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Windows Scale Drawing Software

Discussion in 'Software' started by talladega, 11 Mar 2013.

  1. talladega

    talladega I'm Squidward

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    I'm looking for a program to use for drawing things to scale.
    What I want to use it for is to design a front and rear panel for an amp i'm building so I need to be able to draw certain shapes (mostly circles) and print them out. I also want to be able to do custom shapes and also text.

    Normally I just use Sketchup for doing basic scale drawings, but this needs to have more of the photoshop type stuff in it as I will be creating decals with this to put on the amp.

    One program I found was InkScape, which didn't seem to work too bad, but definitely not as good as I would like.

    Free programs would be preferred, but open to others.

    I have access to Visio if that would do what I want?
     
  2. hoochy

    hoochy Need moar cooling

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    Do you have photoshop?

    Ideally, you need a piece of CAD software that can export in .eps format and then you can import this into photoshop to add decal informaiton etc... A .eps file will retain any scale that it is exported as in the CAD software.

    GIMP is an alternative to photoshop, but im not sure if it imports .eps (its free too!)

    Now, in terms of CAD software, I have just donwloaded and installed the open source DraftSight, this is like a mini AutoCAD if you like and a quick play allow you to export a .eps file! (bingo!)

    So, draw in DraftSight, export and .eps, import in Photoshop/GIMP and away you go. I hope this helps

    http://www.3ds.com/products/draftsight/overview/
     
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  3. wolfticket

    wolfticket Downwind from the bloodhounds

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    I tend to do the scale aspects of the design in Sketchup, export to a 2D image, then resize it back to scale in (my ollllld version of) Photoshop for the graphics and such. Bit of a bodge, but works for me.
     
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  4. dullonien

    dullonien Master of the unfinished.

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    My favourite combination is AutoCAD and Photoshop. However both are not exactly cheap. If you are a student though, you have access to full versions of every piece of software Autodesk produce and can download AutoCAD from their student website. All you need is a student e-mail.

    However, you might be able to do the same with sketchup. If it is possible to print to scale in sketchup (not a sketchup user), then you will be able to take that scaled drawing and place it in photoshop by installing a pdf printer and printing to pdf. Drag this into Photoshop and you will retain the scale of the drawing, overlaying you photoshop effects. This is how I work 100% of the time, and it works flawlessly.

    I am unsure if the same technique will work with gimp or similar.

    Here's a recent example of this combination. I used AutoCAD to produce all the mapping elements, the dotted guidelines etc. (all seperate PDF sheets, printing seperate layers from AutoCAD one at a time), then I have added and overlayed images and text, and altered the contrast and opacity etc. of those elements I brought in from AutoCAD:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: 13 Mar 2013
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  5. jrs77

    jrs77 Modder

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    Best software for drawing to scale is a vector-based software like Illustrator ofc. It also allows to safe/export as EPS, which is used by most plotters cutting decals out of foil etc.

    The best freeware for vector-drawing is Inkscape, but as you dislike it there's not really much left.
     
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  6. talladega

    talladega I'm Squidward

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    Thanks for the suggestions. I'll have to give some of them a try.

    :thumb:
     
  7. hoochy

    hoochy Need moar cooling

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    Architecture student by any chance? Part1/2? :)
     
  8. dullonien

    dullonien Master of the unfinished.

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    Yup, part 2, final year.
     
  9. Krikkit

    Krikkit All glory to the hypnotoad! Super Moderator

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    Have you tried Revit yet dullonien? That's pretty special.
     
  10. dullonien

    dullonien Master of the unfinished.

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    No, it's on my to learn list. It doesn't produce the kind of drawings uni looks for, so I've not had the time to learn. But I plan to learn, as it would be much more useful in a practice scenario.
     
  11. hoochy

    hoochy Need moar cooling

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    Im leading BIM implementation at my practice. We use vectorworks. Revit is good ut dont be fooled in thnking it is the be all and end all - Autodesk have a good marketing team :)

    Learn BIM now. The construction industry is changing and fast. Don't be lift behind! Apologies for thread de-rail :D
     
  12. dullonien

    dullonien Master of the unfinished.

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    I will, don't worry. I know one of the architect's at my previous practice (and who I hope to return to this Summer) has learn't to use Revit, so that is probably the one I'll go for. As you say Autodesk have a good advertising department, so a lot of practices will most likely think of them first. Most practices already use AutoCAD, so again choosing another Autodesk product is the likely route for most, and therefore probably the best to learn.
     
  13. hoochy

    hoochy Need moar cooling

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    I would totally agree. I sit on the regional BIM hub group and it frustrates me hear people representing education/Unis discussing that they are teach revit as that is what BIM is etc. The idea of open information is lost with this notion! I'm just passionate about my role :)
     
  14. asura

    asura jack of all trades

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    :thumb:
     

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