Convert a pen/ink drawing to solid

I have a client request to convert a pen and ink drawing into a solid and I’m looking for hints on a work flow.
I would start with his paper copy and create curves over top of his ink lines. The goal is then to give those curves some thickness (like a brush in photoshop) and then extrude those upwards as solids. The goal is to convert his pen/ink drawing into a stamp to be 3D printed. I’ve tried a couple of different ways but they both end up with a reasonable amount of manual editing.
Method 1.

  • take each curve and use the ribbon command to create individual surfaces
  • trim out the overlaps (this is the excessive manual editing step)
  • extrude the surfaces to solids
  • boolean the solids
    Method 2.
  • extrude the curves to surfaces
  • offset the surfaces to a solid (haven’t figured out why polylines won’t do “both sides” but a spline will)
  • boolean the solids

Method 2 works reasonably well although I’ll have to be careful about selecting closed curves vs polylines vs splines. I was hoping for something that would basically take what is black (the ink) and extrude it upwards to some height. This would work better than either method because it would allow for filled areas.



Hi Steve - try the Offset command on your initial curves, BothSides option, and then use CurveBoolean to clean up all the overlaps…


Better in the sense that I now have nicely closed thick walls however,

  • offset doesn’t allow preselection of curves
  • “both sides” is by default off
  • “delete inputs” isn’t available
  • boolean curves means I have to pick every enclosed area
  • I have to select every curve one at a time
  • click to turn on “both sides”
  • manually delete all the open curves left in the middle of the result
  • select all of the enclosed regions for the boolean operation (for 2 straight lines that’s 5 extra clicks, see below)

This is many more mouse operations for an “artsy” like pen/ink drawing that might have a hundred or more lines/black areas.

Hi Steve - to get the outline from CurveBooloean, click outside of all the curves, off to one side. Click any islands you want to remove from that after getting the outline.

@SteveP Here’s a ‘repeater’ macro that should help speed things up:

*Offset Pause Bothsides Cap=Round Distance 1