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Author Topic: MAch3 Add-on 'WRITE'  (Read 5110 times)

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Offline Keith

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MAch3 Add-on 'WRITE'
« on: June 20, 2016, 09:56:26 PM »
Does anyone know how to 1) center the text's words length-wise in WRITE (since only the letter's height is given)
2) tool assignment is 0,1,2,3...etc. How does one assign a tools diameter to these numbers?-Keith
Re: MAch3 Add-on 'WRITE'
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2016, 07:23:24 AM »
Write is not part of the newfangled wizard set. It was user contributed and unsupported.

I never did figure out how to use it, maybe someone else has an idea. I would look for one of the simple CAD programs to do any serious text work
Re: MAch3 Add-on 'WRITE'
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2016, 03:07:02 PM »
I have been making some plastic labels using the sheet material that is a layer of black, with white plastic base. Using a 60 deg. engraving bit, when going about .025 deep, the letters show up clearly in white, against a black background. The material comes in 1/16" and 1/8" in various colors as well as black.

Using "WRITE", all words have a X/Y start position box in the upper left corner. If the X and Y position are both 0.000, the word will be written with the lower left corner at X 0.000, Y 0.000 home position.

In my labels, the dimensions are 1.500" long, x .500" high, with two screw holes at each end. Cutting the outside of the label leaves a nice white border.

Print the desired word in the program. Select the font; in my case I used the Helvetica as it is plain and readable, and input the "Height" setting as .160.

Output the word to Mach3. Then enlarge the view of the word until it nearly fills the window. Your X/Y home line is on the screen view
tangent to the word on the left,lower corner. Jog your X axis until it is just tangent to the last letter right side. Write down this X dimension, as that is the physical length of the word.

In my case, my label plate is 1.500" long. Subtract from 1.5 the word length dimension, and divide the result by 2. This will give you the starting "X" position, leaving equal amount of space on the right and left side of the word.

In my labels, there were usually two lines. The upper line start "Y" dimension worked out at .290", and the lower line start "Y" at .050"
This had to be derived by trial and error, but once you arrive at what looks good, this can be a constant.

Each particular word has a specific length, and it is not just a fixed horizontal length for all letters or numbers. You must do each word separately.

Since I made many different label plates, each finished label program contained a heading like this:
(x st - .471)
(y st - .050)
(Helv- .160)

This helped ID the program. Remember to "Save as" when your program is finished, with the label name, as the original program is saved by "Write" as write.txt.

Some words, or multiple words don't look just right depending on the first and last letters. You can just edit the starting X position until it is visually pleasing.

Hope this helps.


Re: MAch3 Add-on 'WRITE'
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2016, 03:48:54 PM »
Further comments on the original question:

Write produces letters and numbers on the centerline of the generated text. It does not use cutter comp. If you are not using an engraving tool bit, and use an end mill, you will have to try different separation settings and or different fonts to make the letters readable. The letter width is proportional to the height, so the height must be input in the program.

Zero your tool to the surface of the work, input your depth of cut.

Using a 60 degree engraving bit, varying the depth changes the letter line width, and my label making was as good as the professional lettering seen in the samples at the printing company where I purchased the plastic sheet. My final depth of cut was .035 inch.

To hold down the label material, I used double sided sticky tape. I cut blanks approximately 4 x 6 inches, and stuck them down on a piece of 1/4" plastic sheet that was large enough to use hold down clamps clear of the spindle. Visually aligning the work square to the table is good enough as you just set your home position inside the sheet edge enough to get 100% clean-up on the label plate border.

I cut the border depth to .061" and the labels snapped apart easily after removing them from the 1/4" base. Some clean-up with fine sandpaper on the label plate edges and cleaning the milling dust from the letters with a toothbrush is necessary.

When sticking the 1/16" sheet with double sided tape, just have the tape on the edges where the borders are. It is not necessary to cover the bottom of the sheet material 100%. Tape holds very well, and is also hard to clean off if you use too much.

Write was written for Mach3, and is a very impressive piece of work.