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Old Oct 15, 2012, 01:33 PM
WMD
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Using TurboCAD

I'd like to start a discussion / tutorial on how to use TurboCAD. Of course hogal and others have been posting modern CAD versions of old vintage plans on here for a while, and a few people (including me) have said we'd like to learn how to do this, and a tutorial would be useful.

I have a tutorials page on Outerzone at http://www.outerzone.co.uk/tutorials/index.asp that covers use of Photoshop to restore bitmapped plans, and has 2 tutorials from hogal. I'm hoping that this thread will end up being the final 3rd tutorial - by which I mean, once we've run through all this an resolved all the issues, I'll write it up neatly and post it there.

Myself, here is where I am: I use Photoshop a lot, but I've never used a proper CAD application, although I have played a lot with Sketchup. I have a (cheap and obselete) CD of TurboCAD Deluxe 14 here, which I have installed on my PC, taken one look at it, and then never used. I have no idea how to get around the software at all. Actually, since Aeromeddler mentioned Version 16 is on sale at £9.99 in Curries, I've just orderd that version too. It will take a few days to arrive.

I'm hoping we can work from the very basics, explain all the tricky bits as we go along, and end up with... someything useful for rerefence. Feel free to jump in at any point.

Steve
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 02:01 PM
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For continuity, since the first 2 hogal tutorials were wriitten all about working on a CL plan called the Slick Schick (from June 1968 Aeromodeller) that seems the best way to carry on from here. We can take that stitched drawing and make a nice new traced CAD dawing over the top of it.
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 02:32 PM
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Slick Schick

Good evening one and all, let's see how far this little ride takes us.

First my credentials - or should I say lack of them. I am a building services engineer by trade which means that I have to be able to read drawings and inform the draughtsman what I want on a drawing. I am not a trained draughtsman, I have learnt what I have because I am fascinated by plans. My love of the hobby can be broadly divided in 30% plans, 55% building and the final 25% flying - OK so they don't add up but who cares, the message is there.

For a start lets post the Slick Shick and, although important, the first subject I'll be covering with TurboCad will be setting up your page and saving a template so you will always have something to play with. Hopefully I'll have something done over the weekend for you all.

If you are wondering why the Slick Schick the reason is easy. Being a combat flying wing it is an easy plane to draw and build. There are very few curves and fine detail to worry about. Also, as Steve has previously mentioned, it forms the heart of the first two tutorials already loaded onto the Outerzone site.

In the meantime if you have any questions mail me, either privately or by use of this thread, and I'll get back to you

Al
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 03:00 PM
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Excellent. Here is my first dumb question: When I am in Photoshop I always use the navigator window to zoom and scroll around the document... is there one of them in TurboCAD? At the moment I'm just dragging the scroll bars which seems very clunky. Is there a way to set up that kind of mini-world-view window in TurboCAD?
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 05:11 PM
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Will have to wait for the new year for my daughter to bring my copy of TC over so I shall follow the discussion with interest and read over Hoga`sl first two tutorials. Like Steve I also downloaded the TC14 as it is free (says it will not run on Windows 7 but seemed to on my copy) but on a quick cursory look could see no way to load in a graphic file as I could not find an import command. Am I missing something?
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Old Oct 15, 2012, 06:20 PM
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I have no formal training but was self taught with a video and other fourm members' help. Here is an explination of how I import a PDF to TurboCad for tracing:

Importing Images Into TurboCad

1. Copy PDF plan onto 8 ½ X 11 sheet of paper.

2. Scan the plan you just made and save it as a bitmap. (They just seem to do better.)

3. I have a trace drawing template (has fonts, line colors, styles etc) and I import the drawing into that by going to “Insert”, “Picture”, “From File”.

