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Help! How to Create Printable Plans

#1
I love designing anything you can imagine, and planes are no different. However, manually tracing out lines and angles and so forth is exhausting. I'd like to be able to draw up plans once in a CAD type software and convert it to a tiled PDF. I like Google SketchUp, so that would be ideal, but I can learn others so long as they're free. How can I take a full set of plans and convert them to PDF with accurate scaling? As far as modeling, I can always manually draw out each tile in the software, but even then, how can I get them into a PDF?
 
#2
In SketchUp you go to File
Print setup
then you will see the dialog box below.
Select either "Adobe PDF" or "Microsoft Print to PDF" if you are using a windows machine.
2018-10-18.png


Hope that helps.
 

Keno

Well-known member
#4
There are a quite a few that are free. Fusion 360, others could provide more info on this. Inkscape is free and it can be used it will allow you to print in PDF format. There are other CAD programs that offer good trial periods. The one that I found and use now is Punch Via Cad. What I liked is that is has good tutorials with video. It is not free but it does have a trial period for $40 not a bad purchase. I believe TurboCad may be something of interest but I did not care for there tutorials. Keep looking you find the one that suites you best. Happy Designing
 
#5
This is more of a screenshot. Doesn't keep scale and it more so takes a picture of what the SketchUp camera sees.
Are you selecting a big enough paper size to allow SketchUp to print one to one? If you select print preview about 3/4 of the way down the dialog box you should see scaling options and fit to page. I am not at my personal computer at the moment. I use the free version of SketchUp to make all my plans in PDF and DXF formats.
 

Brett_N

Well-known member
#6
Hi Guys - Ok not to thread-jack, but along a similar line, I got a 3D model from TurboSquid in various formats (.3ds, .obj, .stl)

Is there a quick and dirty way to slice this up into plans?
 

Morgan

Active member
#7
There are a quite a few that are free. Fusion 360, others could provide more info on this. Inkscape is free and it can be used it will allow you to print in PDF format. There are other CAD programs that offer good trial periods. The one that I found and use now is Punch Via Cad. What I liked is that is has good tutorials with video. It is not free but it does have a trial period for $40 not a bad purchase. I believe TurboCad may be something of interest but I did not care for there tutorials. Keep looking you find the one that suites you best. Happy Designing
do you mind explaning how to with inkskape ? I was just tring to figure it out .
 

Merv

Legendary member
#8
I use the free version of SketchUp to make all my plans in PDF and DXF formats.
I can get the PDF from SketchUp following your instructions. But when I try to print to paper, nothing comes out the correct size. A 30"x2" box in SketchUp will print out a 26"x1 7/8" box on paper. How do you get things on paper to be the correct size with the free SketchUp?
 

Keno

Well-known member
#9
do you mind explaning how to with inkskape ? I was just tring to figure it out
.
Ok, are we asking about using it to print a PDF copy after you work with a other formatted drawing? If so here goes, but you have to check this out to see if it will work for you. Import or open the file you wish change, readjust or what ever you wish. Goto Save as PDF then reopen it back in Inkscape as a PDF and then print it. Now I am not the expert on this and others could provide a more precise method. I mainly use Inkscape to covert PDF or other formats to DXF and then take them into my CAD program and work with them there. If I have not answered your question I would hope that other more familiar with Inkscape could step in here and help you out.
 

jpot1

Elite member
#10
Inkscape has a save as pdf option. Once done you can open the file in adobe reader and print / tile with the regular adobe options.
 

Keno

Well-known member
#11
Inkscape has a save as pdf option. Once done you can open the file in adobe reader and print / tile with the regular adobe options.
Thanks for your input on this I was only thinking of using Inkscape as vehicle to produce the final product. Much apricated
 
#12
If you are wanting a basic 2d cad package get draftsight, its free and works very similar to autocad.

https://www.draftsight2018.com/

I use inkscape for taking the free FT plans and rearranging them for printing. I also delete things that I dont need 2 copies of like wings. Just trace one side then flip it over to draw the other. Inkscape can also convert a dxf to a PDF. I always download the full size drawing, move a few things around in inkscape, save as another pdf, then tile print in Adobe reader free.

https://get.adobe.com/reader/
 

Morgan

Active member
#13
Ok, are we asking about using it to print a PDF copy after you work with a other formatted drawing? If so here goes, but you have to check this out to see if it will work for you. Import or open the file you wish change, readjust or what ever you wish. Goto Save as PDF then reopen it back in Inkscape as a PDF and then print it. Now I am not the expert on this and others could provide a more precise method. I mainly use Inkscape to covert PDF or other formats to DXF and then take them into my CAD program and work with them there. If I have not answered your question I would hope that other more familiar with Inkscape could step in here and help you out.
awsome thanks guys !