• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.

Printing plans

#1
Can anyone advise me on printing plans please?
Having built a few FT models using 'printed at home & stuck together' A4 plans, I decided to get full sized plans for my next two projects (master series Spitfire & P38) printed on A1, which I thought, was the format they were drawn on. However, two different print shops I tried both said that they did not print out at the correct scale on A1, (slightly too small) so would need to be on A0 sized sheets. This was not a big problem to do, just the eye watering cost - £2.50 per sheet here in the UK and the P38 alone is 8 sheets. Really defeats the object of trying to build budget models.
Anyone know why the plans won't print on A1 correctly?
 

Indy durtdigger

Well-known member
#2
I've been fighting the same thing. Scale if off, parts of the diagram are off the edge of the page and nothing I tried with tinkering with PDF files had helped till just now (within the last hour). I was using Chrome as my browser and no matter how I went about downloading or trying to print something was off.
I was messing around with Micro Soft Edge this morning as my internet security company just released coverage for it. During the process of setting up bookmarks and such I happened to open the tile A plans for the last plane I built which is a Simple Cub. I immediately noticed that the plans were showing up completely different than they do when opened up in Adobe on the Chrome browser. Out of curiosity I printed them off. Everything looks to be perfect, the scale looks proper, all parts of the plans printed off as they are shown in the download. The major thing is the scale.
The simple cub is supposed to have a 38 inch wing span and my plans from Chrome when built came out to 26 inches. The set I just printed off when laid out are right on the money. Now I have to either strip the plane I just built down and start over or leave it like it is and order a size appropriate motor and battery for this one and save the too large motor and batteries I have for a future build. Note the scale difference.
simple cub scale diff.jpg simple cub scale diff 2.jpg
 
Last edited:

FDS

Well-known member
#3
Why not use the A4 ones and make card templates off them? That’s a good way to get reusable templates and you can stack them up onto the board more tightly to save foamboard scrap.
Sticking the plans onto the board and leaving them on there is a good way to add a lot of extra weight, which can cause balance issues, especially if you are using U.K. foamboard.
 

Indy durtdigger

Well-known member
#4
Why not use the A4 ones and make card templates off them? That’s a good way to get reusable templates and you can stack them up onto the board more tightly to save foamboard scrap.
Sticking the plans onto the board and leaving them on there is a good way to add a lot of extra weight, which can cause balance issues, especially if you are using U.K. foamboard.
I think the OP's issue is scale which according to the comments on the build vids lots of people have issue with. I don't know why I couldn't get them to print off Adobe no matter what printer I was using or settings but of all things a browser switch fixed my problem. Spent the day making templates and cutting out the pieces. I've built serval of the FT planes before and knew the weren't to scale but they were gliders so it didn't matter till I decided to motorize one.
 

chrisvdv

Active member
#7
I read that, followed it and still had issues, don't know why. Still quite puzzled why doing the same thing on a different browser that uses the same Adobe changed the outcome but it did.
This:
Printing

The biggest mistake people make when printing the tled plans is to try printing them directly from a web browser (i.e. chrome, safari, explorer, etc.). For most PDF documents, printing from the web browser is perfectly acceptable. However, for printing technical drawings at a precise scale they simply do not give you enough control to achieve the desired results. NEVER print your plans from your web browser. ALWAYS download the files to your device and print them.
 

Indy durtdigger

Well-known member
#8
This:
Printing

The biggest mistake people make when printing the tled plans is to try printing them directly from a web browser (i.e. chrome, safari, explorer, etc.). For most PDF documents, printing from the web browser is perfectly acceptable. However, for printing technical drawings at a precise scale they simply do not give you enough control to achieve the desired results. NEVER print your plans from your web browser. ALWAYS download the files to your device and print them.
I was printing off Adobe not directly from the browser, figured out the first time I tried printing glider plans that directly off the browser was a no go. For some reason unknown to me the Adobe print screen is different (for that matter the whole PDF opens up differently) when I fire it up via the Edge browser. It honestly is probably some setting that I don't know how to access but I'm sure I'm not the only person that's had that issue so it's worth a shot and an easy solution for someone else having the same problem.

As a related side note here. My wife is a buyer planner for an outfit that builds train locomotives. I showed this to her as she lives and breathes Adobe and Microsoft Word. She didn't know why it's different but did offer some insight. The program that they use for their parts BOM's has to be opened up and printed via Adobe in the Edge browser or they have the same issues with diagrams and charts not scaling correctly.
 
#10
Thanks for all the replies but not sure if I have explained my problem clearly. Every time I print out tiled plans and tape the pieces together, there always seems to be slight inaccuracies, even though I checked the scale. I decided to download the full plan file, take to a print shop and have printed out on A1 paper. My intention was then to cut out the individual parts from the full plan and glue onto card to make templates, thereby losing the inaccuracies I seemed to get when taping tiled plans together. The problem I found was that the 'full size' plan at the correct size according to the scale, wouldn't fit onto A1 paper, only A0 paper and the cost was astronomical. Perhaps there is a way to edit the PDF file and remove the border and any unnecessary bits around the edge of the plan, thereby enabling it to fit onto A1 and reduce the cost considerably.
 
#11
Thanks for all the replies but not sure if I have explained my problem clearly. Every time I print out tiled plans and tape the pieces together, there always seems to be slight inaccuracies, even though I checked the scale. I decided to download the full plan file, take to a print shop and have printed out on A1 paper. My intention was then to cut out the individual parts from the full plan and glue onto card to make templates, thereby losing the inaccuracies I seemed to get when taping tiled plans together. The problem I found was that the 'full size' plan at the correct size according to the scale, wouldn't fit onto A1 paper, only A0 paper and the cost was astronomical. Perhaps there is a way to edit the PDF file and remove the border and any unnecessary bits around the edge of the plan, thereby enabling it to fit onto A1 and reduce the cost considerably.
I like to open up the PDF full size plans in Inkscape and then re-arrange the parts to best fit the paper I'm trying to print on. This allows me to reduce the number of pages I need to print and tape together.
 

Indy durtdigger

Well-known member
#12
I have a little bit of an update on my input. I got to checking the other planes I built this winter and the scale on them is all correct. For some reason the issue I was having was just with the tiled-A PDF for the Simple Cub. Why switching which browser they were downloaded and saved from made a difference is still a mystery but I will take a happy accident any day.
 
#13
I like to open up the PDF full size plans in Inkscape and then re-arrange the parts to best fit the paper I'm trying to print on. This allows me to reduce the number of pages I need to print and tape together.
Thanks for that information. That is exactly what I have thought about doing since having the P38 plans printed out full size and it took 8 sheets of A0, which not only cost a fortune but wasted a lot of paper. There is also a lot of duplication of parts on the plan which are not required and could be omitted - I only make, say for example, one lower wing half template, make sure I draw all the necessary info onto the blank side, draw round it and cut one side out and then simply turn it over to make a mirror image for the other side.
I feel sure that if, as you say, you can re-arrange the parts in a program such as inkscape and cut down all the unnecessary duplication, a full sized plan of all the parts to build a model such as the P38 could probably fit onto 3 sheets of A1. This would make it much more affordable at the print shop and as a bonus, I wouldn't get grief from the wife about how much ink I use in our home printer, printing out loads of A4 sheets!!