Base ExampleCommandModel.png Tutorial

Topic
Import text and geometry from Inkscape
Level
Beginner
Time to complete
30 minutes
Author
r-frank
FreeCAD version
0.16.6704
Example File(s)


Introduction

This tutorial is supposed to show how to import text or geometry created with inkscape via svg-format into FreeCAD.
Inkscape 0.91 and FreeCAD 0.16.6704 on Windows are used for these operations.

General tips for importing from inkscape

  • the svg-import in FreeCAD cannot handle a svg file with a resolution of more than 45 dpi, so check the settings in inkscape
  • when importing path objects which show up in the 3D view in FreeCAD not very smooth it may be a matter of the FreeCAD-settings for the shape view.
    • in FreeCAD choose Edit Preferences Part Design Shape View
    • as for "Tesselation", the "Maximum deviation depending on the model bounding box" the default value is "0,5 %"
    • setting this to a lower value will increase smoothness of the model in the 3D view (and use more PC performance)
    • don't use values lower than "0,01 %", this will most likely crash FreeCAD
    • in that case deleting "system.cfg" and "user.cfg" in your FreeCAD-user-directory will solve this problem

Importing text from inkscape

  • after inserting text in inkscape (and perhaps applying effects like bending or something else to it) make sure to
    • select your text and choose Path Object to path
    • ungroup your objects
    • save as "Plain SVG (*.svg)" file format
  • open the file in FreeCAD, choosing the option "SVG as geometry (importSVG)"
  • a path object for each letter/number/sign will be created in the tree view
  • use draft upgrade on each path object to create faces
  • use pad or extrude on the faces to get solids
  • you can fuse your objects or use compound on them depending on your intended further work

Importing geometry from inkscape

Since inkscape and FreeCAD seem to have different approaches on how to apply dimensions on svg-object, the recommended workflow seems to be:

  • ungroup all objects in inkscape
  • select all objects in inkscape
  • apply a stroke style with a width of 0 mm (yes, that is zero millimeter) to all objects
  • save as "Inkscape SVG (*.svg)" or "Plain SVG (*.svg)" file format
  • open the file in FreeCAD, choosing the option "SVG as geometry (importSVG)"
  • the dimensions of the objects in inkscape and in FreeCAD should now be identical

Credits

Thanks to users "freecad-heini-1" and "herbk" for testing and providing valuable feedback.

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