Cutting out letters

I’ve had my MPCNC up and running for a couple of months and I learn something new every time I make a cut, but I’m having trouble with cutting out letters.

My workflow has been to create a model in Fusion, then open it in ESTLCAM to create the gcode. So I created some simple letters my wife wanted cut out for Christmas a decoration… JOY. Sounded very simple, so I went into Fusion, created a block to project the letters on, saved my creation and then downloaded a DXF file.

[attachment file=“Capture 2.JPG”]

When I opened it in ESTLCAM, I only saw to rectangles… one that seemed to represent the block I made and one that seemed to represent the text I projected on the block.

[attachment file=“Capture 1.JPG”]

I continued to play with the model, saving it, downloading it in DXF format with no improvement in my previous results. So I attempted to just add the text in ESTLCAM. It needed a drawing to start with so I used the rectangles, resized them, etc… added the text and then realized that I had to select pocket outside, which will take down the entire board, just to cut out my letters. Doable, but a good deal of extra cutting and dust to just cut out three letters.

Not sure what I’m doing wrong… if any one can help and/or offer a better way, I’m all ears…


Instead of extruding the letters try to cut them out, then save the DXF. Not really sure why the way you did it didn’t work though. Maybe turn off the layer separation thing, or try a different version of the DXF instead of Autocad. Sorry but I have not made a DXF with Fusion yet.

Odd how you need an open project to add text using the text tool in ESTLCam. I plopped this into a file I had for the V1 logo carve (that’s why all the V1 logos are in there). The word JOY was made with the text tool. Selecting one letter after the fact takes me back to the text editor thing but click and dragging around all of the letters allowed me to set the tool parameters (depth of cut, holding tabs etc). I used the “Automatic Function” to add the holding tabs.

I personally prefer to use inkscape for letters and signs. Much easier to use for this than fusion (my personal opinion). You do need to convert the lettering in inkscape to paths (object to path under the the path group). Save as a dxf, drop into estlcam, then pick each letter individually to set appropriate tool paths (outside on everything EXCEPT the center of the O, then inside of course). No need for a bounding box around the letters. Set your target depth at the end and don’t forget to add tabs.

Of course this is just the way I like to do my sign and lettering work flow and am sure there are much quicker ways to do this by people much more experienced than I am.

And this work flow does go against my fathers attitude on any type of mechanical or wood work “Don’t do it right, do it fast” (he is not mechanically inclined and the tools I keep at his house are locked up at my stepmom’s request) and his thinking concerning computers and tablets “If it isn’t doing what you think it should be doing just press the keys or screen harder” (yes, I buy keyboards by the dozen off of ebay for him, they may make it a month, sometimes). Oh, did I mention he is 86 and in better health than I am.


Look into F-Engrave from Scorchworks.

You can design in there and export as dfx or svg or gcode.

Open the dfx or svg in Estlcam and setup the cuts there.

Ihave not built my Mpcnc yet. It’s under the Christmas tree.

But I have been doing a lot of research in the meantime and I will be testing this approach at length in the near future.

Hope this helps.

I will also test this process.

1 Like

Thanks Ryan,

Granted I’m still a beginner here, but my normal workflow seems to work… but the text is somehow different. I’m learning everyday and loving it.

Also - my post is weird when I view it… I uploaded my pics and placed them in the text, but the pics in the text are not mine, but the pics at the bottom of my post are… is this a known problem or something I did?

Thanks again!

Kelly - was there a picture you wanted to include? I can’t see anything.

Thanks for your reply…

Dakota Jim,

Ahhh, you make me laugh! That’s funny, but good for him, 86 using a computer, albeit forcefully, and in great health. Enjoy him for what he is, every day.

In my research, I read a good deal about Inkscape, but haven’t cracked it open yet as the learning curve for Fusion is high and I’ve been focusing on it, but, I will dig into it for this project. I appreciate the explicit instructions… that will help.


That’s pretty cool. I love inlay… I’m putting that on my list to review… but must focus on existing projects, must focus… Santa’s workshop is pretty busy right now.

Thanks again!

Worked perfectly - Inkscape to ESTLCAM! Thanks… now to cut them out

[attachment file=79110]


I actually had uploaded a zipped (RAR) ESTLCam project file but it didn’t post. Maybe the forum can’t acxcept RAR files?

DXF and text, it’s all to do with Vector and Raster files.
Does Fusion have PDF export option.

Found it.

In Fusion 360, right click on text “explode”

[attachment file=79152]

then right click as above “save DXF”

Sorry about PDF comment, thought Estlcam could open PDF’s



Does F-Engrave support Marlin?