Engraving letters into a solids surface

I am new at this and want to start by engraving letters into a solid, basically making a sign. Not much luck so far.

Start by following through some progressive tutorials. The User’s Guide on the Learn page is good. It covers what you’re describing.

Beware fonts… I’m not sure if most tutorials will tell you about the glitches found with using fonts for machining etc? Many fonts are created for screen and therefore have tiny lines in the crux of Vs and Ws etc.

Curves often have to be rebuilt in order to achieve a decent unbroken line.

There’re many approaches from tool tip type to single line fonts and fully engraved debossed areas that are defined by the width of the cutter etc.

I’m assuming you already know about sign making etc? If not, you might want to talk to one that works with a CNC, they often have files with a legend that you can use as a guide. If you are a sign maker then you’ll probably pick it up quite quickly.

The main point of this ramble is to ensure you check your fonts once you’ve written something in Rhino or imported from another program.


Good luck!



@Dean_Johnson this is good advice. I wasted a lot of time using system fonts when I started with Rhino.

For machine engraving I either now use engraver fonts or draw my own single line text in Rhino. I then export out of Rhino in dxf format to my engravers layout software.

If I am 3d printing text I always create the text in T-Splines. This allows me to avoid the sharp edges you initially get with Nurbs that cannot always easily be filleted.

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