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MikeTrice

Using Inkscape to produce cutting files, a worked example

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Revised cut pieces after clean up:

post-3717-0-06848500-1473346133_thumb.jpg

 

The 15thou glazing spacer is glued to the 20thou inner side

post-3717-0-04819200-1473346134_thumb.jpg

 

The 10thou glazing spacer is then added:

post-3717-0-56480400-1473346134_thumb.jpg

 

Here the excess has been cut off from the ends:

post-3717-0-99458500-1473346134_thumb.jpg

 

Before continuing I should explain that I am using d-Limonene as a solvent in conjunction with a Rigger brush. Some solvents are too harsh for use with thin styrene, however I now use d-Limonene for nearly everything:

post-3717-0-53800400-1473346135_thumb.jpg

 

Side proper and droplight/bolection layers glued together:

post-3717-0-13107000-1473346136_thumb.jpg

 

To clean off any burr caused by the cutting I use a small piece of timber with some fine wet and dry stuck to it:

post-3717-0-66291600-1473346136_thumb.jpg

 

The panelling layer is now added:

post-3717-0-11426800-1473346137_thumb.jpg

 

Once the solvent has set the side is placed right side down on a steel rule and and embossing tool run along the back of the side to start forming the turnunder:

post-3717-0-56942100-1473346137_thumb.jpg

 

The side is moved up a fraction and the process repeated:

post-3717-0-00896600-1473346138_thumb.jpg

 

The result is a curve like this:

post-3717-0-27613900-1473346571_thumb.jpg

 

The curved outer side is now glued along the top edge against the inner side:

post-3717-0-64601600-1473346572_thumb.jpg

 

The centre is done and finally the lower edge resulting in a very strong side:

post-3717-0-11760700-1473346573_thumb.jpg

 

Looking at the end the wider glazing slot is more apparent than previously:

post-3717-0-59356200-1473346573_thumb.jpg

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That looks very good to me, all it needs now is the otherside and two ends. I hope you can show us how to draw up the ends, it would be very useful to see how you go about getting the end too match the side turn under. My ability to grasp concepts and run with it is diminishing with age.

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Thank you Mike  for that detailed tutorial. I usedt the offset function to design windows but that created some distortion. Your technique is a lot better.

 

Jacques

Edited by Biased turkey

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By tweaking the photograph the results of the thinner 0.3mm waist beading can just be seen. Getting it straight whilst fixing in place is no easy task, and I have failed miserably:

post-3717-0-89368700-1473410645_thumb.jpg

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Here is the current 20thou inner side layer:

post-3717-0-98742800-1473411914_thumb.jpg

 

When using a Silhouette cutter the machine struggles with going all the way through with the thicker layers. As a result the user is left to finish cutting out manually.

 

An easier way of producing this inner layer would be to open out the aperture to a single opening:

post-3717-0-59407900-1473411915_thumb.jpg

 

If cutting a window from scratch in styrene I would score the rectangle, then cut through on the diagonals and snap out to window opening. The same can be done as part of our artwork and let the cutter do some of the hard work:

post-3717-0-11302800-1473411916_thumb.jpg

 

Another thing that helps snapping out is to physically align items so the can be snapped easily:

post-3717-0-74145400-1473411916_thumb.jpg

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With the sides more or less sorted it is the turn of the ends.

 

One of my many layers contains the construction notes showing the various side layers over the end profile from the drawing:

post-3717-0-27501800-1473496058_thumb.jpg

 

Rather than have everything on top of where I need to work I have duplicated the lamination information and moved it to the side of where I need to work. Note that the original construction lines have been left in place as they will prove key to getting the various profiles correct:

post-3717-0-83391900-1473496058_thumb.jpg

 

First I drew a series of lines roughly matching the roof profile:

post-3717-0-37811100-1473496059_thumb.jpg

 

These were then selected in node editing mode and set to autosmooth in the toolbar:

post-3717-0-87629400-1473496059_thumb.jpg

 

The result can be tweaked to your heart's content however I deemed this near enough:

post-3717-0-52975500-1473496060_thumb.jpg

 

The side laminations, the roof arc and centre line are all selected, grouped, and mirrored horizontally:

post-3717-0-10481300-1473496061_thumb.jpg

 

Then the resulting centre lines overlayed:

post-3717-0-63905700-1473496061_thumb.jpg

 

A 0.5mm line is drawn between the inner sides and positioned to represent a 20thou floor:

post-3717-0-24206600-1473496062_thumb.jpg

 

With all the elements in place the original 32mm wide rectangle representing the coach width can be deleted:

post-3717-0-77423000-1473496062_thumb.jpg

 

We now have the basics for starting to produce the end profiles.

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Again there are many ways of achieving the next tasks. I have gone for the simplest.

