Creating full size paper plans from FreeShip

Discussion in 'Software' started by kaymaran, Dec 20, 2015.

  1. kaymaran

    kaymaran Previous Member


    Have my hulls ready for scale modelling and can't seem to find an easy way to do this.

    If I create the plates however I try and scale them they come out really oddly.

    I've saved as a bit map then scaled it up but that all gets a bit "jaggedy"...

    Trying to export to .pdf it comes up with 1:17 by default but if I try changing it the .pdf is a single page and only part of the plates.

    I've exported it to a .dfx file and then imported that into FreeCAD version 0.15 but I can't actually see anything? Freeship Version 3.4 by the way.

    I've potentially got a morning off this week so looking to do a 1m long quick mock up. If too problematic I will just take coordinates and draw them directly onto the test ply.

    Afraid I am being dim again....

    many thanks for any help.
  2. TANSL
    Joined: Sep 2011
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    TANSL Senior Member

    I do not quite understand what you need to get, so I will venture with two possibilities:
    - If you want to get a drawing, on a paper, of your parts to 1/1 scale, you only have to draw them to 1/1 scale in Freeship and print them with a large-scale plotter.
    - if you want to draw them, eg on a wooden board (for subsequently cut), you should take several dimensions of the contour of each piece and draw the curves by hand on the board.
  3. kaymaran

    kaymaran Previous Member

    re-read my question and it is very badly put.
    I only have a standard sized printer and want to print it out onto A4 that I can tape together to create the shape on the ply.

    I've used poster printer software before for scalable pictures but the quality of the .bmp export isn't great - size options don't seem to make any difference - so I was hoping to get a better quality large .pdf or similar that can printed onto multiple pages.
  4. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    Home printers distort images quite a lot. You will not get an accurate shape that way. Have you checked for the price of printing it at some commercial place?
  5. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    There are two basic problems, the first is called "tiling" whereas you patch sheets of paper together to make the full size template. This is usually a part of the printer output (setup) package. Aligning and fastening (tape) the printed sheets introduces the potential for errors, which across a large template can be significant. The second and much lesser known issue is paper stretch. Paper, just like wood has a "grain" orientation and environmental changes, such as the heat from going through the printer (humidity, etc.), will distort the physical size of the paper, so the image printed is also distorted. This can be solved by using more stable stock, such as vellum or Mylar.

    Make a file with the full size document on it, preferably in a commonly printed format (bitmap, JPG, PDF, etc.) and take it to the local office supply store, engineering or architectural firm, where they can print it on a plotter or large format ink jet. You'll pay dearly for this, but you'll have full size templates.

    All this said, why do you think you need full size templates?
  6. TANSL
    Joined: Sep 2011
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    TANSL Senior Member

    I do not recommend doing files as bitmap, JPG, PDF, etc. All of them function as points clouds, consume a lot of memory and are inaccurate. It is much more accurate vectorized drawings.
    You talk to the office that has the large-format printer to find out what format is the one that accepts the printer and check that Freeship can create it.
  7. LP
    Joined: Jul 2005
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    LP Flying Boatman

    My plan for printing flat patterns from Freeship takes a couple of steps. First I export in DXF format from development page. I take the DXF and import it into my CAD software (TurboCAD in this case). I do a little CAD magic and cleanup. Dimensioning and panel lay-out, etc. Once I'm satisfied, I print it to a PDF file with any of the many free PDF printing applications you can download.

    This last step can be a pain as I create a piece of paper about the same size as my drawing so I get a single page PDF. Once, I have the PDF file, I open it and print to the size of my printer paper for a hard copy. If you print margins or add a light background grid, it will help with aligning the individual pieces of paper. There is a lot of opportunity for error with this process, but I've managed to get decent results with it.

    If you want a little more accuracy, send the PDF file to a commercial printer and have it printed on a single sheet of paper. Again, there is opportunity for error, but I've always had good results when I've gone this route. I've not done this on anything bigger than a kayak though.

    Good luck.


    Ha! Ha! Two people posted while I was responding.
  8. SukiSolo
    Joined: Dec 2012
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    A *.dxf should be 1:1 and most 2D CAD packages will import this. Be aware that you can get black lines on a black background or white lines on a white background so check this is not happening. You may also find more success with Rel 12 (DXF/DWG) if you can't get a newer version to transfer.

    In addition to the points made by PAR about paper stretch/alignment, watch out for movement IF you use stuff like Spraymount to stick down the plotted drawing. Using Mylar film or very high quality paper can alleviate this (80 gsm+) but double check with a steel rule before cutting anything....;)

    An A0 plotter is more than adequate for full size half sections on stuff up to around 5 meters (dinghy/sailboat) or longer if a kayak or rowing shell.. Remember to put in the C/L and reference vertical Datum(s) so you can locate it correctly. A half decent bureau should be able to take the *.dxf, or a plot file (HP generally preferred) and print it. Run an A4 print at home to check you have all the information on the drawing you need and let the bureau have a copy too. I too second using a vectorised drawing package, much more accurate.

  9. kaymaran

    kaymaran Previous Member

    Thanks everyone I have found a local printer who can scale up the plans and printout no problem.
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