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Computer Drawing Software For Making Leather Patterns


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#16 cem

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 08:52 PM

I am referencing your third paragraph. I see nothing on this company site that would suggest they have a machine that will trace onto leather. The machines are all "cutters". Can you clarify?

ferg




Hi Ferg,
They are cutters but can also be used with pens, stylus etc whatever fits in the holder for marking, there is an option in the software for swapping between the knife and a pen. They have a pressure setting so you can determine how dark the tracing is.

Heres a pic of a tracing

Attached File  Maxx tracing wallet.jpg   268.99KB   179 downloads

Before anyone asks about cutting the knives are tiny so aren't suitable for cutting leather, I did managed to cut 1.5mm thick leather once but definately wouldn't try anything thicker.
The flatbed machine they do would cut through thicker leather but are over $5000 I think, definately not something I could afford they use an air suction system to hold down the piece. My model uses grip wheels to move the mat back and forth and the leather needs to fit between the wheels as they are textured and you wouldn't want them to run over the leather, I use double sided tape to hold the leather to the mat.

Let me know if you would like any other info.

Cheers,

Clair

#17 50 years leather

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 09:10 PM

Curious to know what the financial damage is on the machine you have.

ferg

Hi Ferg,
They are cutters but can also be used with pens, stylus etc whatever fits in the holder for marking, there is an option in the software for swapping between the knife and a pen. They have a pressure setting so you can determine how dark the tracing is.

Heres a pic of a tracing

Attached File  Maxx tracing wallet.jpg   268.99KB   179 downloads

Before anyone asks about cutting the knives are tiny so aren't suitable for cutting leather, I did managed to cut 1.5mm thick leather once but definately wouldn't try anything thicker.
The flatbed machine they do would cut through thicker leather but are over $5000 I think, definately not something I could afford they use an air suction system to hold down the piece. My model uses grip wheels to move the mat back and forth and the leather needs to fit between the wheels as they are textured and you wouldn't want them to run over the leather, I use double sided tape to hold the leather to the mat.

Let me know if you would like any other info.

Cheers,

Clair



#18 cem

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Posted 14 August 2011 - 09:40 PM

Curious to know what the financial damage is on the machine you have.

ferg


Ferg, I think mine was about $1300 don't have the reciept handy at the moment, that was in Australia and from an Australian supplier though so will be higher than the American price, we get charged a higher price on everything in Oz. For the amount of time it has saved me from tracing by hand though I think it has been worth it there are cheaper models around, but I thought this one looked the most robust for leather and being able to import directly from Illustrator was a plus.

Cheers,

Clair

#19 dickf

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 09:48 AM

I see no reason to use Illustrator when your patterns aren't going to change size or be sent to a printhouse. I scan the gun/blue gun then use Photoshop to create the pattern. When printed, it's actual size and easy to reprint for a quick alteration or when the pattern gets too boogered up to use anymore. I've been using Photoshop since v4...I still have the disc! The Gimp is the open-source equivalent - if you don't have the funds for PS, get the Gimp and learn it.

#20 Blackey Cole

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 07:00 AM

I have PS CS4 but I would need a full tutorial to be able to use it like you say can you work one up for me. I plan on sending it off to Grey Ghost for having a plastic template made if all works well plus being able to reproduce the pattern as needed and doing away with poster board for patterns print it out from the compute and coat it with self liner or the laminate stuff.

#21 particle

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 08:43 AM

Blackey Cole - you might check out http://layersmagazin...egory/photoshop for some good tutorials. Also, in the past I was very pleased with the Photoshop WOW! series of tutorial books. Also, look for the Photoshop Creative publication at your local book store. What file format does Grey Ghost need to cut your templates?

#22 AdamTill

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 08:59 AM

Hi folks,

I've used AutoCAD for work for the last 15 years or so, so that's my preference when it comes down to making patterns. I still use a VERY old copy of R14, which you should be able to pick up on ebay or the like for less then $100 (I've seen 2008 on there for about that).

I'm also quite fluent in PhotosShop, but less so in Illustrator so I'm not sure how they compare. The advantage of a CAD program over a photo editing program is that in CAD the lines are "alive", and you can interact them with one another. As such, if you want to clip one line where it intersects another, that's pretty easy. Likwise, if you want to extend a line to meet another, meet one perpendicular to another, or blend a curve through a series of points, all are straightforward. In Photoshop you can use layers and overlay things, but the lines don't really interact. It's also very easy to identify the areas where backgrounding is required, because you can get the program to fill those spots with color.

Where I love to integrate Photoshop is in distorting and stretching images, which is does like a champ. Oftentimes I'll start with a base image, manipulate it as I like in Photoshop, then import and trace it in CAD. The lines are then live in CAD, and I can proceed as I'd like from there.

Scanner-wise, I have to admit that I cheat in that I have easy access to the photocopier at work which they don't mind me using. I'll use the scanning bed to scan large objects in sections, then stitch the images back together in photoshop. If I didn't have that, I'd go out an buy a bed scanner that would handle 11x17s (which are becoming harder to find).

Likewise, I print everything on 11x17s, though I just do that at home on an ancient color inkjet. I can them tile them back together with a strip of tape back and front, and I use those directly on the leather. They don't survive more then a single project, but it's easy to just print another rather then having patterns around the shop.

The learning curve is steep with CAD, but with a good book it's not TOO bad if you're a little computer savvy. I'm self-taught, for example, and it created a skill set that I then use at the office too.

