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Paper Template Generator -- TubeNotcher Update

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Topaz

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LB, I've only taken the briefest of looks through your software. Looks very handy, and than you for putting all this effort into it.

One question - desktop printers of any kind tend to have some distortion built-in, from brand to brand and even from example to example. I don't see any means of running an X-Y calibration strip before plotting patterns. Did I just miss it, or is that a feature you might consider adding?

I'm thinking simply printing out an X-Y coordinate "cross" and having the end-user measure what comes out of their printer, typing that pair of numbers back into the software, which makes the adjustment accordingly.
 

zipzit

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LB, I've only taken the briefest of looks through your software. Looks very handy, and than you for putting all this effort into it.

One question - desktop printers of any kind tend to have some distortion built-in, from brand to brand and even from example to example. I don't see any means of running an X-Y calibration strip before plotting patterns. Did I just miss it, or is that a feature you might consider adding?

I'm thinking simply printing out an X-Y coordinate "cross" and having the end-user measure what comes out of their printer, typing that pair of numbers back into the software, which makes the adjustment accordingly.
I thought of that too... but that's already built in, kinda sorta. Print out anything on the simple tab. See the text printed there? It includes a circumference dimension. In a flat pattern of a tube, the circumference is the height of the unrolled pattern. You can verify width units using a ruler and matching up against the inch tic lines (across top and bottom of printout...) You could also verify the reference from the zero intersection to the left hand border.

As for printing on paper, remember the tool of choice there is Adobe Acrobat Reader (free) There are choices there for 100% scale, as well as the Poster option (which enables you to print out large items....) They include page markings and corner tic marks. I don't know how to align an individual printer to its copy of adobe Acrobat Reader.. I'm assuming that's in the operating system somewhere, but not in my stuff.

Adobe's instructions for scaling, click here.

Have you printed out on paper? Were things full scale?
 

Sprucemoose

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That looks like you nailed it, exactly what I was describing. This will be most useful in making airframe clusters.

One issue- I cannot seem to print. I'm running Safari on ios10. When I click print, it simply opens up a new tab with a pattern shown, but it resists all attempts to print, save or open it. I'll try it out on a Windows box later today when I have time.
 

proppastie

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looks like a great tool. My initial problem when viewing the sample was the visualization of the tubes.
What is printed is not intuitive. I am probably over-thinking this and if I really used the tool this may not be much of a problem
 

zipzit

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One issue- I cannot seem to print. I'm running Safari on ios10. When I click print, it simply opens up a new tab with a pattern shown, but it resists all attempts to print, save or open it. I'll try it out on a Windows box later today when I have time.
I will say, I have more headaches with Safari than any other browser. I can't begin to tell you how many hours I've had to spend because the web pages I'm creating don't display well on Safari. (I do a lot of animation work in the browser..) The Safari team doesn't fully adhere to the standards, they don't have a good mechanism for developer feedback on open issues, and they don't publish their logic behind the (poor) design decisions they make. Google and Mozilla (firefox) are way open, above board and are just awesome. Install Chrome on your apple and move on. Here's a clicky showing browser usage worldwide. Note: you can use Safari, but you have to use the top menu in the browser, SAVE AS, store the pdf file, then re-open it again in Adobe Reader, (from Finder). Or just use Chrome (on your Apple). I've tested both on my MacMini, works fine. Chrome is much easier.

And Jeff, thanks for your feedback on TubeNotcher. Had it not been for your original comment, I'd never have added that airframe cluster tab. And there was some weirdness in that coding. Play with eccentric angles and different tubing diameters. The curve joins don't always occur at 90 and 270 degrees...

proppastie said:
My initial problem when viewing the sample was the visualization of the tubes. What is printed is not intuitive.
Prop: Two recommendations for you. 1) Use the tool with material thicknesses set to zero, until you've made a few joints in metal. It may be easier to see that way first. 2) Try a simple "Round to Flat" template, Create a "Tube which mates to a flat surface", using say 1" diameter, and a low angle, use 25 degrees. Print out full scale, cut out the template. Look at the shape of the curve. It sorta looks like a normal distribution you learned in high school statistics class. Using a pencil, roll the paper template into a cylinder shape. You want to roll it so it will hold shape. Then scotch tape it together by lining up the three alignment marks. Now place this against the top of your desk. Who would have thunk that curved shape would generate a totally flat shape in this form? I agree with you, it is not intuitive.
 

