A single stroke font allows you to score some text onto your pieces, rather than engrave them. Scores look very sharp, and take a lot less time. I finally found a good free single stroke font, and figured I’d share it and my workflow in Illustrator.
The font is here: https://github.com/scruss/AVHershey-OTF. You can easily download a zip file with all the font files by clicking the green “Clone or Download” and then “Download ZIP”. Once you’ve got it, open the .zip file, and install the fonts on your system. I installed the .otf fonts on my Windows machine. (This font has all of the English characters and punctuation I needed, but might leave something to be desired for other languages.)
Then in Illustrator, I typed out my block of text and set it to use the “AVHershey Duplex” font at “Meduim Weight”. Then, using the Selection Tool, I right click a block of text and choose “Create Outlines”. For some reason, sometimes every line of text is a different object, so you might have to outline a bunch of lines individually. Once it’s all outlined, I group all the text together (select it all and right-click and choose “Group”). Then I give the group an empty fill, and a 1px stroke. I save all of this in entire artwork .SVG and then upload it for laser cutting.
In the GFUI, set those elements to Score. You may want to turn down the laser power by 5 or 10% when scoring text. Otherwise things can get a little scorchy because the text strokes are so close to each other.
Middle Update: I re-tested this workflow, and clarified exactly which font face I was used. When I watched the laser work in the GF, it was scoring the outlines of the letters, and not doing a score of the letters like I thought. I could have SWORN it scored the letters themselves when I watched yesterday, but today it sure isn’t. Sorry to mislead you folks; I’ll update again if I get it figured out.