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Help! Free CAD program

SquirrelTail

Well-known member
#1
I have tried multiple different cad programs and all of them work ok but when I try to print it scales every thing down to like an inch.... Any programs that don't do that?
 

Hai-Lee

Old and Bold RC PILOT
#2
I have tried multiple different cad programs and all of them work ok but when I try to print it scales every thing down to like an inch.... Any programs that don't do that?
Firstly you should format the page to the desired paper size. I either use A0 or A1.

Next try exporting to PDF.

From there use the PDF reader to do the printing and the tiling if required!

Maybe not a simple process but it works well for me and across multiple CAD programs.

Have fun!
 

SquirrelTail

Well-known member
#3
Firstly you should format the page to the desired paper size. I either use A0 or A1.

Next try exporting to PDF.

From there use the PDF reader to do the printing and the tiling if required!

Maybe not a simple process but it works well for me and across multiple CAD programs.

Have fun!
Ok, will try out tomorrow! Thanks
 

Keno

Well-known member
#4
Not sure of the CAD program you are using, but this may help. My CAD program does not have import for PDF so I have to import it first into Inkscape and save to SVG or other format before bringing it in. Also you can edit out quit a bit or un-necessary stuff while in Inkscape. Here is how I get things to scale: Most drawing have reference measurement scales printed on them, draw a line that is the physical length equal to the stated value for their scale. Position the line on their scale, your line could be longer of less than. Select the whole drawing less this line. Use the tool in you CAD program to resize it to your reference line, make sure you select "uniform" and not "differential". I don't know if this will work as CAD program differ. Anyway for what it is worth, happy flying
 

SquirrelTail

Well-known member
#5
Not sure of the CAD program you are using, but this may help. My CAD program does not have import for PDF so I have to import it first into Inkscape and save to SVG or other format before bringing it in. Also you can edit out quit a bit or un-necessary stuff while in Inkscape. Here is how I get things to scale: Most drawing have reference measurement scales printed on them, draw a line that is the physical length equal to the stated value for their scale. Position the line on their scale, your line could be longer of less than. Select the whole drawing less this line. Use the tool in you CAD program to resize it to your reference line, make sure you select "uniform" and not "differential". I don't know if this will work as CAD program differ. Anyway for what it is worth, happy flying
Thank you. I use AutoCAD then I export the file as a dxf, take it to cloud convert and then make it a PDF where I then take it to Adobe reader
 

Keno

Well-known member
#6
Thank you. I use AutoCAD then I export the file as a dxf, take it to cloud convert and then make it a PDF where I then take it to Adobe reader
I misread your original post, I understand your problem. Interesting AutoCAD may not be able to save or export files in PDF. Anyway good to hear you are into using a CAD program.
 

kilroy07

Well-known member
#7
In my program (MicroStation, and no, it's not free) here is an idea of the printing workflow;

First, you have to know what your output paper size will be (for me, that's usually the working area of the laser, or cnc machine.)
Then draw a shape at that size.
Now, IF you want the end result to be scaled (it doesn't have to be), you simply scale that shape by the factor you are scaling. ie if you want a 2:1 printout, scale the shape by 2.
then draw everything at 1:1 (truescale) makes drafting MUCH easier.
Then slide your scaled border over to show what will fit on a sheet.
and (and here's the part I think you are missing) we place a "fence" which tells the software what we want to print by "snapping" to the corners of the scaled shape. (mind you that shape doesn't have to be scaled, it can simply be your paper size.)
Then hit the "print" button in the software.

It then takes the area you've defined by the fence; fits that area to the paper size defined by the printer selected.
You then just have to hit "send" and there's your print.

There are a bunch of windows print drivers that actually output a PDF if that's what you want for your final result.

Hope this wasn't too confusing...

I haven't touched AutoCAD since... the Early 90s... But the same process should apply.
Since the CAD working area is limitless, you have to define what you actually want to print and it's probably just looking at your view or window at this point.

Hope this helps.
 

SquirrelTail

Well-known member
#8
In my program (MicroStation, and no, it's not free) here is an idea of the printing workflow;

First, you have to know what your output paper size will be (for me, that's usually the working area of the laser, or cnc machine.)
Then draw a shape at that size.
Now, IF you want the end result to be scaled (it doesn't have to be), you simply scale that shape by the factor you are scaling. ie if you want a 2:1 printout, scale the shape by 2.
then draw everything at 1:1 (truescale) makes drafting MUCH easier.
Then slide your scaled border over to show what will fit on a sheet.
and (and here's the part I think you are missing) we place a "fence" which tells the software what we want to print by "snapping" to the corners of the scaled shape. (mind you that shape doesn't have to be scaled, it can simply be your paper size.)
Then hit the "print" button in the software.

It then takes the area you've defined by the fence; fits that area to the paper size defined by the printer selected.
You then just have to hit "send" and there's your print.

There are a bunch of windows print drivers that actually output a PDF if that's what you want for your final result.

Hope this wasn't too confusing...

I haven't touched AutoCAD since... the Early 90s... But the same process should apply.
Since the CAD working area is limitless, you have to define what you actually want to print and it's probably just looking at your view or window at this point.

Hope this helps.
It wasn't confusing at all!!! Thank you, I just need to go boot up the computer now