I'll attach an example of a pattern I'm developing as my first attempt at a saddle fender, which hopefully is somewhat along the right lines (my first effort from scratch). I scan everything I like, and this one started with the Hape saddle fender shown in a Sheridan carving book along with a set of flower and element patterns included with one of Chan Geer's DVDs.

Even though the saddle fender in the book isn't a scan and so everything is a little distorted due to perspective, it provided a nice means of learning how to flow one grouping into another. Then I arranged the groupings with the proper spacings, and arranged the flowers with their stems blending in properly. I then added in flow lines (red), and adjusted the groupings accordingly (I don't know if it's verboten to use circles of different sizes, but I quite like the effect). Next the leaves got added, and I'm starting to blend their stems into the vines. I've slowly started removing the overlapping lines, and filling in areas of backgrounding in yellow. Blending the vines together seems like it would be easier to do by handso I've printed this out and will do that in the next few days, and then I'll re-scan it and digitize those transitions. Last will be to print a final copy to use as a tracing pattern, and a second as a cheat sheet in where the backgrounding will go (I find that after 5 hours of carving my bleary eyes and tired arms appreciate a cheat sheet there).

Anyways, hope that helps,
Adam

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#23 Blackey Cole

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 09:31 AM

I can work real well in PS it is AutoCad that is my problem. I have version 17 and 18. If you could assist me with learning it I would be greatly appreciative. Adam can you work out some tutorials for me for doing some simple patterns where you have a center line and develop 1/4th of the pattern then copy and flip vertically then copy both sections and flip horizontally. I am working on some loading or stage strips for 38s. I can supply the detail figures and you are more than welcome to my finished design for teaching me what I need to know to built the digital pattern. I have figured how to set the scale and change the units to architectual mode.

#24 AdamTill

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 10:23 AM

I can work real well in PS it is AutoCad that is my problem. I have version 17 and 18. If you could assist me with learning it I would be greatly appreciative. Adam can you work out some tutorials for me for doing some simple patterns where you have a center line and develop 1/4th of the pattern then copy and flip vertically then copy both sections and flip horizontally. I am working on some loading or stage strips for 38s. I can supply the detail figures and you are more than welcome to my finished design for teaching me what I need to know to built the digital pattern. I have figured how to set the scale and change the units to architectual mode.


I don't have heaps of free time at the moment, but I'll try if I can. You'll need to be able to explain what you'd like to someone whose knowledge of firearms is limited to finding "Top Shot" entertaining, however...never even handled a gun before. Pictures of construction and/or final products would be most helpful so I can get my mind around the geometry involved.

It's lazy, but I don't bother with scales, actually. I just work in generic units (I assume 1 unit = 1 inch). To make sure I don't exceed the print boundaries, I draw a rectangle the size of my output paper (11x17, 8.5x11 etc), then set the print extents by snapping to the corners of the box. If you make a bunch of copies of the rectangle on a different drawing layers, that makes it easy to see how your pages will tile out. When you print, you then just set the printing scale to be 1 unit = 1 inch, and you're done. Getting into scales is important for engineering drawings, but we print everything full size, so there isn't the same need.

Edited by AdamTill, 31 August 2011 - 10:24 AM.


#25 Blackey Cole

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Posted 31 August 2011 - 12:22 PM

Adam I will do but it may be this weekend before I am able to get photos taken and scan my hand drawing so you will be able to set what I am trying to draw on the computer. When I said scale I ment ruler habit from my technical drawing class and 13 years of working on Aircraft in the USAF. I have items that are very similar to what I am designing. I will scan my full size completed drawing. I will then try to hand draw the 1/4 pattern so that we you can see the actual size of the item then once we draw it in the computer it will be copy and flip twice.

#26 dickf

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 12:33 PM

Adam,
Have you never used paths in PS? Those are the fundamentals and each path, or 'line', can do exactly what you want. It's been this way since the beginning. Perhaps you should pick up a book - you might find it faster to work with than AutoCAD.

#27 AdamTill

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 02:26 PM

Adam,
Have you never used paths in PS? Those are the fundamentals and each path, or 'line', can do exactly what you want. It's been this way since the beginning. Perhaps you should pick up a book - you might find it faster to work with than AutoCAD.


I confess, I clearly haven't that far. I know AutoCAD too well to bother duplicating the effort in PS, though I shoudn't have said that it wasn't possible if it is. I still don't think PS has the same grips, snaps and intersects that CAD allows though, and the measuring functions aren't quite as developed (ie, sometimes it's nice to snap a quick angle dimension to know that you need to rotate something by 1.6 degrees). Most people I've talked to say that creating things in Photoshop is a lot more effort then in other programs, in that it's really optimized as a means of editing or modifying images.

Good word to the wise for folks that might be wanting to chose one or the other though.

#28 Banwell

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Posted 01 September 2011 - 10:00 PM

I do all my designing with Corel Draw, which is a vector program. I make a sketch in pen and ink, scan it in and refiine it in Corel Draw.

#29 Anonnymouse

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 09:20 AM

What I am assuming people are talking about here is using something like Bezier paths to make tooling patterns? Or actual patterns like for holsters, etc. In my experience the GIMP bezier tool is much easier to use than the Photoshop bezier... That could just be my in experience, though.
~Life goes by too fast to be in a hurry.

#30 hidepounder

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Posted 02 September 2011 - 09:42 AM

What I am assuming people are talking about here is using something like Bezier paths to make tooling patterns? Or actual patterns like for holsters, etc. In my experience the GIMP bezier tool is much easier to use than the Photoshop bezier... That could just be my in experience, though.


Who IS Bezier and what does he do for a living???

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