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Old Jul 06, 2015, 10:17 AM
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Cad parts from plans? An online resource for cad files of plans?

Hello all,
With the outer zone craze in full swing, I have been troubled trying to decide what to build next!
As an "old timer" builder, i make copies at kinkos of my parts and ribs, cut them out, glued them onto Formica then started cutting on my table saw.
With cad/cam, this is no longer required as long as you create your design in cad.... But what of older plans that have been scanned into PDFs files like the repository on outer zone?
What is the best resource method to scan older hard copy plans into a PDF or CAD format/files.
More specifically, if you have an old set of plans and you want parts... Is there an easy way to take the plans and convert them into a file to send off for cutting?
At this point looking for the links to make this happen and don't really know which forum to post the question or find the resources.
Thanks
Phil
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Old Jul 06, 2015, 11:07 AM
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The Junk Man
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The only way to convert paper plans to CAD is by scanning the plans. You have to get a digital copy to start with. After that is done, even simple CAD programs such as SketchUp can rescale the image scanned and allow you to trace over the outlines.

There is no automated process to take a scanned image file (PDF, jpg, etc.) and magically convert it to a cut file for CNC or laser.

Tom
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Old Jul 06, 2015, 11:27 PM
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Phil

What Tom said above is too true.

Once you have the .jpeg/.tif/.gif file imported into the CAD program and have the scaling done, you need to get the tracing done manually (most CAD programs offer an auto tracing feature, but they are usually woefully inadequate to have parts cut from, hence the manual tracing). Then you need to measure and adjust all the parts to make sure they fit. Next you need to add the hold-in tabs, do the nesting on whichever sheet size you are using, add scribing if required etc. It's almost like a complete redesign in term of effort. You may be able to find somebody to do all of this for you, but it would be an expensive venture.

If you are dead set on the laser cutting, and are going to build many types of models, it may be worthwhile investing in a program like DevFus, which allows you to design/loft a fuselage from plan and side views only (including stringers, decks/boxes, lightening holes etc.). No prior CAD experience is required. The program can then be used to print the parts, or export them into CAD format. It is reasonably priced and backup from the designer is good. Along with DevFus, you will need a program like Profili or Compufoil 3D, to design the wing in a very similar way. You'd probably be looking at a $400-500 investment for the above programs. The best thing is that they are fairly simple to operate (no Ph.D. required) and will export parts in CAD format.

Additionally, you may want to use a 2D CAD program to organize everything and do the layout for laser cutting, also to produce a printable paper plan if so desired. You can download older versions of Turbocad, or Draftsight for free, but there is always a bit of a learning curve involved with whichever CAD program you use, free or not. But the journey is half of the fun, right?

If you want to build a one off, you would probably be better off to just build from the paper plan like you are currently doing.

Good luck and happy building!

MJ
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Old Jul 07, 2015, 01:01 AM
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There's a free Autocad clone made by the makers of Solidworks called Draftsight.

You can download it here - http://www.3ds.com/products-services...free-download/

They also have a free tutorial forum with video tutors and a forum to ask questions about how to use it. You have to join it but like i said it's free. Here's the link to the Draftsight Community - https://swym.3ds.com/#community:70

Once you create an account the free learning forums are then available.

It's not that hard to do IMO. You just have to spend some time learning the basics.

Here's a link to a thread i started on RCUniverse to do just what you want. The premise was to take a magazine plan scan it, then scale it up, to be used in Draftsight. If you already have a full size plan in PDF format you can ignore the scanning part. The link -

http://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/fb.asp?m=10424372

I sorry to say that when RCU converted over to the new forum software that a whole bunch of the user generated pictures didn't convert over. But it will give you an Idea on how to get started.

You'll need some type of graphics app Like Photoshop for some of the steps but I think you can import a PDF into Draftsight now. Take a look.
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Old Jul 07, 2015, 08:30 AM
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If you don't want to do the CAD yourself try sending an email to this guy.

alexandrerillos5 <at> msn.com

Not free, but, can do the work.

charlie
manzano laser works
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Old Jul 12, 2015, 04:27 AM
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Draftsight does not appear to be free ...