 

On my "Master" layer I have drawn a line that equally overlaps the joint between the side proper and bolection/droplight layer. This represents the rebate that the end needs to sit in. The line was drawn with straight segments then the nodes selected and smoothed as described previously:

post-3717-0-69360900-1473499386_thumb.jpg

 

Minor adjustment was required to get it exactly in place:

post-3717-0-18477600-1473499387_thumb.jpg

 

I chose this point to select it, duplicate and mirror it and move it to the other side. In hindsight I could have waited unitl the next step:

post-3717-0-76195400-1473499387_thumb.jpg

 

The first line was duplicated and readjusted to overlap the joint between the bolection/droplight layer and the glazing layers, then duplicated, mirrored and moved as before (I could have duplicated, mirrored and moved both lines at the same time):

post-3717-0-41113900-1473499388_thumb.jpg

 

The roof arc was selected on the Construction layer, duplicated and moved to the Master layer:

post-3717-0-04988400-1473499389_thumb.jpg

 

By removing all the previous layers visibility this is what I now have on the Master layer:

post-3717-0-62085500-1473499389_thumb.jpg

 

One of the left hand side lines was duplicated, set to a stroke of 0.5mm and repositioned to represent one of the curved sides of the panelling:

post-3717-0-29128100-1473499390_thumb.jpg

 

A close up shows that the edge needs to overlap the joint between the side proper and bolection/droplight layer. The length top and bottom have also been adjusted to match the horizontal beading positions (the bottom requiring fine tuning two nodes):

post-3717-0-86949800-1473499390_thumb.jpg

 

The curve is duplicated, mirrored and moved to the right edge then the remaining straight line segments added:

post-3717-0-45253800-1473499391_thumb.jpg

 

Once I was happy with them they were all selected then converted to an outline "Path->Path to Stroke", then joined "Path->Union" then had their fill set to nothing and their stroke to 0.1mm:

post-3717-0-06670000-1473499392_thumb.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

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On the last straight now.

 

The various end artifacts have been duplicated and moved to the 10thou cut layer:

post-3717-0-83281100-1473511678_thumb.jpg

 

Moving the panelling out of the way:

post-3717-0-39624400-1473511679_thumb.jpg

 

Duplicate the roof arc then move one of the profiles with it:

post-3717-0-90410000-1473511679_thumb.jpg

 

Bottom line drawn in and stroke set to black:

post-3717-0-59448000-1473511680_thumb.jpg

 

Now to work out the inner partitions. These are simple rectangles. Aligned against the inner edge of the inner sides, at present with no stroke style set:

post-3717-0-35676100-1473511681_thumb.jpg

 

Stroke set, fill turned off, duplicated and move to 20 thou layer:

post-3717-0-11679100-1473511682_thumb.jpg

 

Floor created by duplicating partition (as it is the same width) then the height set to 95.10mm:

post-3717-0-68841800-1473511682_thumb.jpg

 

In order to provide a good roof support it is useful to have some ribs cut to hold the arc curve. Three lines added to fit between the inner sides:

post-3717-0-31589700-1473511683_thumb.jpg

 

Duplicate the arc and copy both elements to the 20thou layer. Partions duplicated and floor rotated:

post-3717-0-01674000-1473511684_thumb.jpg

 

Now for those door vents:

post-3717-0-71434200-1473511684_thumb.jpg

 

After evening out the groove spacing:

post-3717-0-10848600-1473512117_thumb.jpg

 

After repeating for the wider first class door they are duplicated and moved to 20thou layer:

post-3717-0-76078700-1473512117_thumb.jpg

 

And duplicated to provide enough:

post-3717-0-33004400-1473512118_thumb.jpg

 

20thou layer after completion:

post-3717-0-07250700-1473512119_thumb.jpg

 

And the 10thou layers. As described previously the various elements have been moved together and cross cuts added to the majority of openings:

post-3717-0-80377600-1473512119_thumb.jpg

 

Just need to get the Silhouette out again!

 

 

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So we have our basic artwork and want to cut it out. There was a time I could send it to the cutter direct from Inkscape, however since upgrading I have lost this capability and have not resolved it yet. Instead I have to export the drawing as a dxf file and open it in Silhouette Studio. So let's give it a go and see what happens.

