Robert, if you've got a lot to print and it's all in HPGL format
(probably GIF or TIFF files from someone scanning in an official
plan), then it may be cost-advantageous to go out and buy your own
If you can get a printer, then you can start selling your services.
Also, check out the local blueprint companies and drop by for a chat.
You may find one willing to do them for a minimal cost. I'd found one
here in the GTA that did it for $.25 a square foot because I was in so
often. That puts a 3x6-foot drawing at $4.50 cash.
As a matter of fact we are going to install one. It's been sitting in
storage for a month waiting for a place to put it. I'll get the specs on it
and see what it would cost to print plans(I will use it for that too).
It'll be in an office 46Mi. away from me, but oh well.
I once printed starcads plans for a trainer on 8 1/5X11 and taped it
A local community college or high school with a good drafting/CAD program
may be an option worth exploring. It might be that you would even find a
fellow flyer there. An offer for some free stick time might even get the
job done free of charge.
After reading another thread I went to a plans site and downloaded a few
old timer plans, updated for RC. I got the Spook, Quaker, Dallaire, and
the Guff. After rearranging the parts to fit on a 30 inch wide sheet,
I'm ready to put them on paper.
Now I'm looking for ideas of how to get them printed without spending
$30 at Kinkos. Any suggestions? Anybody here have access to a large
I thought about doing a series of 8 1/2 X 11 sheets, but I enjoy having
the real thing on big paper. I usually just buy them from catalogs so
the guy responsible for the work can get his cut, but these were
freebies of redone 70 year old designs.
If your system can handle DXF format let me know and I'll email the
files to you. I noticed that the old timers at this site
are done in ridiculously large
format without easy cutting lines, so I downloaded a free CAD program to
rearrange the parts and put them on reasonable sized paper.
In addition to DXF my software will also produce CAD, SVG, HPL, HGL HPG,
HLT, and HPGL files. One thing I can't figure out is how to resize the
drawing. I'm pretty sure my freeware program can't do it. The Dallaire
is labeled as an 80" span, but the drawing shows it with a 120"
wingspan. That's cool, but I don't want to build that size.
I have had good luck at Staples. They are half the price of Kinkos.
Ialways have the plans from a kit or a scratch building project copied
as I usually ruin the plans when I start building. This way, I have
the originals to save. Staples is, again, much less expensive
than Kinkos. I had a full set of original Senior Telemaster plans.
about six or seven sheets copied for for a fellow about 20 bucks.
coming up on 82 years and still building and flying for the past 72
years........life is sweet....
Thanks for the tip. I'll try them.
I've copied plans for $5 at Kinkos before, about 5 years ago. I don't
know if the ridiculous increase is because we're talking about printing
from a CAD file instead of copying from paper, or if it's just a
ridiculous increase over time.
I used to go to Kinko's the same way Frank does, but they go way too
expensive for me. My last trip was $15 a sheet for a 3 sheet set. Yes, I
have looked for alternatives and TNP suggests an interesting one.
If you have buddies that also want stuff printed, clubbing together and
buying a large format printer makes sense. Maybe the local club could
invest in one.
However I'll throw in the gotchas.
They are large.
They are expensive.
They are precision machines that DO need maintenance.
Cheap paper is not stable. When you have taken a laser cut part and
placed it over the drawing you printed of it and found it out by 1/8th
inch on a humid day...you realise why precision (mylar or polyester)
paper is actually 4 times the price of the cheap stuff.
Inkjet ink runs when you spill coffee on it. And cheap paper buckles.
If you get a DXF that doesn't fit your printer, you are in for some
intensive CAD to sort it out. Likewise if it in fancy colors, or the
lines come out too faint. etc.
Now I do a LOT of design for laser cutting these days, and I have
accumulated most of what I need including a variety of software that an
read almost anything.. It didn't come cheap though..I don't think
kinko/staples prices are at all unreasonable. BUT if you are prepared to
find someone in your club to take responsibility for all this, its a
really nice thing to have around.
And before you know where you are, you will want t add a $15000 laser
cutter, and a CNC foam cutter, a color laser for decals, and a vacuum
forming machine ;-)
On Sat, 20 Oct 2007 13:00:52 -0600, I said, "Pick a card, any card"
and Robert Reynolds instead replied:
Are you old enough to remember getting sent to the principal's
office to get a stack of mimeographed tests?
On Sat, 20 Oct 2007 15:45:42 -0600, I said, "Pick a card, any card"
and Robert Reynolds instead replied:
I took the occasional sniff. Doesn't seem to have done me any
dam-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m-m . . . age.
It's Ok. I'll be all right in a second. Need coffee.
On Sat, 20 Oct 2007 15:45:42 -0600, Robert Reynolds wrote in
The fluid that wet the ink, causing transfer of the image to the
paper, was alcohol-based. We had a few gallons leftover in the
basement from days gone by. I used them to start fires down at
my family's camp.
The machines were called "spirit-duplicators."