================================================== =
1. Download

The version below that is right for your operating system.

2. Activate

Enter your email address and click the confirmation link after you receive your activation email.

3. Try DraftSight Professional, get a free 30-Day Trial.

Professional-grade CAD with powerful, time-saving functionalities. Includes industry standard content that can be added to a document with ease and batch printing to print multiple files without opening them. Companies that need to customize their CAD system using LISP will find significant value in DraftSight Professional. Start your free trial by downloading the free version of DraftSight for Windows below, then click "Start DraftSight Professional Trial" in the product menu.
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Old Jul 12, 2015, 04:33 AM
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If you have Corel Draw you can take an image any size and and exactly resize it and save it as an svf file as it will resize any bitmap. You can use Corel like CAD. clean up images, redraw parts, etc.
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Old Jul 12, 2015, 09:44 AM
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The Junk Man
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbailey711 View Post
Draftsight does not appear to be free ....

Some things are not as they appear.

Draftsight is free.

Tom
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Old Jul 12, 2015, 09:53 AM
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The free version of Draftsight is what I use with the laser. It has all the functions you need for drawing up airplane parts and such.

The pro version is not free but has functions I don't really need.

charlie
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Old Jul 12, 2015, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbailey711 View Post
Draftsight does not appear to be free ...
Obviously you didn't even try to download Draftsight. the link above takes you straight to a page the says "
DraftSight® FREE* CAD Software Download

"
and if you scroll down to the bottom of that page there's links to all the free versions.


Corel Draw fanatics have managed to convince enough people that Corel Draw is better for CAD stuff. The only problem is the learning curve for Corel Draw is way steeper (harder to learn) and Corel uses there own unique interface and commands that make it harder to transfer anything learned to another program whether it's Photoshop or another CAD program.

Leaning Draftsight, on the other hand, gives the user transferable skills directly to AutoCAD. So if you learn Draftsight you are learning AutoCAD as most of the 2D commands are the same.

Both Coreldraw and Draftsight will have a steep learning curve if your new to them but learning Draftsight gives you transferable skills to other CAD applibations that Corel does not.

There's also the fact the Corel Draw is not free and Draftsight is so why even bother compaing them.
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Old Jul 12, 2015, 11:50 PM
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Re CorelDraw - Totally agree with the above post. I am a fairly proficient user of AutoCAD and Draftsight. I loaded the trial version of Corel Draw because I wanted to do some graphics - T shirts, plane paint schemes, business cards, ect. CorelDraw kicked my butt for about 2 weeks until I started to learn the interface. Simple stuff in Cad, like trimming or extending lines is painful in Corel. Unless you need pretty graphics, learn a CAD program and you will find many uses for it.

Bruce
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Old Jul 13, 2015, 07:02 AM
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One of the reasons many like Corel Draw is because that is what most laser cutting/engraving companies use to drive the laser. Laser machines are used primarily for engraving, but happen to also be excellent for cutting out airplane parts. Many engraving/laser cutting companies make the bulk of their income from engraving, cutting airplane parts is a sideline. Therefore, the default software they use is Corel Draw which is intended for artistic type endeavors like engraving , but also has some CAD capabilities.

Learning to force Corel to generate CAD drawings is more difficult than starting with CAD to begin with. Anyone that cuts a good amount of parts for modelers will know how to work with Corel files OR standard CAD files.
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Old Jul 13, 2015, 08:42 AM
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I have many customers who use Corel for their design work. Just a different kind of drawing interface and design technique.

FWIW, for my laser work I use Corel, Autocad, and Draftsight. All output directly to the laser. The laser is treated like another printer. Heck, if I had to I could drive the laser from MS Office.

Every laser mfg makes a different interface. Some work only with one program and some require CAM software.

Some people with lasers only learn how to use one program. It does not always mean their laser will only work with that program.

charlie
manzano laser works

PS when I need to convert plans to cut files I us Corel. MUCH easier to trace lines with it.
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Old Jul 13, 2015, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by portablevcb View Post
Some people with lasers only learn how to use one program. It does not always mean their laser will only work with that program.


Andy
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