CamBam - Tutorial : Text Engraving

This tutorial describes inserting text into CamBam and genertating an engraving operation from it.

Inserting Text

To insert text into a drawing, use the Insert->Text menu option, then change the text properties in the object browser.

Multiple lines of text can be entered by clicking the elipses [...] button to the right of the Text property.

The text properties are:

Location (P1)This is the first and at the moment, only alignment point.   The TextAlignmentH and TextAlignmentV options are all relative to this point.
Location2 (P2)This point is not currently used.  The intention is to use it to define alignment options that evenly spread the text between two points, or perhaps as an alernative to the Rotate option.
CharSpaceThis option scales the width used for each character.  The default is 1.  A setting of 2 would double the space used for each character (but not the character itself).
LineSpaceThis scales the distance between each text line.  The default is 1.
FontThis is the font name to use for the text.  For a bit of fun, try clicking on this option, select a font, then use the up and down arrow to try different options.
HeightThis is the text height in drawing units.  I have had some issues with this and at the moment, I have used height as relative to the height of a font capital (ascent??).  I'm not convinced this is correct yet, but it is on the list of things to 'look at'.
RotateAngle in degrees to rotate the text about the alignment point (Location).
TextThe text to enter.  To enter multi line text, click the [...] button after this property.
TextAlignmentHLeft, Center or Right (relative to Location).
TextAlignmentVTop, Center or Bottom (relative to Location).
NOTE: Bottom is actually the baseline of the text.   As per DXF I may add other options to differentiate absolute bottom and baseline.
BoldBold Font Style.
ItalicItalic Font Style.
RegularRegular Font Style.
StrikeOutStrikeOut Font Style.  Not currently supported.
UnderlineUnderline Font Style.  Not currently supported.

Creating Engraving GCode

To create some engraving gcode, select the text then select the CAM->Engrave menu option.

For shallow engraving (0.3mm), try these properties:
ClearanceZ=1.5, TargetDepth=-0.3

...And "blow my bike up!", as Grandad would even works !!!

Not exactly high art, but the letters are quite small (3-6mm) and plywood isn't the best precision engraving material but at least CamBam and my machine are playing together nicely!

To create thin engraving, ideally a 'stick' font should be used, that is a font with no thickness.   One that I am aware of is Camworks.ttf; this looks nice on screen, but the resulting toolpaths are pretty awful (using my awful non-optimised gcode generation code at any rate).  Any recomendations for nice stick fonts, preferably in the public domain, would be extremely welcome.

NOTE: I tend to use Metric and CamBam was designed with Metric in mind, but it does support imperial units.  For information on changing the drawing units, see the getting started section.