Add text to a curved surface

I want to add curved text on a flat surface. for a makers plate . Can that be done in SU?

Short answer is: yes. How easy or difficult it is going to be will depend on your desired outcome and the version of SketchUp you are using. Can you: complete your profile to include the version of SketchUp you are using (pro, make, shop, free, what year?) and attach the raw file of your plate here in your reply along with the text. If you don’t have a file yet, at least some pictures of what you have in mind. Are you planning on 3D printing this?

Maybe something like this?

I used 3D Text, Shape Bender, and the Difference Tool from BoolTools2. Could use the native Trim.

Thanks for the prompt reply. I’m using SU pro 2020. Don’t use it all that often so not a proficient user. The tags would be made using a Laser that a friend of mine has. The tag would be timber veneer, approx 0.6mm thick.

DaveR in the following post has shown a version of what I’m thinking about.

Hi Dave,

Again you have hit the nail on the head with your reply, but I need more help in how to go about what you have proposed. Thank in anticipation.

First, because of the likelihood of creating tiny geometry, I am working with Units set to Meters and treating them as inches. It can always be scaled down later if needed.

I created the 3D text component and drew a line along the bottom edge . Note that line is very slightly below the top faces of the glyphs in the text component. More about that in a moment.

I drew an arc the same length as the straight line using Arc Circles + which is available in the Extension Warehouse. There’s an option for drawing arcs with the center, one end point and the length which makes that easy. The arc is the guide for Shape Bender. I also made a “medallion” component which is solid.

Shape Bender (from the EWH) requires a specific setup with the component being bent and the straight line parallel to the red axis so make sure you get that right. The bent component will be created with the same relationship to the curve as the straight component has to the straight line.

Also it’s important in this case to make the arc the same length as the straight line or the bent component will be stretched or compressed. With some things you can leverage that but with text you probably don’t want to distort it anymore than you have to.

The steps for Shape Bender are, select the component, start the tool, the cursor prompts you to select the straight line and then the curve. You’ll get a preview of the text. Hit Enter to finish it. If the text is reversed (because either the straight line or the arc were drawn in the opposite direction, hit either the Up or Down cursor keys to change it before hitting Enter.

After running Shape Bender to get the bent text component, I used Difference from BoolTools2 to cut the letters out of the disk. You could use Subtract from Eneroth Solid Tools or from the native Solid Tools although I don’t use the native ones because they don’t respect the components in the model.

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Thanks Dave,

I will need a bit of time to digest all that information, I will be out most of the day, so tomorrow I will get to it . as always you have come up with the answer.

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Happy I guessed correctly what you are after. FWIW, the title of your thread is a bit misleading. You actually want curved text on a flat surface. Wouldn’t hurt to edit the title in case someone else comes along with the same question. And maybe mark my post as the solution so others can figure it out, too.

Good luck.

Oh, and by the way. I sort of engraved the text into the disk. If you wanted the text to be raised, instead, you would set the straight line down toward the bottom of the text component and use Union instead of Difference or Subtract.

These videos might provide some solutions to the original question (curved surfaces). And Dave was right about the title, a little misleading, which might prevent a valid search for future questions about “curved text”.

I’m having a problem, first I high light the line at the name, then open Shape Bender, once shape Bender is activated the line goes black and nothing happens.Can you explain?

TGC.Makers Tag.skp (489.8 KB)

Go back and read what I wrote last night and watch my GIF video. You’re getting things out of order but before that, you also need to correct your set up. You’ve made components of the line and the arc. They need to be loose geometry.

The straight line needs to be one continuous line. Yours is made of two segments.

After replacing your “line” with a new one, select the text component.activate Shape Bender, click on the line, then the arc and hit Enter.

You’ll note that the text in yours gets stretched quite dramatically. That’s because the arc is a bit over 1291 mm long while the straight line is 818.5 mm long. The arc is about 36% longer than the line. Last night I wrote:

Hi Dave,
Thanks again for your help, I got it to work now, just have to keep practising.
I have attached a photo of my latest wood turning not quite finished yet

and this is what the maker’s plate is for .


Wow! That’s very nice.

I hope you’ll put the maker’s plate on the bottom. :wink:

Yes, the plate fits into a recess in the bottom. A few months back I asked for help with drawing the layout of the piece in SU and the help was forth coming as usual. I originally set it up by drawing the piece in full size using 1/2 inch scale on paper. Since taking up woodturning there is just so much to learn, as with most things. Again many thanks.


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