Modeling V-Groove Text

Hey everyone. I’m a long time Rhino user, but first time poster. I have a text modeling question.

I’m making a mold using Rhino/RhinoCAM and cutting the letters out of styrofoam. Normally this is no problem, I just use the solid text object command, mirror the lettering, and create my toolpaths. However, this particular mold calls for V-groove lettering. That means instead of a flat bottom, the text needs to come to a point at its max height. Similar to v-carving, but I need to make the positive, since this is going into a mold.

So my question - Is there an easy way to model v-groove text in Rhino or am I going to have to go into each letter individually and create the v-carve look manually? I’ve started doing this as you can see from the attachment, but I wanted to see if there was another way before I invested too much time. Any tips on how to do this would be appreciated. Thanks.

Hi SkyDog- as far as I know you’ll need to model them the long way. It might be possible to just find the path for the tool if the V is a consistent shape cut by a single cutter with the right shape.


I hope this helps you a little bit:

That was an interesting approach. :smiley:
Just looking at the picture gave me the creeps, though, and I had to try it. I would have thought that Rhino flagged this as bad right away but it doesn’t. The isocurves are nowhere near the edges, though, and a quick try with a FilletEdge on the top rim seems to flip it upside-down on one end. I would be really careful using this for an expensive downstream application like making toolpaths…

You could do about that with curves rather than edges, or organize the surfaces so that all edges can move up a little.

VGroove.3dm (117.7 KB)


thank you Wim and Pascal I see that now.

Thanks everyone. Just for clarification, what was wrong with violine’s method? Pascal’s results look about the same except the top parts of the U are angled in (which can be accomplished with a little trimming after step 5 on violines’ method).

Hi Skydog- the Violine method does not work nearly as badly as I expected in my test, but it still makes a surface that has poor edge tolerance, and not a good control point structure for making any fixes - Explode the result in my attached file and turn on control points for one of the main U-shapes.

VGroove_2.3dm (112.7 KB)


Ah, I see. Control points everywhere. Thanks for all the help.

Have to do this at work on a somewhat regular basis - my solution is pretty primitive, but gets the job done. Start with clean linework letter edges (i know, obviously… ), then join them “strategically”… This will take some trial and error on your part, but after you do a few, you’ll start to see what conditions work best when joined, and what doesn’t. Then extrude curve tapered each set of joined curves at 45 degree angle (or whatever angle you choose). You may need to change the direction if you’re doing engraved vs embossed. I find it’s best if you extrude all curves the same distance. Then if you are doing embossed, you will need to trim them up - if you’re doing engraved, you can leave them untrimmed, as whatever adjacent surface you have will block the tool path generator anyway. Note: this method works for what we would consider “traditional” V cut letters, where all faces are the same angle, relative to the main surface (usually 45 degrees for us). This WILL mean that the ridges will be at different heights, and the engraved faces will intersect one another at different heights based on the width of the letter at any given point. (hopefully image below helps clarify this)

That’s thinking out of the box, heterarch. A pretty clever way to do it. However, I needed more control over the ridges (architects are really particular about their fonts, lol), so I did is with a few sweeps/lofts. Similar to what Pascal posted earlier. The project turned out pretty good, btw. Thanks again for everyone’s help.