Beveled letters

I’m looking for some ideas on how to speed up/improve the workflow for modeling beveled letters. I work for a Sign making company and we need tidy, simple models that can be unrolled for cutting out of Stainless steel on the laser and then build-up by hand. These types of bevels need to meet in the middle and not just have chamfered edges.

Currently the best way i can figure is as follows:

  1. Break the letter into separate curves that represent each ‘run’ of material.
  2. Use the ‘EXTEND’ command on each run to give an over shoot of the internal shape
  3. Align an angled line to the start and use the sweep command.
  4. extrude the original letter shape down, deleting the top face.
  5. Use trim to cut any overlapping parts of bits that will confuse Rhino.
  6. Use the ‘create solid’ command to collapse the shape and create the model.

This is a fairly long winded process if you had to do a whole set of letters or large logo. Ideally I’d like to find a simple, fast and reliable method that creates the same results. Ideally this would be a simple process I could later write into a script but that’s not a real concern at the moment.

Chamfer edge, extrude curve taper and a few other methods I’ve tried just don’t seem to work. But is this just lack of understanding on my part? is there a much simpler more robust method than the way I just described? I’d love to hear some suggestions from the more experienced users out there. I need help to develop a method for modeling all types of letters in this style as fast as possible.

Many thanks, Howard.

I would build a curve structure using tween curves and off set curves to create the center lines. Then create the surfaces using surface from planar curves and sweep 2 rails.

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I learned a really neat thing the other day that may help…

here is simplified example:

-create a surface

  • draw letter with curves

  • run pipe command on curves in sections
    (only the top side of the pipe will be above the surface)

  • rebuild surface of pipe section to be degree 1 curve, with 4 in the u or v direction
    -----you gotta test to figure which one- you are basically trying to make the cross section profile become 4 points/ 4 sided , like a diamond square…or maybe 6 points/ 6 sided)

  • then use the surface to split the letter, and delete the backside.

perhaps this might work in some way…?

best regards,

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