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Card structure modelling software?


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There's no end of different software packages that we could use for modelling card structures, prior to printing on paper or card. 

 

But, just wondering:

  • Which package would members of this forum vote for as a collaborative tool, so that we can create and share design files with each other?
  • Would people prefer CAD-style software, or DTP-style software?
  • And then, how could we share the files with each other?
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The drawing program that comes as part of the open source LibreOffice is pretty good, you can draw to scale with it and it has textured fills for filling areas with bricks, slates etc.

 

And its free and available for Windows, Linux and MacOS.

 

Files probably best as PDF and looking below you can add PDF files here on your post.

 

Quick test I created by the above approach

 

 

Toilet.pdf

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Surely the software used should be irrelevant, and up to personal preference? What matters is only that a common file type is used. 
 

But I’m not really sure what your expectations or outcomes from this topic  are.........

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3 hours ago, Kiwi said:

Surely the software used should be irrelevant, and up to personal preference? What matters is only that a common file type is used. 
 

But I’m not really sure what your expectations or outcomes from this topic  are.........

 

Well Campaman has already had 17 copies of his toilet flushed. . Sorry I mean downloaded :sarcastic:

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5 hours ago, Campaman said:

The drawing program that comes as part of the open source LibreOffice is pretty good, you can draw to scale with it and it has textured fills for filling areas with bricks, slates etc.

Toilet.pdf 102.14 kB · 19 downloads

 

That's a great reply, thank you!

(a) I'd forgotten I had LibreOffice Draw and (b) I had no idea it could be used as a PDF editor. :)

 

Next dumb question : How do you get the right scale?

Edited by KeithMacdonald
typo
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You need the dimensions of the building you are creating, then convert into 4mm to the foot, eg 6'6" = 26mm, then you can draw that line in the drawing software to that length, you can right click the line or shape and adjust it through its position and size properties.

 

 

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I agree with Campaman, that pdf's are ideal for sharing drawings - I've never used Libre Office, but it sounds pretty good.   Another good program for graphic design for models is Inkscape, which is what I use. It is free, can open or save in a wide range of file types, and can even be made to save in Autocad .dxf, for use in CNC devices like plotters or laser cutters. It's default format is .svg , scaleable vector graphics. 

It is a good compromise between simple drawing programs and a full blown CAD suite like Autocad, which I reckon is a bit over the top for model buildings,  but I have to be honest and say that Inkscape is not the easist of programs to use at first (I am a bit dim!).  If you don't mind paying, Coral Draw is the commercial alternative, and has a more gentle learning curve.

 

Here is a link to a useful site for scale dimensions and conversions:
http://www.finescale.com/~/media/import/files/pdf/9/c/0/tips_for_scales.pdf

 

Best, Mike

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I've never really used LibreOffice or Inkscape before but might give them a try myself. My own personal choice and one I use is Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Indesign. Again this is my own personally preferred option in a way because I have them and got experience in using them. I've used it to create some custom things such as walls for derelict buildings and other items but not really used it for doing building design.

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On 24/10/2019 at 06:56, nhdesigns said:

 

I've never really used LibreOffice or Inkscape before but might give them a try myself. My own personal choice and one I use is Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Indesign. Again this is my own personally preferred option in a way because I have them and got experience in using them. I've used it to create some custom things such as walls for derelict buildings and other items but not really used it for doing building design.

 

Inkscape is vector based  as opposed to photopshop which is an imagery manipulation tool. While you can import images into Netscape and resize them,is primary use is as a 'drawing tool' to create line based output files. One of its big strengths is its wide range of output formats, including postscript and .dwg for input into other CAD based packages or sketchup.

 

Speaking of which, for architectural  models Sketchup shouldn't be overlooked. Its easy to learn and is aimed primarily for architectural design so has many tools designed to make drawing buildings easier. Although its meant mainly to produce 3D visualisations it can output orthographic views at scale.

Its often easier to design a building in 3D in Sketchup because you can visualise it more easily than just a series of flat walls. In particular, complec roof shapes are easy to model in 3D compared to working out angles etc in flat plans.

It has a materials database so you can select say several wall sections or areas , select a material (either one in their library or import your own - eg a Scalescenes brick file) and it will cover the wall in that material while leaving openings, other areas etc blank. It also has many free extensions that you can use to create windows and panelled doors with one or two clicks.

 

There is a free and pro version available - the latest free one is browser/cloud based but there is still 2017 amd earlier versions available which run standalone if you prefer that like me. Other even earlier versions (2007) also have features like .dwg import which was removed from the later free versions so I have 2 versions on my PC.

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Inkscape is undoubtedly popular, and there are good tutorials over in the 3D Printing etc forum. HOWEVER, it is definitely obtuse in many of its features and layout of options etc, and I find it's especially difficult to use for accurately dimensioned lines and shapes - compared to other tools.

 

The big advantage of a CAD type tool is being able to specify a measured length or angle for a line or shape, and be able to retrieve or edit that length or shape. Inkscape allows you to do that in a certain few circumstances, but it usually becomes very difficult to find simple properties of an existing shape, and even harder to adjust them precisely. 

 

Other "drawing" software like Adobe Illustrator and Serif Affinity Designer (replacement for PagePlus/DrawPlus) are both considerably better than Inkscape in this respect. I get the distinct impression that the very strict adherence to the open source SVG format (which is designed for web illustrations) rather than having a dedicated format of its own, often becomes a unnecessary problem for Inkscape. As in, certain things like (randomly) preserving certain combinations of font properties become impossible. Hoisted by its own petard, so to speak. 

 

Nonetheless the relative difficulty in creating / editing shapes to measured dimensions shows up the differences between vector graphics drawing software and CAD. Drawing software is just that - designed for artistic expression - whereas CAD is designed for dimensioned drawings. I'd definitely say model buildings are the latter.

 

You might want to use something like Inkscape or Illustrator to apply textures and colours to a design you create in CAD though.

 

J

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  • 5 months later...

I'll be honest -  I rather miss good old MacDraw! It could draw to scale, you could define libraries of objects to reuse, and multiple layers too. Cracking bit of software, then became ClarisDraw (basically renamed) and then in the shift to OSX it got dropped. It had exactly the right amount of flexibility for modellers as it was designed as a 2D vector drawing program and designed to be easy to use. It also required very little in terms of computing power/RAM. If anyone can recommend an equivalent for OSX I'd be grateful for the pointer.

 

(Saying that, I will be taking a look at LibreOffice later!)

 

STAY SAFE - STAY HOME - PROTECT THE NHS

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • RMweb Gold
On 23/10/2019 at 20:56, nhdesigns said:

 

I've never really used LibreOffice or Inkscape before but might give them a try myself. My own personal choice and one I use is Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Indesign. Again this is my own personally preferred option in a way because I have them and got experience in using them. I've used it to create some custom things such as walls for derelict buildings and other items but not really used it for doing building design.

Agree, plus Illustrator, however the Adobe CC suite is expensive for this unless the hobby use is the bonus after justifying the cost for some other use.

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