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Projectors Instead of Paper Patterns

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I have recently been looking into using a ceiling mounted projector to display leather patterns straight down onto my workbench, but I have only seen this technique done with sewing patterns. Are there any major issues with using this technique to replace paper patterns? My hope is to reduce production cost as well as save time spent preparing the patterns.

Thanks for reading!

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It's an interesting idea. What would be the workflow?

I wonder how many paper templates can you print out versus the cost of a projector?

For me the repeatability and speed of a solid card, perspex or board template are very useful -- especially where for thin leather you can just run a knife around it, or for thicker leather a scratch awl, and the knife follows the awl mark. I'd also be concerned about being able to move the leather around as I cut it.

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I once used front projection in my wood toy making business. It was horizontal though. I projected the outlines & line details of cartoon characters on to white painted board, which was then cut out and painted for decorating walls and fences of childrens' nursery schools.

By projecting the drawing on to the board I could vary the height of the cartoon figure, from 2ft tall to 7 ft tall

I think the same would work for leather patterns. You could vary the size of the project without having to draw a new card pattern

The biggest drawbacks I found were; keeping the board perfectly still, and thus in alignment, whilst drawing on it, and me getting in the way of the projected image, I got used to doing the twist and squirming around to get out of my own shadow

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2 hours ago, Matt S said:

It's an interesting idea. What would be the workflow?

I wonder how many paper templates can you print out versus the cost of a projector?

The process I have planned would be to display the pattern on the leather and trace the pattern with a scratch awl, and then when I am making the permanent cuts/holes double checking things on the computer screen if I get confused. I'm this alone will give me a reason to sell my $400 printer and replace it with a $300-$400 projector. 

 

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Another idea to consider is using a diode laser. You can easily change the size in the software to whatever you want by percentage. For cut out patterns on card I use mine to cut out the pattern straight with the laser. No more hand cutting for me to go wobbly on. If I want a faint line to do a stitch line or carve line pattern you just set the power as light as you want. With the program I use I can get it to do cutting lines and light mark lines all at the same time by using different colours in the drawing. Where this gets used a lot is when I cut out our product boxes where the cutting lines are black (full power) and the fold lines are green which are about 20% of full power. The colour lines are able to be adjusted to whatever percent of full power you want. Other advantages are I use it to cut fabric at times, cut thin leather or emboss patterns, cut out acrylic stamps for embossing leather and a few other things as well. The A3 Elksmaker pro I started with cost around $300 but I rebuilt it to where It can now do poster size pieces and has fume extraction and improved cooling so that I can run it for hours at a time. Those extras cost about another $500 plus my time to do it.

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11 hours ago, RockyAussie said:

Another idea to consider is using a diode laser. 

The A3 Elksmaker pro I started with cost around $300 but I rebuilt it to where It can now do poster size pieces and has fume extraction and improved cooling so that I can run it for hours at a time. Those extras cost about another $500 plus my time to do it.

Using a laser would seems like it would be the most efficient way to cut the leather, but I don't work with leather enough to justify buying one yet. I went to your website and I'm nowhere near your level of proficiency. When I get better I will definitely reconsider! 

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what materials do you work with a laser can cut and engrave a multitude of materials, Leather, wood, paper , fabric the list goes on and on . for you if you just want to mark the material a diode might be ok , if you want to get in to cutting heavier stuff then you might want a co2 laser.

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