Annotations-Lettering/Text-Labels- within Shapr3D

This may be of interest to Users who need the ability to use Annotations in their Shapr3D Designs.
First and foremost it is an Alternative Solution to Importing DXF Closed Shapes.

This is a brief resume on this subject, my reasons for getting involved and the continuing driving force. In mid 2019 I signed up to Shapr3D and my interest in having the ability to Annotate fired up, before discovering:

I had produced my version, duplication to some extent but DIY did have some positive outcomes. Commencing by Sketching Alphabets before expanding into Numerals and Symbols:

DIY Lettering certainly sharpened my Sketching skills, a complete Alphabet could be completed in 8 to 10 minutes, largely due to the fact that construction of one character can be easily converted to another. In some cases several characters share very similar construction. Lowercase is not as easy to create. The biggest problem being alignment during composition.

I do not know who to credit for the introduction to Importing, from DXF capable Software, Closed Shapes via typed input. I was lucky enough to have compatible Software and never looked back to Sketched Lettering. Although are no alignment problems with DXF, it still has an elaborate cumbersome process involving two Devices. This situation maintained firing my drive toward a better solution.

For a long time Shapr3D has had the capability to Import Images, also offering the option of using Images on Transparent Backgrounds. This had the potential to resolve many problems.

The missing factor was appropriate Software, having the following criteria:
a. Annotation from Creation-Export-Filing-Import to final destination, all on the iPad.
b. Capable of producing good quality output
c. Full integration with iPadOS
d. Reasonably short learning curve
e. Capable of handling a variety of Annotations, i.e.,:
A Single Character, Numeral, Symbol, Special Character, Image or any compatible 2D Creation. Alternatively it could be a mixture containing any reasonable quantity of the mentioned options.

NB. The suggested Software is only compatible with Apple Devices.

The choice of Vectornator [V] is due to it being available, free of all charges, from the iOS/iPadOS Store and also because it is eminently capable of performing the needed tasks.

To investigate this process firstly Get [ Apple terminology ] the Software from the iOS/iPasOS App Store. After installation this may assist:

Brief Workflow Outline:

  1. Open a New Document
  2. Check Setting [White Background] the Switch should be set to Off
  3. Adjust the Canvass size as required. Alter Dimensions [Settings > Dimensions]
  4. Create an Annotation
  5. Export it as PNG format, PNG being required to handle Transparency
  6. Save it to the iPad choosing an appropriate location
  7. Directly Import the Annotation into a .shapr File
  8. The Imported File may need adjustment to overall dimensions, see information below
  9. Annotation Images, can be manipulated [within limitations] similar to many other Items

This is not the place to discuss how to use 3rd Party Software but in the interests of assisting prompt results, and free up more time for using your favourite Software, the following may be useful?

V Tools used to create Annotations for Shapr3

** NB** . Keeping the Canvass as small as possible reduces the chances of Selection blocking.
Transparent Background behaves similarly to anything obscured by a Closed Shape, attempting to Tap ‘through’ the light Blue fill results in Selecting the Closed Shape.

Reference: Workflow Outline 8:
Imported Image Size inversely varies dependent upon the size of the destination Image.
Correct one of the Dimension Labels to adjust the overall size of the Annotation Image.
Also see Video Clip below. This is the Annotation showing the Dimensions of the Canvass:

Original Import sizes above: First Image 6,000 x 600mm, Second Image 1,036 x 104mm

The Software is available from one of top sources and should present nil Security Risks.
Avoids the need to deploy other Devices to complete an Annotation task.
Functions in conjunction with the iPadOS **** working inside ** iCloud** .
No need to access iCloud com [Period deliberately omitted] to upload from iCloud Drive.
Annotation can be rapidly Imported into a .shapr File
Minimal learning curve.
Basic process is exceedingly simple.
Results promptly delivered.
Ease+Simplicity+Speed encourages corrections to minor errors.
Annotations Imported to Shapr3D can be manipulated in a similar manner to other Items.

Text and Images created by this process do not function with Shapr3D’sTools > Project.
Care will be needed to ensure that the Output is to the standard of Shapr3D, careful choice of Annotation Dimensions will reduce the amount of Scaling needed, this will avoid ‘soft’ or blurred edges spoiling the output.
It is not possible to Edit these Annotations within Shapr3D .

The following Video Clips illustrate the ease of using this method and gives an indication of how Annotations can be organised.


Adding an Annotation:

Creating a new Annotation using V:

Adjusting Size of Annotation Import:

1 Like

Wow! Thanks for sharing…



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Thanks for your input Tommy.
The Example was intended to catch eyes, and more importantly illustrate the ability to introduce colour [appreciating you will think: color :sunglasses:]. For the sake of the wider community I should point out that the colours required working with 3 Layers, because only 1 Fill Colour can be used on any Layer. All the other Annotations are, time saving, Black and Transparent.
Although still seeking alternatives I am very happy with the present set up because it is going to be hard to beat, especially when considering it’s overall capabilities.

For a real life test and to enable a comparison between old and new methods I decided to update the original File for this Tachometer, the earlier version is shown in:

In the new version the Dial Face and Hour Meter have been replaced. Two Items Image 01 and Image 02 have replaced 120 Items in the original version. In Items [on left] those replaced have been Hidden, but it can be seen from the recorded numbers that they, collectively, contain the original items:

The Images were produced using appropriate Software, to create and remove and trim the Background.
This is not the quick and easy route explained in my first Post, however it is easier and quicker to create complex colour combinations using familiar software. Clearly it is capable of producing satisfactory output, being satisfied is another story.
Refurbishment could have continued but enough of the old version had to be left for comparison.


If I’m not mistaken SVG import is just around the corner? (immediate? Was written in another thread recently)

Will it be possible to extrude or project?

Sorry but I am unable to answer. As an ordinary S3D Member I am not party to any prerelease information.