• WELCOME Grumblers
    Backup is now done at 3PM EDT. You may find the server down for up to two minutes at that time.

Is there good drafting software

charming

True Grumbler
I am just finishing completing 5 fake double mat, multiple opening framing jobs for a movie that involved calculating all the dimensions for platinum records plus plaques plus cd covers, etc.

I think I must have spent 2 hours doing the calculations for all the dimensions (3-5/16 + 7/8 + 12-7/8) and on and on and on.

Then I turned it over to the LJ finishing department to cut on the computerized mat cutter. My dimensions were all correct but surely there is a better way (and No! I am not going to buy a computerized mat cutter)

So I'm wondering if anyone uses a graphics program to do these layouts and calculations? CAD, Corel, Microsoft Visio....?
 
Sponsor Wanted

wpfay

Angry Badger
Maybe you could talk to LJ about having some kind of access to their mat design software. It would save you both a lot of time. Designing on a computer is much faster.
In any event, you should probably consult with LJ on this to make sure whatever you do is compatible with their design software.
 

snafu

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
What type of file does larson take? just a drawing or cad file?

I remember years ago when Fletcher came out with their computerized mat cutter, at the Atlanta ABC show they were handing out what appeared to be fully functional copies of the of their software. I installed it, it was easy to use and I was able to save the file. I'm pretty sure you could export in a usable file for larson. I had a copy but lost it years ago.
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
When I purchased my first CMC in the late 1990s, I began using Corel Draw for mat designs. Now I use a Valiani CMC, and its V Studio software can handle typical mat designs, but I still use Corel Draw X6 for more-complex designs. However, AutoCad, Adobe Illustrator, and several other professional CAD programs could function similarly.

It may be possible for you to do everything you need to do using a free CAD program. If you Google "Free Online CAD Software", you'll find several free programs. I have not looked into any of them, but probably all of them are capable of enabling you to create mat designs. I know a couple of designers who use "SketchUp", which handles 2D and 3D designs.
 

charming

True Grumbler
Maybe you could talk to LJ about having some kind of access to their mat design software. It would save you both a lot of time. Designing on a computer is much faster.
In any event, you should probably consult with LJ on this to make sure whatever you do is compatible with their design software.

You make a very good point about compatibility. I really should look into being able to directly transfer my designs into LJ's computer mat cutters' program.
 

snafu

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Years ago I purchase from Wizard a "Special - POS License" it was used on our gallery computer so customers could be involved in designing their mats. I don't know it they sill offer this but it was very helpful.
 

charming

True Grumbler
Maybe you could talk to LJ about having some kind of access to their mat design software. It would save you both a lot of time. Designing on a computer is much faster.
In any event, you should probably consult with LJ on this to make sure whatever you do is compatible with their design software.

Good idea but won't work because their cutting dept. is open the same hours I am in my store.
 

FramerInTraining

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Valiani will sell you a save only version of their software for $100.

You can design your mat anyway you want and save it. If you have a vendor that cuts using a Valiani like Don Mar Creations, then you could email them your file to cut.

the software is fully functional except you can’t hook it up to an actual Valiani CMC and make it cut. For that you need to spend $1000 for the full (save and cut) version of the software.
 

wpfay

Angry Badger
Good idea but won't work because their cutting dept. is open the same hours I am in my store.
I wasn't thinking you could do a remote log onto their computers, but something more like Mo mentioned.
In any event you are going to have to coordinate with whoever is cutting your designs, and contacting them in advance of your search for a solution might be prudent.
 

charming

True Grumbler
To those of you who have contributed the idea of co-computing with the LJ mat cutter, their mat cutter (don't know the make) can not accept inputs either in real time or from a storage device. The Vilani idea sounds interesting.

The photo will give you an idea of the calculations required.20191028_134234.jpg
 

nikodeumus

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
I don't have a CMC or an oval cutter.
Maybe only a couple of times a year do I get a request that can't be done on a good ol' Fletcher 2100.

For complex designs, I use Photoshop or CorelDraw to layout my patterns.

Practically any other decent editing program will work.
Inkscape is a very powerful vector drawing program that is open-source, and completely free!


That's what I use at home, I can't afford Photoshop or Corel for my personal use.
There is a bit of a learning curve if you aren't' familiar with vector editing, but once you learn it, you can whip up patterns/layouts quite easily.

