I recently ran into a problem with a new client and their documentation practice for engraved metal panels. In the past using 2D AutoCAD, they would use a single stroke font (romans.shx) for all of their letter engraving and a single stroke element for all of their lines and curves. This would be usable without altering (after the text was exploded) by the CNC operators (MasterCAM) to create the tool paths needed for the engraving operation (a V-pointed tool is used). Now working in Inventor (2011), one does not have that luxury since the emboss tool requires a closed profile or true type fonts (that have width). When the views are created in the idw, the engraving has an outline, not a single stroke entity.
My question is how do others typically handle engraved panels in Inventor. Do you use emboss to model with and create the toolpaths another way (if so, how?)? Do you create a different document using single stroke characters and lines totally separate from the Inventor or somehow within the Inventor files? Is there an alternate technique to creating the toolpaths (we use MasterCAM) from the native Inventor model or drawing.
Any suggestions on this subject would be helpful. Please specify if the technique you describe is one you are currently using or is it merely a possible solution (but yet untried).