"... and no one shall work for money, and no one shall work for fame; But each for the joy of the working, and each, in his separate star, shall draw the thing as he sees it, for the god of things as they are"



The CAMBam Stick Fonts Alternate Download Page

The Backstory

Ok, so here is the problem. You are using a CNC machine and you want to set up a job which engraves text. "Great" you say, "I have many nice fonts on my Windows PC, I will just use one of those". Turns out there is a problem - the standard fonts are all created using closed loops - effectively using two lines to outline each stroke of the character. This works well on the screen but often, when engraving text, the result is very unsatisfactory. What you really want is a font that just draws with a single line rather than running the bit over both of the double lines. In other words you don't want the characters of the font to have any more thickness than the width of the line you are engraving. This is particularly true if you are using a small point size - a double line font just looks messy when engraved. Have a look at the images below. Both use the same font size however, the first is a sample engraving using a single line font called 1CAMBamStick9 and the second uses the default Microsoft Sans Serif typeface.



For engraving purposes the single line font looks much better. The small size of the text simply doesn't work well with the double line font.

Below are clearer (and slightly enlarged) representations of the path the bit will take over the the "Sample Text" as each example is engraved. Since, when engraving, the lines have a width it is easy to see why the single stroke font is much clearer and crisper for small font sizes.


The problem is that there are no, (as in none), single line fonts installed by default on Windows systems. Windows uses TrueType fonts and TTF fonts require every character to be composed of one or more closed loops so that the color of the character can easily be filled in by the rendering software. Even a theoretically single line character such as an "l" is actually a hollow box if you enlarge it enough.

So how does a single line (technically single stroke) font get around the TTF requirement that all loops must be closed? Well, the specification says that all loops must be closed but it actually does not prohibit the closing line running right back down the same path as the initial one. So the "l" character in a single stroke TTF font is essentially created as two lines drawn on top of one another. This is usually considered advantageous as your engraving bit will run up the "l" character and then right back down ending up where it began. Thus each engraving stroke gets two passes. One can argue that if you don't want your lines engraved twice then it really isn't an advantage.

You can download single stroke TTF fonts. Just do a search for "single stroke font", "single line font" or "engraving font". Some are free and some are not. The http://www.imajeenyus.com/computer/20150110_single_line_fonts/index.shtml page has a nice list of the free ones. You should be aware that fonts can be of varying quality (even the non-free ones) and you might find that not all of the characters (Ü for example) that you might wish to have are implemented. Font design and creation is very much an art and nobody implements every possible character in every font.

So you hit the Internet and do a bit of searching. Turns out some of the best and most highly recommended free single stroke fonts for engraving are the set of nine CAMBam Stick Fonts created by George Race. The homepage for these fonts can be found at https://www.mrrace.com/CAMBam_Fonts/.

The Problem

If the CAMBam Stick Fonts are so great why not just download them from the home page and have done with it? Well, the page is present, but the download link just takes you to a 404 not found. The contact page presents a similar error. It appears that the website is now effectively defunct and there is no way to download the CAMBam Stick fonts using it or to advise the author of the problem. Furthermore, it also does not seem that there is any other download source for these fonts readily available on the Internet.

The Solution

Turns out that if you dig long enough and hard enough you might come across a few obscure forum posts dating back to 2011 in which George Race attached the fonts as a .zip file for general download. Digging even harder and you might find a post including a zip file with the elusive "9th font" (1CAMBamStick9). I believe the 1CAMBamStick9 font to be the most useful in the series and it is well worth having if you do a lot of engraving. Besides being hard to find, downloading from these forums also introduces additional complications such as requiring you to be a member etc.

Since the CAMBam Stick Fonts are so hard to acquire, the complete set is being offered for download on this website as a public service.

Why do I believe that providing a download of someone elses work is acceptable? Well, normally I am very careful to respect copyright - my justification (such as it is) is below.

In my research regarding the CAMBam Stick Fonts I made many attempts to find a contact address for George and, while digging, have found posts several years old from other attempted downloaders reporting that the links were broken. Clearly, the download process been inoperable for some time and yet the homepage and download link remain. Other evidence suggests that George is possibly getting on in years and may now be unable to maintain his website. Since George posted the CAMBamSitckFont files to various Internet forums for download by the general public and, since they are still available for download there (albeit quite difficult to find and obtain), I am assuming that it is Georges intention is that these fonts should remain readily available to the general public at no charge. So, rather than have Georges impressive and beautiful work disappear from the Internet, I am offering it here.

Download the CAMBam Stick Fonts (Complete Collection)

Download CAMBam_Stick_Fonts.zip (108 kb).

I would like to emphasize again that these fonts are entirely the work of George Race. The fonts have not been modified in any way and will only be offered as a public service until the download link on the home page starts to work again. George, if you read this and do not want your fonts available here, please contact me. The link will be removed immediately.


Thank you Mr. George Race for creating these beautiful and useful single stroke fonts and for making them available to the general public.


The contents of this web page are provided "as is" without any warranty of any kind and without any claim to accuracy. Please be aware that the information provided may be out-of-date, incomplete, erroneous or simply unsuitable for your purposes. Any use you make of the information is entirely at your discretion and any consequences of that use are entirely your responsibility. All source code is provided under the terms of the MIT License.