I draw my designs, make notations with accurate measurements, matte colours, and any other special notes, etc.
Save it as PDF and email to LJ (Vancouver) for them to do the hard work.

Never have a problem. Usually, if I have done poor math or instructions are unclear, they will call to clarify that same day (or day after).
 

nikodeumus

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
To those of you who have contributed the idea of co-computing with the LJ mat cutter, their mat cutter (don't know the make) can not accept inputs either in real time or from a storage device. The Vilani idea sounds interesting.

The photo will give you an idea of the calculations required.View attachment 31959
AMAZING!
Slightly off-topic question. What do you use to hold the records in place? Is there some kind of already made product to put into the hole?
 

Rick Hennen

Grumbler in Training
I am just finishing completing 5 fake double mat, multiple opening framing jobs for a movie that involved calculating all the dimensions for platinum records plus plaques plus cd covers, etc.

I think I must have spent 2 hours doing the calculations for all the dimensions (3-5/16 + 7/8 + 12-7/8) and on and on and on.

Then I turned it over to the LJ finishing department to cut on the computerized mat cutter. My dimensions were all correct but surely there is a better way (and No! I am not going to buy a computerized mat cutter)

So I'm wondering if anyone uses a graphics program to do these layouts and calculations? CAD, Corel, Microsoft Visio....?
You may want to explore the various software that are available for CNC machining. I use one called V Carve Pro put out by Vectric. It runs about $650.00 but has far more capability than any of the CMC software I have seen. I have worked with the Valiani software and currently do a lot of CNC work for framers and decorating firms so I am familiar with both applications. Since all computer generated designs used for cutting require vectors, once you create a design in V Carve pro you could export it as a dxf file which you should be able to import into most mat cutting software. If you are interested in giving it a try next time you have something complex to design give me a call and we will test the process. I did use it several times on more complicated designs with the Valiani cmc and it worked fine. Rick at Rian Fabrication Services www.rianfabrication.com
 

charming

True Grumbler
AMAZING!
Slightly off-topic question. What do you use to hold the records in place? Is there some kind of already made product to put into the hole?
I tried to use hot glue but the record vinyl isn't heat resistant. So I used fabric tape. Kind of like using ATG but wider and stronger. Obviously I had to position the back records first, then the second level and finally the center record. Only thing I would have done differently for the center record would have been to fill in the gaps behind it with 1/8" foamcore in triangle shapes to fill the gap between the to middle records.
 

snafu

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
I tried to use hot glue but the record vinyl isn't heat resistant. So I used fabric tape. Kind of like using ATG but wider and stronger. Obviously I had to position the back records first, then the second level and finally the center record. Only thing I would have done differently for the center record would have been to fill in the gaps behind it with 1/8" foamcore in triangle shapes to fill the gap between the to middle records.
I think something like this would better than adhesive.
The record can be easily removed without damage.
 

charming

True Grumbler
I think something like this would better than adhesive.
The record can be easily removed without damage.

For real records, Yes, but these are fake. I do a lot of framing for movies and TV.
 

nikodeumus

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
I think something like this would better than adhesive.
The record can be easily removed without damage.
What a great idea! Those look perfect for holding records
Plastic/nylon screws won't harm the brittle vinyl and are completely reversible.
I did a quick web image search for "nylon screws", there are lots of styles.
I guess finding ones that look aesthetically pleasing would be a factor.

1572631165921.png
These nylon nuts and bolts could work well. Different lengths could be used for varied "floating" effects.
Bolting through a mat and foam backer would be very secure.
 

nikodeumus

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Binding posts are also useful for mounting record albums.
:cool: Rick

View attachment 31970
I like the look of these better than screws or bolts. No grooves/slots showing, nice smooth finished appearance.
Using some kind of washer (rubber or other soft material) would reduce the risk of cracking the vinyl record, and protect against vibration when the piece is being moved/handled.
I'd hate to be responsible for wrecking someone's irreplaceable antique or collectible record. 😬
 

nikodeumus

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Back to the OG topic - Mat layout software.
Here's an example of what I can layout in Corel.
It could be done in Inkscape just as easily.
It took me about 10-15 minutes.
I just whipped it up to illustrate for this post, so please don't check my math:p
 

