I'm stuck with the holes that do not want to generate properly and no clue as to why ... ;-) 
  • Evan_ReeseEvan_Reese Member Posts: 2,064 PRO
    The first dimension you add the to sketch will scale the whole thing, so you can still change the size. Alternatively, you can use the Offset feature at a distance of 0 on all of the sketch elements and use the Transform tool to scale it to the desired size before extruding it. I'd like to make a tutorial on it at some point because the workflow is a bit non-obvious.
    Evan Reese / Principal and Industrial Designer with Ovyl
    Website: ovyl.io
  • yasser_belmayziyasser_belmayzi Member Posts: 2
    Hello, i took interest on this post as i am also trying to make led signs with onshape, , @Evan_Reese have you made the tutorial ? 
    Thanks in advance
  • Evan_ReeseEvan_Reese Member Posts: 2,064 PRO
    Nope. Would love to, but I'm really not sure if or when I'll get to it.
    Evan Reese / Principal and Industrial Designer with Ovyl
    Website: ovyl.io
  • robert_scott_jr_robert_scott_jr_ Member Posts: 315 ✭✭✭
    Part Studio 2 looks GREAT! You've got it solved? - Scotty
  • john_lopez363john_lopez363 Member Posts: 55 ✭✭
    edited April 3
    Hey Bart... I thought about this for a bit and tried this "other" approach. The fundamental difference here is the use of Extrude Thin (which also allows for the use of a single spline line to define the letters)

    This approach does allow easier adjustment of the width of the letters (to a point)  by using a variable to drive the dimension of the Extrude. I say "to a point" because if the width exceeds a certain dimension you will run into intersecting geometry, which is not allowed (this can be solved by enlarging the geometry of the sketch where that intersecting geometry is occurring).  Also, the need for multiple "Extrudes" is driven by intersection geometry constraints as well.

    I know you said you basically "had this solved"...so just throwing this out there as another approach.

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