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Color and hatching in DXF exports

Discussion in 'Using Alibre Design' started by IonSteve, Feb 23, 2021 at 1:15 AM.

  1. IonSteve

    IonSteve Member

    Good evening/morning, folks;

    I'm trying a new online engraving service (for control panel labels) and their preferred upload is a DXF. Which is nice, I'm used to exporting DXF's to my laser cutter and router folks, so . . . familiar territory. The engravers use color to distinguish between a cut line (outer bound of the label) and the engraved text. So for example you would upload a file with a black cut line and red text inside it. To fully engrave within the outline of the text, you fill in the stroke of the text with the same color, i.e. red. Groovy.

    My first challenge was to figure out how to fill in text with a color. I found that the hatching function has a color fill option. Excellent. But whoa Nelly, some weird stuff happens when you do that (see photo). Possibly related--when one selects text and then reassigns its color, my poor Alibre thinks I've asked it calculate pi out to 30 million places. It takes a very oddly long time.

    I tried to use an intermediate software to change the text color and fill (Inkscape) but it created artifacts that made the output unusable. I really would like to use Alibre to do this, as I can draw the labels on the original lasered out control panel model and know that everything fits and lines up.

    Thanks for any thoughts folks might have, and have a great day.
    All the very best--
    Example with hatch fill.jpg Example with color.jpg Example.jpg

    Attached Files:

  2. Markaj

    Markaj Member

    Again, this would be better done as a final edit to the dxf files in 2d cad before you pass them on.
    FWIW the laser engraving software I’ve come across doesn’t need the solid fill, just an outline.
  3. HaroldL

    HaroldL Alibre Super User

    I ran some tests and can confirm that Color Fill does have some unwelcome results. I got the same as you when adding Hatch Color Fill to text and even some concentric circles filled completely even though I had selected two circles to fill in between them.

    Send your files on a Support ticket to Alibre to see what they have to say about it.
  4. domcm

    domcm Senior Member


    How are you creating the text and hatch in Alibre? I was able to export a DXF file successfully with a solid fill using the following workflow:

    Alibre v22, Build 22061

    1) Create text in part mode
    2) Create drawing view
    3) Select text outline in drawing view and fill with solid red hatch
    4) Export to AutoCAD 2018 DXF file


  5. domcm

    domcm Senior Member


    I did discover that if you explode the text when creating the text in part mode, the solid hatch will not work in drawing mode.

  6. HaroldL

    HaroldL Alibre Super User

    Oh yeah, works great -- NOT!

    Results following your steps 1-3.


  7. NateLiqGrav

    NateLiqGrav Alibre Super User

    For me it looks like a display issue in Alibre Design. Tested exports for DWG 2013 and DXF 2013 since I have AutoCAD 2013. I couldn't open the OP's DXFs in AutoCAD 2013 to compare. Perhaps certain DXF versions are ok and others are not?
    TEXT FILL.png
  8. HaroldL

    HaroldL Alibre Super User

    As I understand the issue it has nothing to do with the DXF. It's the way Alibre does or does not apply a solid color hatch fill. The image I posted was from the Alibre 2D drawing that I created following the steps listed by @domcm . I can change the hatch from solid color to any pattern and it is contained within the object lines of the text. For some reason solid color seems to spill out of the object lines. I wouldn't even try to export that as a DXF if the solid colors were non contained.
    NateLiqGrav likes this.
  9. domcm

    domcm Senior Member


    Yeah, playing with it some more, I was able to get it to display incorrectly. It seems to works in some cases and not others. I submitted a ticket with Alibre.


    I see the same thing you do. Seems to be an Alibre display issue because the DXF file looks good even though it displays incorrectly in drawing mode. That said, prints and PDF files are messed-up.
    NateLiqGrav likes this.

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