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How do you upload fonts into Onshape?

I’ve done a few projects where it would be really cool to have one of my own fonts in there, as text, but I couldn’t figure out how, if it’s even supported. Please help!
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Answers

  • owen_sparksowen_sparks Member, Developers Posts: 1,772 PRO
    I don't believe you can "today".  Much needed feature though.  Did you have a look in the "Improvement Requests" section to see if there's anything to vote on?

    Cheers,

    Owen S.
    Production Engineer
    HWM-Water Ltd
  • michael3424michael3424 Member Posts: 456 ✭✭✭
    A way to add fonts is especially needed for those that need to do CNC text engraving.  I recently went through a very painful couple of days putting extrude cut text into a project, then finding that the letters were too small to engrave well between the double stroked letters, and then reproducing the text with my CAM program which can handle the single-stroke fonts that Onshape doesn't supply.
  • philip_thomasphilip_thomas Member, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,156
    Here is a quick workaround - you can use photoshop (or similar) and then output any outline as dxf (that you can then read into Onshape and extrude)
    Philip Thomas - Onshape
  • lougallolougallo Member, Administrator, Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,498
    Many times DXF from AI will be comprised of closed splines which we don't support yet in import. We hope to address this in the future. 
    Lou Gallo / PD/UX - Support - Community / Onshape, Inc.
  • dave_cowdendave_cowden Member, Developers Posts: 432 ✭✭✭
    edited May 2017
    hi @michael3424 ,I may be able to help here.  @owen_sparks and I have tossed some ideas around.  Can we brainstorm a bit about how something might work?

    I understand the basic need.  The biggest problem/limitation I have in my mind is how to define the fonts themselves.  My mind explodes when I think about trying to draw 'stick text' that simulates all of the possible characters in each possible font. But maybe I'm making too much of that.

    If we can figure out a strategy for mapping fonts to toolpaths, the feature itself doesnt seem that hard.  It is non-trivial, but do-able to approximate the best way to 'draw' a given font armed with a single, fixed size engraving tool. 

    I'm up to the challenge if we could find a well-defined way of working that could be useful....
  • owen_sparksowen_sparks Member, Developers Posts: 1,772 PRO
    Hi Dave, great that you're thinking of having a go at this.

    I'd love to be part of this, thanks!

    I'm on the road today but will add some thoughts as soon as I'm back.

    Cheers,

    Owen S.
    Production Engineer
    HWM-Water Ltd
  • dave_cowdendave_cowden Member, Developers Posts: 432 ✭✭✭
    edited May 2017
    I found this site useful. This problem is not unique to Onshape.  The vendor below sells single stroke font packs, but I am not sure what format they come in. 

    http://www.onelinefonts.com/index.php

    My main question for those cutting text is: what format/features needs to be produced, and what is the workflow from Onshape--> cutting?

    One limitation I've run into already is that although Sketches can be programatically created in FeatureScript, and even selected , they are not recognized as a 'first class' sketch in Onshape.  Most importantly, they cannot be selected and then exported to DXF, or extruded like a native sketch can be.

  • michael3424michael3424 Member Posts: 456 ✭✭✭
    hi @michael3424 ,I may be able to help here.  @owen_sparks and I have tossed some ideas around.  Can we brainstorm a bit about how something might work?

    I understand the basic need.  The biggest problem/limitation I have in my mind is how to define the fonts themselves.  My mind explodes when I think about trying to draw 'stick text' that simulates all of the possible characters in each possible font. But maybe I'm making too much of that.

    If we can figure out a strategy for mapping fonts to toolpaths, the feature itself doesnt seem that hard.  It is non-trivial, but do-able to approximate the best way to 'draw' a given font armed with a single, fixed size engraving tool. 

    I'm up to the challenge if we could find a well-defined way of working that could be useful....
    Sure, let me know how I can help.  My need is primarily for things like (say) instrument panels where I'm creating cutouts for various instruments or controls and would like to engrave the legends for each with a stick font using a single-flute tapered engraving cutter.  Ideally the cutter toolpath would exactly follow the stickfont characters.  I'm not sure how or if that would work in Onshape since I don't think we can extrude remove something like a line or a stick font and those entities don't seem to get exported in any of the file forrmats that my CAM software (SprutCAM) can recognize.


