Let's Make a B (for anyone)

Ages ago, there was an elegant little pamphlet entitled “Let’s Make a B for Bennet” which Warren Chappell wrote and illustrated.

Here’s a discussion of how to use Carbide Create’s new curve feature to draw a B.

We start with an image of a “B”: https://www.flickr.com/photos/letterformarchive/38372487832/in/album-72157687338823192/

That is a wonderful book by the way, which I highly recommend.

First, we trim out just the letter which we need:

and import it into Carbide Create:

and set the size appropriately:

Select the curve tool:

and begin drawing roughly around the perimeter counter-clockwise (this is best-practice to match the path winding which PostScript established — fills go to the left of the path — we’ll reverse when we draw the counters)

(note it will be easiest to put the begin/end points on grid point so that snapping will close the path — if you don’t, just close the path after you click “Done”)

Turn off “Snap to grid” and go into edit mode and drag all on-curve nodes to where one wishes them to be — the rules for on-curve node placement are that they should be on extrema and points of inflection:

Switch to “Curve Edit Mode”:

and begin dragging off-curve nodes into place — these should be horizontal or vertical where possible.

Revert to “Node Edit Mode” and right-click on the node at the middle right of the B to make it not-smooth.

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Repeat that for any nodes which need uneven length off-curve nodes.

(Note that we will be drawing a sans-serif version of this letter.)

For the smoothest curves, follow the rule of 30 — an off-curve node should be roughly 30 percent of the distance to the next on-curve node from the nearest on-curve node.

Drag and adjust nodes until one arrives at:

Then draw the counters:

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Note that the new build 423 and later modify this so that one holds down the ALT key when dragging off-curve nodes to make them asymmetric.

If anyone has any questions about drawing in Carbide Create using Bézier curves feel free to post them here or send them in to support@carbide3d.com and we’ll do our best to help.