4. The put cursor on the 0,0 axis.

5. Click and hold right button and move the cursor in the x axis direction to the desired width. You must keep it below 0 on the y axis otherwise the drawing will be upside down. If there is a scale on the drawing this helps very much, if not, you must use a dimension that is known. The longer the better. This is the only tricky part and as stated, is trial and error. I usually write down all the ones that I tried so as not to repeat them. Here is an example: There is a scale on the page says 12 inches. You import the drawing and on the x axis you release the right button on the mouse and it is at 42 inches (the wing size will give you a general starting point). Once you let go of the mouse button, the drawing will appear. Now go to the scale and use TurboCad to measure. If it isn’t 12 inches (say it’s 8), you need to import another one. What I do now is do a proportion. 42 is to 8 as 12 is to X and solve for X. That will be real close to where you need to drag the cursor to on the x axis. In this case , X will be 63. So, when you import the next drawing, put the cursor on 0,0 and hold the right button down and move the cursor over to the 63 inch on X axis and release button. Remember to stay below 0 on the y axis. (You don’t need to worry about the y axis, guess it is proportionate to the x axis??????) Measure scale again to see if it is accurate. May need to tweak and tune to get exactly right. (I have it down to usually not more than 4 attempts. In the beginning it was 10 – 15, but that was before I started using proportions.)

6. Save drawing how you wish. I have on my template as the color black being bitmap. I then do all my tracing in yellow. You can turn off the black and the only thing left will be what you traced. I save all my drawing for a particular plane in the same file. If you erase the saved file that was scanned, you will lose your imported drawing in TurboCad. I discovered this the hard way.  Also, if you copy an imported drawing onto a thumb drive and install it on another computer, the imported drawing will not appear. You can go to “tools”, “raster image”, “image manager” and then embed and apply, this is suppose to prevent from losing imported image. Not sure since I now save the bitmap image in the same file.

Good Luck,

John
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Old Oct 16, 2012, 03:24 AM
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Just a quick interjection (Sorry Hogal) for Aeromeddler, OK., it was only a tenner, but this one :- http://www.doublecad.com/ is by the same people that put Turbo cad out and it's free. Commands should be the same.

Regards Ian
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Old Oct 16, 2012, 05:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubbernecker View Post

1. Copy PDF plan onto 8 ½ X 11 sheet of paper.

2. Scan the plan you just made and save it as a bitmap. (They just seem to do better.)
Hi John,

I hope we all learn a few useful tips out of this. I don't know anything about CAD, but I know a little about bitmaps and Photoshop. If I had a PDF file that I needed converting to a bmp, I'd use Photoshop to do it. Or failing that I'd use GIMP, which is free and great for converting files. Actually, if I ever get a PDF that won't open into Photoshop (including if it is password protected from editing) I just import it into GIMP (set the dpi you want, I'd say 300) then immediately export out again as a TIFF or a BMP or anything you like. Works great. It also means I don't need to fire up my scanner, which would involve me getting out of my seat. Maybe that's just me though. Hope that's useful maybe.
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Old Oct 16, 2012, 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Circlip View Post
Just a quick interjection (Sorry Hogal) for Aeromeddler, OK., it was only a tenner, but this one :- http://www.doublecad.com/ is by the same people that put Turbo cad out and it's free. Commands should be the same.

Regards Ian
Thanks Ian, that's good to know. Me, I have of just spent £10, but hopefully that one is a good version for anyone who weants to jump in and have a go. I expect it does do everything we need, I mean we're only doing simple tracing in 2D, I guess.
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Old Oct 16, 2012, 06:32 AM
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Originally Posted by WMD View Post
Hi John,

I hope we all learn a few useful tips out of this. I don't know anything about CAD, but I know a little about bitmaps and Photoshop. If I had a PDF file that I needed converting to a bmp, I'd use Photoshop to do it. Or failing that I'd use GIMP, which is free and great for converting files. Actually, if I ever get a PDF that won't open into Photoshop (including if it is password protected from editing) I just import it into GIMP (set the dpi you want, I'd say 300) then immediately export out again as a TIFF or a BMP or anything you like. Works great. It also means I don't need to fire up my scanner, which would involve me getting out of my seat. Maybe that's just me though. Hope that's useful maybe.
Hopefully we all can learn from this. I cannot open a PDF file in Adobe Photoshop. It tells me it is not a picture????? I don't have GIMP! And I know nothing about importing/exporting files of any type (bitmap, tiff, jpeg etc). I learn one process, like I described above, and I stick with it. Guess if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

