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Thread: New Templates/Clipart/Fonts ...

  1. #1
    CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level II MarkEatonLLC's Avatar
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    Default New Templates/Clipart/Fonts ...

    I have been asked for new templates/clipart/fonts for almost every CMC make and model recently. I am glad to provide this service but I would also like to provide some thoughts on this subject. I hope these comments will lead to growth and competition. Your comments are always appreciated.

    No matter which brand of CMC you use, unless you learn to use the "CAD" interface, you will always be waiting for the manufacturer to put out new templates/clipart/fonts/etc. This is just a fact.

    Every software upgrade being released today (and for the past 8 years) by any of the CMC OEMs is either some type of bug fix or some type of "CAD" (drawing) tool. Wizard keeps improving their Path Trace interface. GUNNAR is releasing the new GMC interface. Valiani is improving their plt/dxf interface. These are all CAD tools. The thing is - companies such as AutoCAD, Corel, IMSI, etc. have been writing CAD tools since the late '80s and early '90s. These companies have about 10 years more experience at it than the CMC OEMs. So who is going to have the better CAD tools? The CAD guys, not the CMC guys.

    You have three choices:
    1) Wait for the OEMs to make more clipart/fonts/etc.
    2) Pay someone else to make your fancy mats and custom clip arts and fonts.
    3) Learn to use CAD.

    The first choice will not give you a competitive edge. When the OEM releases the software update, everyone has it at the same time. You are just one in a heard.

    The second choice is better than the first. You can, at least, provide a unique product to your customers. But, this adds time and cost to the process. We provide this type of service.

    The third choice is the best choice. Every artist has the same tools as every other artist. It is how each artist uses these tools in unique and creative ways that makes one artist more successful than another.

    Put another way: using a CMC with only the templates/clipart/fonts/etc. provided by the machines OEM is like painting by number - everyone can do it - the end product is a commodity sold only on price. To be a master at the CMC you must master CAD.
    Mark Eaton
    801-405-6300 Phone
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    801-380-7935 Cell
    "A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds." - Mark Twain
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    PFG Picture Framing God Kirstie's Avatar
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    Mark, I couldn't agree more. We get work from customers nationwide who need unique designs. We also do some mat cutting for frame shops in other states. I can't take any of the credit for this, except for the marketing. I never learned Path Trace but several of our employees are Wizard wizards and have given us a leg-up in this area. Specialty mats are not a large part of our business, but we certainly create them regularly.

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    CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level II MarkEatonLLC's Avatar
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    Kristie, thank you for your comments.

    Sorry for the delayed response. I have been a little busy. I don't want anyone to think that this is a drive-by posting.

    Any other comments would be appreciated. You know that the CMC OEMs are watching this, so please add your 2 cents while the opportunity is open.

    Your competitors are also watching. If I was someone looking to grow my business and stand out from the crowd I'ld be watching this thread.
    Mark Eaton
    801-405-6300 Phone
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    "A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds." - Mark Twain

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    PFG Picture Framing God janetj1968's Avatar
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    Sounds like a "Practical use of CAD for CMC's" would make for a very informational class.... or book....or video..... (series).

    The usual CAD tutorials are too overwhelming for most framers. We only need to know how to do certain things. It's also the reason why I have refrained from trying to learn. I just don't have enough time to learn everything and then apply just some things.

    What we need is a very practical method of learning those techniques that would help us to design for the CMC on CAD.
    Life is 50% Faith, 50% Attitude.

    -Jan

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    SGF Supreme Grumble Framer Rick Bergeron - CPF's Avatar
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    Mark,

    Sometimes it is just the word CAD that scares people. At one time, Fletcher recommended DeltaCAD as being satisfactory for CMC mat designs. It certainly is not nearly as complex as the multimillion dollar 3D versions but seems to be sufficient as long as you don't start using splines.

    OR am I missing something? I haven't done more than step through the basic mat design tutorials for DeltaCAD which is 2D at a very affordable price.

    Somewhere, back in my computer archives, I have the DeltaCAD tutorial for the F-6100.
    Rick - Coeur d'Alene, ID
    formerly:Rockeby's Custom Framing

    ChainWeavers.com precious metal jumprings


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    SGF Supreme Grumble Framer
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    Does Corel produce files that work with all the CMCs?

    I've used Pathtrace when I needed with not too much trouble, but if I could use soemthing else and import the file I could see doing some different things.
    Cliff Wilson, MCPF
    Immediate Past President of New England PPFA & Former Director on the International Board of PPFA

    The Best Custom Picture Framing in Worcester, MA - Website

  • #7
    PFG Picture Framing God janetj1968's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Bergeron - CPF View Post
    Somewhere, back in my computer archives, I have the DeltaCAD tutorial for the F-6100.
    And if you could share it, I would be forever grateful....
    Life is 50% Faith, 50% Attitude.

    -Jan

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    A fourth option.
    get a large laser engraver with pass through doors.

    it is an investment, but will set you apart. a few examples of what we do with ours.
    this one we lasered the frame also.

    [IMG][/IMG]

    [IMG][/IMG]

    [IMG][/IMG]

    [IMG][/IMG]

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    SPFG Supreme Picture Framer God
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    This is a very timely thread, Mark.

    You have three choices:
    1) Wait for the OEMs to make more clipart/fonts/etc.
    2) Pay someone else to make your fancy mats and custom clip arts and fonts.
    3) Learn to use CAD.
    After seven years in denial about needing those special designs, I finally bought Corel Draw X4 and have become almost obsessed about the mind-boggling potential of this powerful tool.