  • brucebartlettbrucebartlett Member, OS Professional, Mentor Posts: 1,683 PRO
    edited May 2017
    Another use case for a stick font is etching a part number onto a laser cut part. If you use a stick font it means less work for the laser rather than true type.

    Normally these are added as a post-process in a dxf editor. 

    My ideal scenario for adding the part number (stick font) to the exported dxf would be an option after you do the RMB click to get the dxf. It would probably need to be placed manually but there may be a way to place at a location on the face, like using a mate connector. I don't think these need to be added to the model but wouldn't hurt. The main point is it would save heaps of time if they are on dxf straight out of Onshape. 

    Engineer ı Product Designer ı Onshape Consulting Partner
    Twitter: @onshapetricks  & @babart1977   
  • dave_cowdendave_cowden Member, Developers Posts: 432 ✭✭✭
    Thanks for the feedback guys.

    I'm struggling to see how this would work. I have found already that Featurescript can't create sketches that are exportable via dxf.

    It is clearly possible to create a Featurescript that makes stick letters...but then what? I don't have control during or after the export process. 

    @owen_sparks had proposed the idea that the stick font is extruded into planar surfaces... Would your CAM software handle that?



  • michael3424michael3424 Member Posts: 456 ✭✭✭
    I'm not sure how (or if) it would work either.  So far as I can see Onshape can't do anything with stick characters so far as extrusions go.  For example, a sketch with a single line can't be extruded, presumably because the line has no width.  I suppose one option might be to create a double stroke font that has a very tiny amount of space between opposing sides of the lines that form the characters, say 0.0001".  Those can then be extruded and the export of that file can then be used in CAM where the edges of the extrusion can be used as toolpaths with a small ball end mill or engraving V-bit to give the milled characters some width.  As an example consider the letter "I" modeled as a rectangle with height 1" and width of 0.0001" per this Onshape file:

    https://cad.onshape.com/documents/c10e19b57073c3f47fbe8eeb/w/566ac9db84e1fbd0a6f96ca6/e/6434c2b868e49a08359ee88a

    I've imported a STEP file of that part into my CAM program and it does mill the feature.  The downside is that it mills the entire rectangle outline, that is, all 4 edges (both sides, top, and bottom).  That wastes CNC time and probably wears the cutter out a bit faster but the machined result would work for me.
  • dave_cowdendave_cowden Member, Developers Posts: 432 ✭✭✭
    @michael3424 yes this is the only work around I've been able to come up with.  Since it still mills the text around the outline, i dont think it is worth much effort.  I think we need a more compelling solution (though i'm not sure what it would be)

    To be very honest, it seems like most people probably mill/engrave text using software that works in terms of DXFs-- so the best strategy is probably to do text as 2d DXF that has only one line. 3D text creates more problems than it solves (unless you are 3d printing)
  • owen_sparksowen_sparks Member, Developers Posts: 1,772 PRO
    Hi guys.

    Sorry I'm late to the party.

    End goals as I seem them are:-
    (1) A dxf to be used as for toolpaths which can only contain single lines for the text.  Fine rectangles defeat the purpose.
    (2) Less important but it'd be nice to see the part as it would look after machining.  (We'd need to be able to suppress this to if we want to export a face, as with it on we're back to text outlines, not sticks.)

    For part 1, my original thinking was something like this:-


    The FS could build the surfaces; the user then makes a sketch, box selects all the surfaces and uses/projects them onto the sketch, then exports the sketch as a dxf?  It's a bit naff but gets there, erm sort of.

    Going a bit further then the example of extruding up was to make the screen grab clear.  We can go down into the part.  And by 0.001mm if we want.  All we care about is making a surface with an edge.



    Remember the letters seen here are surfaces not a sketch, and I believe within the scope of FS.

    Finally the user can create their own sketch on the face of the part, then box select to get the part outline and all text, and export as dxf


    To make the part look pretty I've raised an IR here:-
    https://forum.onshape.com/discussion/6452/sweep-remove-one-solid-body-form-another-not-a-sketch-aka-sw-solid-body-sweep#latest

    To do this:-


    .
    It would be nice to be able to sweep-remove the 30deg cutter along the highlighted line such that it makes the pocket shown above including the conical end faces.

    Or if Dave feels like a challenge, then a FS to do this whereby the user enters the cutter angle, eg 30deg, and the cut depth then hey presto.