Attachments

Rick Granick

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
You can also get nylon binding posts. The metal ones look nice, though, because they resemble the spindle of a turntable.
:cool: Rick
 

charming

True Grumbler
Binding posts are also useful for mounting record albums.
:cool: Rick

View attachment 31970
I recently had to frame a 5 lb axe. I held the head in place by burying magnets behind the mat, which worked great, but the handle needed securing. So I used these type screws, 2" long, to go thru the existing hole in the handle, thru the matboard, thru the foamcore backing and 1'4" plywood. These type screws have a finished look to them, and are available in various sizes at HD.
 

bobtnailer

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
For those of you who use CorelDraw to make CMC layouts, what file type do you use when exporting from CD? We use CD (currently version X6) for about 95% of our layouts on the awards/engraving side of my business, so I'm very familiar with it.

We use matDesigner software for the Wizard 8000 cutter.

If I could do some of the more complex layouts in Corel and import them into MD, that would open up some neat doors for us!
 

bobtnailer

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
I got my lines to import into PT, but they weren't editable - couldn't even delete them.

I've never used PT before, so I tried to look at the manual from the Help menu. I click the "manual" selection, but it doesn't do anything. I'm going to see if I can find it online somewhere.
 

snafu

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
I got my lines to import into PT, but they weren't editable - couldn't even delete them.

I've never used PT before, so I tried to look at the manual from the Help menu. I click the "manual" selection, but it doesn't do anything. I'm going to see if I can find it online somewhere.
Sent you a pm
 

bobtnailer

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Thank you, snafu - got it!

Looking at the PDF manual, I see why I didn't get it to pull up when I clicked on it from the program. The manual is online, and that computer is not connected to my network (or to the interweb). No internet connection, no manual. Mystery solved.

Now to figure out how to get drawings from Corel into PathTrace.

Thanks again!!
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
For those of you who use CorelDraw to make CMC layouts, what file type do you use when exporting from CD?...
We use matDesigner software for the Wizard 8000 cutter.
If I could do some of the more complex layouts in Corel and import them into MD, that would open up some neat doors for us!
You need to determine which DXF version works with your Wizard software. I'm sure Wizard can tell you which version(s) are usable in your particular version of the PathTrace program. Here is a screen shot showing the DXF versions available in Corel Draw X6...

Corel Draw DXF Format save.jpg
 

bobtnailer

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Howdy, Jim!

Since the list isn't very long, I skipped the $150 call to Wizard support and exported from 2000 to 2007 (I had already tried the 2008+ option unsuccessfully).

The 2000 version imported and displayed perfectly. PT let me select the object, and it showed me the start/stop points. It also let me save the WCX file (that's more than I've gotten to do thus far!).

I haven't quite figured out why PT usually gives me an error message when I try to save the WCX. It says that I have to set the bevel type before saving, and the bevel type has been set each time (just a standard 45* is selected). Sometimes it works, though. I'm clearly doing something wrong, or else I'm just not holding my mouth right.

When I brought the new WCX into Mat Designer, however, the graphic didn't show up...it was just a blank page. It showed the file name of the WCX in the center of the page, but it didn't show the graphic itself.

I haven't read the whole manual yet (I'm a manual nerd - I don't like using any hardware or software until I have read it cover to cover), so that's my next step.
 

Rick Granick

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I love my Wizard 8000, and I have done a variety of relatively uncomplicated projects involving PathTrace. I must say that PT is rather quirky in the way it operates, and is not very intuitive, even compared to rudimentary vector programs I have used elsewhere. I will admit being jealous of Valiani users' ability to import designs from Corel and cut them fairly readily. I know I have seen some very cool results from Jim Miller and others.
:cool: Rick
 

bobtnailer

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
I will admit being jealous of Valiani users' ability to import designs from Corel and cut them fairly readily.
Ditto.

We have two UV printers here, and each one has its own proprietary software (a "rip" program). One has a Corel plug-in that lets us send a file directly to the rip, while the other requires the intermediate step of exporting to an eps before taking it into the rip.

It can be argued that one has not experienced quirky until one has used a UV printer. :icon45::icon45::icon45:
 
Sponsor Wanted
Top