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Here’s a thing for you,, I noticed there are a few posts looking for suitable software for doing leatherwork design on, I found only one post back in 2008 referring to the software I’m going to talk about, I am hesitant to even mention the words ‘Computer Aided Design Software’ because I know a lot of people (me included) really struggle with programmes like AutoCad which are immense and highly complex programmes for which you can do almost degree standard training courses. I spent quite a lot of time trying to learn that stuff until I quit in exasperation and chucked it out of the window – metaphorically speaking. A couple of years ago I had a go with ‘Sketch up’ and quickly learned it is useless unless you spend a fortune on the paid version, the same story with a few other packages; free to try - useless unless you pay. Then I found,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, QCAD!! (sound of fanfare and church bells). QCAD is an open source computer aided design software package, which I use but am not associated with in any other way. The program is free and open source but to get the best out of it you will probably want to spend about $30.00 on the pro version with full printing capabilities and one or two other things. There’s no real need to do that straight away though as it’s useful anyway. If you’ve previously looked at CAD software the thing will look a bit familiar, the differences are that it’s primarily a 2D package and it is massively simplified. Although I utterly failed to work out how to use Autocad after a LOT of effort I was actually printing usable patterns with QCAD in a day or so. It is now my first ‘go-to’ design aid in most jobs I do. I prefer it to pencil and paper. You can draw everything at 100% size which makes life very easy for pattern making. One of my favorite ways to use it is to print out a design done on QCAD, then laminate the printed pattern and cut it out. you can then draw around the pattern pieces with the added firmness of the laminated,,,, uhm,, laminatedness. Doing it this way provides a pattern or template which is reusable many times over, is extremely cheap and quick to make and doesn’t have the disadvantages of a floppy paper pattern. Also of course you can save the QCAD files in a format which is widely recognizable by pattern makers or click knife makers. (DXF format). You can also save as normal JPG, TIFF, PNG image files or PDF files. I confiscated my kids homework laminator for this, told ‘em it was too dangerous, what with it being hot and likely to drag their arms in and rip them off at the shoulders etc; (health and safety ‘concerns’ always work!) If you don’t have kids to rob, you can buy one for a few dollars, euros or quid. (or even rubles maybe, do they have such things in Russia?) Of course you don’t need to use QCAD to nick your kids homework laminator, it would be quite handy for hand drawn or any other paper patterns. Just thought I’d mention that before someone else did. Anyway before I get carried away, If you’re looking for something to use on a computer to help with your leatherwork design and/or pattern making, I reckon this has got to be well worth a good look, it doesn’t require any more than ‘normal’ or domestic computer skills, won’t slow your machine to crawl and is extremely useful. Here is where you can get it, https://qcad.org/en/ PS I will happily answer your questions about my experience using it for leather-working, but I’m not a help-desk of FAQ thingy. I’m not even an expert with it, I love it (but not carnally – Monty Python anyone???) and use it in a limited way for my own uses. attached are a couple of my regular patterns and a squiggle showing it's dead easy to make curvy things symmetrical, which I totally can't do with a pencil. On the attached patterns for example I first drew the whole thing up fully, then 'copy and pasted' individual elements out into separate items so I could make a very exact pattern including things like reference or location pin holes, pin holes through the pattern also make a good start for drawing up glue lines and things like that. Have fun!! small card wallet 01.pdf
Hi Everyone! Perhaps a bit strange in Leatherworker, but who knows...help is often found in the strangest of places! I'm trying to lay hands on the PS300B sewing pattern software for the Brother 430 bartacker? It can be purchased, but they want (what I think is) an exorbitant amount for it! Thanks for any assistance in this regard! Cheers, Timmy
Hey does anybody know a good quality pattern making software? I mean one for leather handbags and purses made from leather (chrome or soft leather in general). I've seen an Italian software once, included libraries for accessories/hardware, lining etc. and some templates and color options but I don't remember how it was called. I think it shows the 3D model and calculates the material requirements and nesting.
Has anyone tried the Xero accounting program. After reading the discussion on accounting software in http://leatherworker.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=53061&hl= I started doing some research on cloud-based programs (so I can access the data at shows, in the car etc). Xero looks promising for a variety of reasons. It was developed in New Zealand, but is being marketed worldwide. It's gotten very good reviews for its features and ease of use, and Forbes considers it a good alternative to Quickbooks online. I'm just wondering if anyone on this forum has used it? Do any of our New Zealand readers know people who have used it?