    Could even be one feature with a check box to enable the cut so we can have "export this mode" with just the edges of the surfaces visible, or "pretty mode" with the as cut display.

    My example doc used for this is here:-
    https://cad.onshape.com/documents/9102cc9f88ebef49deeecaec/w/2f217f4641d101fd3f42ec78/e/0bbf6ef4439799e833027ad7

    Thoughts?

    Owen S.

    Production Engineer
    HWM-Water Ltd
  • dave_cowdendave_cowden Member, Developers Posts: 432 ✭✭✭
    I like it.  it feels right that the engraved text feature should be able to optionally actually cut the surface.  Actually in my (brief) experience engraving, it would be important to set the cutter angle and depth, so you can see what it will look like. 

    What feels 'wrong' is that exporting the dxf requires manually selecting all of the right lines on another sketch. But I can't think of a better way.

    I'm a bit worried about the relationship between the generated dxf and the NC operation.  Since this dxf will be used for toolpaths, the way that the stick font is built will matter.  as an example, if, as in your example, we have a "T" composed of two segments, we have to choose between picking up the pen between the lines, or re-tracing our previous path.  I'm sure most toolpath generators would choose the former.  

    Are we worried about that at all?

    At any rate, i think this is a reasonable direction to head as long as everyone thinks it would work.  I'll probably start with the hardest part-- getting a way to take fonts and generate sticks.

    This is not a trivial problem, but it is a solved one. check out this site, which has a selection of (not cheap) one-line fonts.

    http://www.onelinefonts.com/

    My current plan is to make a tool to convert these into FS for the purposes of a feature like this.

    Another items on my plan is to double-check that it is still not possible to have an FS generate a sketch which can be exported by the user directly. I'll post a question about that.
  • owen_sparksowen_sparks Member, Developers Posts: 1,772 PRO
    edited May 2017
    I like it.  it feels right that the engraved text feature should be able to optionally actually cut the surface. 
    Awesome :)

    What feels 'wrong' is that exporting the dxf requires manually selecting all of the right lines on another sketch. But I can't think of a better way.
    Actually the FS can delete the sketch, it's the faces we care about, so user either box selects everything on the screen of from the faces tree.  Agree it's a frig at best though.
    I'm a bit worried about the relationship between the generated dxf and the NC operation.  Since this dxf will be used for toolpaths, the way that the stick font is built will matter.  as an example, if, as in your example, we have a "T" composed of two segments, we have to choose between picking up the pen between the lines, or re-tracing our previous path.  I'm sure most toolpath generators would choose the former.  

    Are we worried about that at all?
    I'm not worried in the slightest. The CAM SW is capable of sorting the up and down by itself.  All I'll be doing is box selecting all the vectors and saying "machine that".  So I believe nothing to stress about there.
    At any rate, i think this is a reasonable direction to head as long as everyone thinks it would work.  I'll probably start with the hardest part-- getting a way to take fonts and generate sticks.

    This is not a trivial problem, but it is a solved one. check out this site, which has a selection of (not cheap) one-line fonts.

    http://www.onelinefonts.com/

    My current plan is to make a tool to convert these into FS for the purposes of a feature like this.

    Hmm not cheap at all.  I'd settle for one "professional looking" font only, not pseudo handwriting, available in caps, lower case and punctuation so, what's that just over 100 characters? Perhaps you could do that for free and the pro version could have a payment.  There has to be some way for the FS input to ask for a key if OS themselves are no nearer to this...
    Another items on my plan is to double-check that it is still not possible to have an FS generate a sketch which can be exported by the user directly. I'll post a question about that.
    Groovy (see what I did there?).  Now if FS has some tricks we don't know about then so much the better...

    Owen S.
    Production Engineer
    HWM-Water Ltd
  • dave_cowdendave_cowden Member, Developers Posts: 432 ✭✭✭
    everyone here: please go vote for this improvement request-- if we had it, i could create FeatureScripts that generate sketches, which we really need here. I've run into this limitation a lot of times

    https://forum.onshape.com/discussion/6473/allow-featurescript-to-produce-sketches/p1?new=1
  • michael3424michael3424 Member Posts: 456 ✭✭✭
    Voted for both IRs.
  • owen_sparksowen_sparks Member, Developers Posts: 1,772 PRO
    everyone here: please go vote 
    Done.
    Production Engineer
    HWM-Water Ltd
  • owen_sparksowen_sparks Member, Developers Posts: 1,772 PRO
    @dave_cowden Your IR now seems to not be an IR?