Topaz

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I thought of that too... but that's already built in, kinda sorta. Print out anything on the simple tab. See the text printed there? It includes a circumference dimension. In a flat pattern of a tube, the circumference is the height of the unrolled pattern. You can verify width units using a ruler and matching up against the inch tic lines (across top and bottom of printout...) You could also verify the reference from the zero intersection to the left hand border.
Ah, okay. Unfortunately, printers often show errors that are different in the X-Y directions. Often a full percent or more. If you're not seeing issues in real-world applications, then perhaps I'm being over-zealous. It's an issue for plotting airfoils. Might not be in this application.

As for printing on paper, remember the tool of choice there is Adobe Acrobat Reader (free) There are choices there for 100% scale, as well as the Poster option (which enables you to print out large items....) They include page markings and corner tic marks. I don't know how to align an individual printer to its copy of adobe Acrobat Reader.. I'm assuming that's in the operating system somewhere, but not in my stuff.
I'm well-versed with Acrobat. I've been a graphic artist longer than Acrobat has existed, and use it nearly every day. Acrobat really wasn't intended for engineering uses beyond document exchange, so it doesn't have a built-in calibration tool.

Have you printed out on paper? Were things full scale?
I haven't - no time, many client projects to get out - but my results would only apply to me, and my individual printer. As I mentioned earlier, individual printers vary as much or more, in many cases, than variations between brands. Inkjets are the worst, while lasers tend to be the most accurate, but any desktop printer will create printouts with measurable variations from input dimensions.

Like I said, maybe I'm being too persnickety in this particular application. It was just something that came to mind.
 

proppastie

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Are you going to sell this, allow free download, or keep it on your site as demonstration of your capabilities...I am maybe 2 years away from needing it.
 

Sprucemoose

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Re: Safari. You are right about Safari being the problem. I tried it on Firefox on my Mac and on IE on a Windows machine and both worked as advertised. I like Safari for the ability to synchronize between my i-devices, but I can use Firefox for this application without having to install Chrome.

It seems to be working fine, but I want to make some actual templates for my airframe and try them out, which I will do this weekend. I will let you know how that goes and if there are any unexpected surprises. My airframe is a riot of different tube sizes and angles, so it should make for a good real world test.

Thanks again for your effort. If you are soliciting donations I would contribute.
 

zipzit

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Are you going to sell this, allow free download, or keep it on your site as demonstration of your capabilities...I am maybe 2 years away from needing it.
"2 years" Ha, you, me, and everybody else.

So I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do. I'm thinking my best shot to making this useful to all is to sell the program to somebody tied to metal fab business (supplier of parts, tooling, etc...). I'd probably add an advertisment (or coupon) to the paper printout, etc... (nothing too obnoxious). My sales pitch is that this software tool would draw folks (you guys!) to that supplier's site. What ever I end up doing, I will always provide a forwarding link from my website, so anybody reading this posting, even five years from now, who clicks on the old link gets to the most recent (and correct) place. No fuss, no muss.

Folks I'm considering talking to: Nova Cycles, Aircraft Spruce, Miller, Lincoln, Everlast, USAweld. Any recommendations from you guys? Heck, I may just go back to Bob at Cobratorch.net. He's a heck of a nice guy. Stay tuned. In the meantime just keep using the TubeNotcher Pattern Creator Tool link.

--LB Corney
 

BobbyZ

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Thanks for creating and sharing this.As someone who is involved in motorsports and home building this is a awesome time and material saver and I hopefully will be using it in the near future.

I really could have used this on the last turbo manifold I built that is for sure.I look forwards to testing it out in the future.

If you dont mind I am going to forward this along to a friend of mine that does a lot of fabrication as we've been kicking around the idea of doing a CNC notcher of some kind.He mainly does marine stuff like arches and towers but we also do some chassis fab too on the side and I'm in the planning stages of a plane.Even if we never do the CNC thing I'm sure this would help him cut down on waste,especially from the new hires.

I hope you dont take this the wrong way because you deserve to be compensated for the hard work,but hopefully someone sees the value and picks this up without dragging down the functionality with tons of ads.

Lastly,while I plan on trying it out first,I wouldn't mind paying a few bucks for access.Even if you strike a deal with a company you might want to think of a hobbyist based back door.I'm sure I'm not the only one here who wouldn't mind sending a few bucks your way to cut down on wasted tubing ;)
 
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