John

John
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Old Oct 16, 2012, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Rubbernecker View Post
Hopefully we all can learn from this. I cannot open a PDF file in Adobe Photoshop. It tells me it is not a picture????? I don't have GIMP! And I know nothing about importing/exporting files of any type (bitmap, tiff, jpeg etc). I learn one process, like I described above, and I stick with it. Guess if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

John
John, to import into GIMP, once you have uploaded the programme of course, all you have to do is drag the .pdf you require to open onto the active sheet. GIMP will then open a dialogue box asking what you want to do with it, including what resolution you require. To work with I agree with Steve tat 300 dpi is good but it can lead to some huge .bmp files.
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Old Oct 16, 2012, 03:01 PM
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Importing .bmp files

Following on from Rubberneckers comments of importing .bmp files and to prove the adage about more than one way of skinning the felix here is the method I use:

1. Open the .bmp file in a native programme like Paint and select the area you want. CTRL+A will do the complete bitmap in Paint. Copy (CTRL+C) the file.

2. In TurboCad on the Edit tab and select Paste. This will copy the file onto the layer '0' by default.

3. Using the measure tool find out the scaling you want, the on board calculator is more than adequate for this.

4. Making sure the bitmap is now active, click on it and a border with small blue squares will show, enter the scaling factor into 'Scale X' and 'Scale Y' on the Inspector Bar. Press return and the job is done.

One small problem, however, is that if the bitmap is really large I find that after closing the file and re-opening it I'm left with just a grey mess. I then have to delete that and reload the bitmap. To lock the location of the bitmap and ensure it will always be in the same location note the Scaling Factor (write it on the active sheet), scale the drawing and then centre the drawing using 'Pos X' and 'Pos Y' on the Inspector Bar - I always set these at 0,0 because it's easy to remember.

Hope that helps all. If necessary we could make this the first tutorial rather than the use of layers. Thoughts on that please.

Al
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Old Oct 16, 2012, 04:20 PM
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To work with I agree with Steve tat 300 dpi is good but it can lead to some huge .bmp files.
Yes, I keep saying 300dpi - that to me is the magic number, but I guess it depends on the job. The worst case is if you have say a 10 x 8 print of a magazine page with a plan that needs scaling up say 600% to fullsize. In that case, you want all the detail you can get. But other jobs are simpler, and if you have all the detail you need, there's no point slowing everything down with bigger files, I agree.
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Old Oct 16, 2012, 04:49 PM
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Just been having a go and as far as importing a plan image goes, hitting the 'Print Screen' key works for me. I mean whatever the original file is, either PDF or jpg or whatever, if I just get it up onto my screen (in any program) and then I hit the PrintScreen key, that copies it to the windows clipboard. Then I close everything, open up TurboCAD, do Edit/PasteSpecial/Bitmap and there it is. Looks good.

Um. But I dont know what layer it's on or anything like that. Or how to move around, even.

hogal, whatever you think is the best order to do this, that's fine with me. Seems to me it might be something like:

1. set up your template document
2. import your scanned plan
3. do tracing (...is that many steps?)
4. export finished plan

...but clearly I am just guessing here. I don't know
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Old Oct 16, 2012, 05:00 PM
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Guys, just in case anyone's not aware of it, there's a dedicated CAD/CAM forum here on RCG:

http://www.rcgroups.com/cad-cam-660/

"Discussions and help on designing with the help of CAD programs. Choice of program, techniques, tutorials, 2D and 3D, CNC, laser cutting."

Just FYI. You may find some helpful info there.
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