    Owen S.
    Production Engineer
    HWM-Water Ltd
  • dave_cowdendave_cowden Member, Developers Posts: 432 ✭✭✭
    Weird I don't know...

    I did notice that unrelated to the IR, in the last  update it's possible to export dxf from any face.  I have not tried it yet, but it might now be possible for a Featurescript to create 2d  text that can be exported...
  • owen_sparksowen_sparks Member, Developers Posts: 1,772 PRO
    Hi Dave.

    A recent update gave us the option to export a dxf from the sheet metal flat view but I think the option to export from the face of a part has been there for a while.  I don't think it helps us much though as our text isn't 3d, so it's not seen as a feature owned by the part that makes up the face :/

    In regards to my proposal above it has another weakness.  :( If the text is changed by the user in the feature then the "use" for the sketch will give unwanted results if there are more entities than pre-edit.  Worse it may fail in a small hard to see way, ie take 10 out of 11 entities.  What we really need is the equivalent of qcreatedby(dave's widget) for the use process.

    Hmm.

    Owen S.
    Production Engineer
    HWM-Water Ltd
  • dave_cowdendave_cowden Member, Developers Posts: 432 ✭✭✭
    Well no matter what in the end we have a manual export step by the user to get a DXF to use for CAM.  If we can get to where that manual step is on the only one, that'd be good enough.
  • owen_sparksowen_sparks Member, Developers Posts: 1,772 PRO
    Heck Yeah, I'd take that :thumbsupsmilie:

    Owen S.


    Production Engineer
    HWM-Water Ltd
  • bradley_strahmbradley_strahm Member Posts: 1 PRO
    CAM is available as a beta OnShape app by MecSoft call VisualCAMc.  I've been using it for awhile and they've made slow, but fairly steady progress and now have an app that is usable.  It can take lines create the code to run on CNC.  Just need the single line fonts as the source for the engrave.  Having the line / single stroke fonts is needed for this.  I can't seem to come up with a way around it.
  • dave_cowdendave_cowden Member, Developers Posts: 432 ✭✭✭
    @bradley_strahm
    interesting!

    I suspect there are a lot of people needing to do engraving with single ling fonts.  I've got a ton of other projects right now, but this is one i would really love to tackle at some point.  
  • dave_cowdendave_cowden Member, Developers Posts: 432 ✭✭✭
    @bradley_strahm
    I have a community maintained list of featurescripts-- i've added this as an issue to bookmark the request.

    https://github.com/dcowden/featurescript/issues/34
  • owen_sparksowen_sparks Member, Developers Posts: 1,772 PRO
    edited May 4
    Yes indeed, single stick fonts are just about the last missing link in the chain to a great CNC workflow...
    Production Engineer
    HWM-Water Ltd
  • michael3424michael3424 Member Posts: 456 ✭✭✭
    I'll add my voice to those requesting single-stroke or stick fonts.  I've a current project now that will have to be done in another CAD or graphics design program due to this issue.
  • Cris_BowersCris_Bowers Member Posts: 31 PRO
    I work in the sign industry and could really benefit from having access to different fonts, especially with the ability to configure text values. Single line fonts aren't important for me, I can make those in my CAM program and are only used for marking parts. I often have to cut multiple tenant names from similar sized panels, which I would love to do with configurations.
    Current workflow is to take art from Corel, export as an .eps, clean it up in a program called LED Wizard, export as a DXF, then import into Onshape. I tried making a panel with cutouts configured for each of the 6 tenant names, but Onshape did not like that at all and slowed to a crawl. I ended up having to make a new part studio for each of the 6 panels.
    Maybe there is a better way, but this is only the second project I have worked on in Onshape, so I'm still trying to nail down my workflow.

  • Jake_RosenfeldJake_Rosenfeld Moderator, Onshape Employees, Developers Posts: 1,051
    Hi @Cris_Bowers

    If you haven't already, please submit a support ticket for the initial design that was experiencing performance issues.  This can be done through the "feedback" menu item in the "?" menu of that document.  Your workflow sounds very promising, and we would be interested in taking a look at what's slowing it down.
    Jake Rosenfeld - Modeling Team
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