 

The 10thou layers from the previous posts:

post-3717-0-07399200-1473514733_thumb.jpg

 

"File->Save As.." and change the file type to dxf then save:

post-3717-0-61149000-1473514733_thumb.jpg

 

When the dialogue box appears I leave it as default and just click OK:

post-3717-0-58386000-1473514734_thumb.jpg

 

Now open the dxf in Silhouette Studio. OK not what I expected:

post-3717-0-46415200-1473514735_thumb.jpg

 

It is clear that Inkscape is saving ALL layers to the dxf file, not just the visible ones. So back to Inkscape and delete all non visible layers:

post-3717-0-22524600-1473514736_thumb.jpg

 

Save as dxf and open in Silhouette Studio. Looking much better:

post-3717-0-97675000-1473514736_thumb.jpg

 

However zooming in it appears that some of the shapes have spurious cut lines which were not present in the original Inkscape drawing:

post-3717-0-56368300-1473514737_thumb.jpg

 

Back in Inkscape select all objects. Note that the status bar at the bottom states there are a mixture of groups, rectangles and paths:

post-3717-0-22314100-1473514738_thumb.jpg

 

Keep selecting "Object->Ungroup" until no more groups are reported, then "Path->Object to Path:

post-3717-0-05220500-1473514739_thumb.jpg

 

Now change into node edit mode and click on the node break apart icon on the toolbar:

post-3717-0-64016000-1473515271_thumb.jpg

 

Finally back in selection mode select all objects and select "Path->Break Apart". We now have lots of small path segments in the drawing:

post-3717-0-38127300-1473515272_thumb.jpg

 

Save as dxf and open in Silhouette Studio:

post-3717-0-99499900-1473515272_thumb.jpg

 

That will do nicely.

 

 

 

 

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Hi Mike

 

I think at the top of the page it says your lower beading layer is .010". What do you think to putting webbing between the beads to make it easier to apply to the coach?

 

post-14192-0-44940300-1472001230.jpg

 

I know this helped me, and as the styrene is so thin, the webbing was easy to cut through and remove with a chisel ended knife.

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Hi Mike

 

I think at the top of the page it says your lower beading layer is .010". What do you think to putting webbing between the beads to make it easier to apply to the coach?

 

 

 

I know this helped me, and as the styrene is so thin, the webbing was easy to cut through and remove with a chisel ended knife.

I was thinking of trying that, when I finally get started on it.

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I have done that in the past. In this coach's instance I would only deem it possibly advantageous on the waist beading. Being cut to 0.3mm does not help.

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Some of the new parts cut out:

post-3717-0-10469400-1473586761_thumb.jpg

 

Closeup of door vent. It looks as if the blade has failed to clear the surface of the sheet at one point:

post-3717-0-74157400-1473586761_thumb.jpg

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Saving the above and creating a version "3" of the file I decided to add rectangles representing the doors (in this instance the drawing indicates that the out doors should be 2'0" wide so the rectangle is sized to 8mm width). As before the rectangle only has a fill:

attachicon.gifscreen 1.jpg

 

The new door outline tends to obscure the horizontal lines added previously so I moved them to the back of the image, e.g. behind the horizontal lines, by selecting "Object -> Lower to Bottom"

attachicon.gifscreen 2.jpg

 

attachicon.gifscreen 3.jpg

 

The first door is duplicated ("Ctrl/D") and the duplicates width changed to 8.33mm to match the prototypes first class door and dragged into position then "Lowered to Bottom":

attachicon.gifscreen 4.jpg:

 

The remaining doors are populated and centre lines added (by eye at this point in time):

attachicon.gifscreen 5.jpg

 

Lock the "Rough" layer and save the file.

 

Finally made a start, though I think I am stumped.

 

First, you'll notice that the image is blurred when magnified.

 

Second, you'll notice that it isn't quite straight on the page.

 

I don't appear to have the ability to improve the image sufficiently for importing and using with Inkscape.

 

Not sure where I go from here! 

post-25673-0-36120500-1473622348_thumb.jpg

post-25673-0-14100200-1473622483_thumb.jpg

Edited by Edwardian

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Did you use the image I emailed you?

 

No, which was doubtless my undoing.  I suppose that if I am to master this I need to be able to import a decent image!

 

I will give yours a go!

 

Thanks again.

Edited by Edwardian

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No, which was doubtless my undoing.  I suppose that if I am to master this I need to be able to import a decent image!

 

I will give yours a go!

 

Thanks again.

I sent it to you too, so you've got no excuse ;). It isn't quite straight, but I doubt if it's noticeable in 4mm scale. I made a slight adjustment for 7mm.

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I sent it to you too, so you've got no excuse ;). It isn't quite straight, but I doubt if it's noticeable in 4mm scale. I made a slight adjustment for 7mm.

 I'm confused,  Didn't I send this drawing out in the first place!

 

I better go back to the email and see what I have!

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The one I emailed you both had already been straightened and enhanced and is the one I used throughout.

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The one I emailed you both had already been straightened and enhanced and is the one I used throughout.

 

Right, yes.  I'll start again with that, thanks.

 

I'll have to work out how to do this enhancing myself, though. 

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I've finally started, and got as far as locking the "Rough" layer. I'll try to keep plodding along gradually!

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I've finally started, and got as far as locking the "Rough" layer. I'll try to keep plodding along gradually!

Hopefully as you go on you will find a lot of the tasks repetitive, so they will start to become second nature and you will find yourself speeding up.

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