    Creating fancy mat corners and cut-designs is just the beginning. Here are a few other ideas...

    1. Make your own archival storage boxes out of alpha celulose matboard.

    2. Cut your own triangular frame-corner protectors out of scrap matboard pieces.

    3. Cut your own frame bumpers out of scrap board pieces.

    4. Cut cove mats precisely and easily.

    5. Make non-invasive, non-adhesive, quick-mounts for documents, using special cuts in foam center board and matboard, and save on accent mats.

    6. Create unique designs for quotes and verses, cut/deboss/draw them on scrap matboard pieces, frame them and sell them from stock.

    7. Create your own fonts or custom-modify them.

    8. Cut clear film "spiders" for mounting medals and coins.

    The list goes on and on...

    I have traded CAD files with some framers, and invite trading opportunities. It would be great to have scrolls, flourished-letter fonts, templates, and decorative shapes commercially available by dpownload or on CD. However, it would take a special effort to gather up a variety of these things, compile and catalog them, and market them successfully.

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    SPFG Supreme Picture Framer God
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Wilson View Post
    Does Corel produce files that work with all the CMCs?
    I think so, Cliff. Corel Draw X4 (and presumably the new X5 version) will save files in several formats, including DXF. What file format(s) do you want to use?

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    SPFG Supreme Picture Framer God
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    Quote Originally Posted by janetj1968 View Post
    ...The usual CAD tutorials are too overwhelming for most framers. We only need to know how to do certain things. It's also the reason why I have refrained from trying to learn. I just don't have enough time to learn everything and then apply just some things.
    At the trade shows, all three of the major CMC makers provide classes on the software they use. Wizard and Gunnar have their own proprietary software, and their classes are always full. I don't know if their classes would apply to the commercially-available software programs, but Valiani has provided classes on Corel Draw, because that's the program they recommend for their CMCs.

    Janet, I tried unsuccessfully for seven years to find shortcuts in the CAD learning process. My suggestion is to buy software compatible with your CMC and learn how to use it. No matter what you want to do with the software, you have to learn the fundamentals -- which is what takes the time initially. After that you can progress on our own.

    Mark, do you offer CAD classes at the trade shows?

  • #12
    PFG Picture Framing God EllenAtHowards's Avatar
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    One of the reasons that Wizard's CAD class is full is that I take it. Every trade show. Every time. I think I have done it at least 5 times. I listen, I take copious notes, I get home, sit down at the computer, and VOILA! All my notes have turned to Sanskrit!

    I am taking the webinar in May, desperately hoping that someone walking me through it while I am sitting at a computer will finally lodge the information in my brain.

    Maybe I should have my 8 year old grandson take it.....
    If you'd do what I told you the first time, I wouldn't have to be so bossy.

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    If my memery serves me correctly you had a problem that would take a image and draw the cutting program. We are going to get the new Wizard 9000 the first week of May and would like to be ready to design without our old pathtrace program.

  • #14
    CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level II MarkEatonLLC's Avatar
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    Everyone has very good points. CAD is a three letter word in the art industry. Art is a right brained activity while CAD is a left brained activity. When I am speaking about CAD I don't mean 3D shaded programs like SolidWorks ($3000-$8000). I use this to design parts for your CMCs. I mean 2D programs like DoubleCAD (Free at DoubleCAD.com). DeltaCAD will work too.

    CAD is just a electronic version of graph paper. To use CAD for picture framing you need to learn how to draw lines and arcs and how to erase. Yes, you will also need to know how to save your file and create a file, typically DXF, that your CMC software will understand. You do not need to know every bell and whistle in your software. Learning the bells & whistles can come later.

    Someone mention splines. Splines are like Baskin-Robbins ice cream - there are more flavors, or types, than you can count. Some programs like Wizards PathTrace and GUNNARs new GMC software understand certain types of splines. Most programs understand a basic type of spline called a Cubic Bezier Spline. If you're interested in the details on this animal just search Google and Wikipedia. This is cutting edge for the CMC business. This is a topic for a whole other thread.

    I can provide on site CAD training. (Please don't kick this thread to the Commercial Post just because wrote that.) I am contemplating a CAD class at a trade show but I think that this type of training is more one-on-one hands on training. Educationally the trade show class is excellent to introduce you to the possibilities of using CAD but it not the forum for teaching you how to use CAD.

    One other topic that you need to know about is "Tangent". What makes a line tangent to an arc, or an arc tangent to another arc. Again, search Google and Wiki for this answer - it bigger than this post.

    Once you can draw a line, an arc, trim, and erase, make one item tangent to another, save, and export a DXF files - You can draw and cut anything. The rest is just icing on the cake.

    P.S. a laser does kick a$$ over a CMC for detailed cutting.
    Mark Eaton
    801-405-6300 Phone
    801-406-7600 Fax
    801-380-7935 Cell
    "A person with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds." - Mark Twain

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    MGF Master Grumble Framer Cavalier's Avatar
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    Thank you for that information; I'll be trying out DoubleCAD soon! It's been a long time since I took CAD in college (as a design major, we worked more in the Adobe suite, so I'm more familiar with Illustrator than anything) but find that PathTrace doesn't have the tools I need to really experiment.

    The right-brain/left-brain comparison might be an issue with me as well, but I have no problem creating paths using Adobe Bezier pen tools, maybe because it's as though I'm technically drawing them out.

    I look forward to trying out DoubleCAD. Thanks again for posting that out. Between Corel and Adobe in what I do, Adobe's more practical; the DoubleCAD will be an affordable (free) alternative.

    Work:
    Play: Email There's Art Here!
    ...but I digress like a Burroughs novel.

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