OT: Digitizing Tablet

Anybody get the inside scoop on a poor man's digitizing tablet?
I could get by with a smallish one, by adding indexing marks and combining
files, but a bigger one would be better. Ideally 36", but a 24" or even a 12" could be made to work. I don't need one often, so I hate to pony up $3-5K for one, but it would sure be handy sometimes.
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wrote:

I'd have gladly given you my Kurda for the cost of shipping but I threw it out about 2 years ago. 12X12 or 18X18 -can't remember.
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On Tue, 14 Nov 2017 16:17:52 -0700

I'm just curious as to what you're intending to do with one. I kept mum because I wasn't sure if the current suggestions were what I was thinking of or not. I always thought of these as useful tools for artists to create digital images.
I'm not much of an artist. I go the flatbed scanner and digital photo route to copy and create stuff...
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"Leon Fisk" wrote in message wrote:

I'm just curious as to what you're intending to do with one. I kept mum because I wasn't sure if the current suggestions were what I was thinking of or not. I always thought of these as useful tools for artists to create digital images.
I'm not much of an artist. I go the flatbed scanner and digital photo route to copy and create stuff...
**********
I sometimes have people want me to duplicate damaged templates. Things like control panels in boats, etc. Its not really a major part of my work or even work I go after because its kind of tedious, but I don't turn away local guys I know because I know most regular fab shops and machine shops will either turn them away or price it so high its not worth it. even if a shop accepts one of these jobs it often gets put off and put off and put off until the customer is blue with frustration.
Often the reason is controls, and displays have been eliminated or changed due to advances in technology or changes in setup. Other times a plastic panel broke from age brittleness and the person wants it replaced with a metal one. If its nice and geometric its no big deal. I just measure it, but often its organic, and the original looks like it was hand fit and hand made... with organic curves. Even in some very high end brand applications. Sometimes I do the same thing, but I prefer to give them back a panel that is made BETTER than the broke or or disfunctional one they brought me.
Because these panels tend to be quite thin its hard to use tools like Probe-It to measure them.
I have a couple tricks I use now when I can't easily just measure a part. One is to get a rough outline using CAD and a scanner image. Sometimes a pieced together scanner image because the part is larger than my scanner. Then I just have to create some cleaner looking splines that match the overall outline, screw holes, and cutouts. I subtract those no longer used and add those that will need to be added and cut it out. The machining part is quite fast usually. Even the setup on parts like this usually isn't to bad. It?s the initial rough CAD outlines that is a killer.
I know the response from some is that I am whoring out my services, but I really am not. Most of these jobs are for guys I know personally. I do not seek them out, and I do them on machines that aren't usually used on my primary money making jobs. It?s a sort of giving back to the community that feeds me.
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On Thu, 16 Nov 2017 11:36:41 -0700
<snip>




d

rt


I don't have any good CAD software. Just some weak 2D stuff that I've fooled with. Big problem is a weak, old computer and running Linux. A lot of the programs are windows only. And it isn't something I have a use for other than doodling :)
But... what I have done in the past is to scan something and then use it as a template underneath via stretching and/or setting the dpi to match reality. Doing the latter can be a big help in using photos taken with a camera or phone. You know some of the dimensions from hard measurements of the original. Then using an image program you can figure out how many pixels it is (ie 11 inches you measured equals 1980 pixels). So, edit the image properties to show the proper value, 180 dpi. I still use Irfanview for a lot of my simple raster editing via wine.
There are programs that can convert raster to vector too. Sometimes this can work really well. Simple high contrast images usually work okay.
I've messed around with some Photoshop type filters too, that can greatly simplify an image. I haven't updated it in a long time but G'mic had some interesting filters for GIMP and a stand alone that I haven't messed with:
https://www.flickr.com/groups/gmic/discuss/
Something like their tutorial on "How to turn a photo into a realistic handmade sketch" might be helpful (shrug):
https://www.flickr.com/groups/gmic/discuss/72157624446298923/
I suspected this was what you were doing. Maybe a few others will throw out some ideas for you. I've done a lot of messing around with raster images but not so much vector, other than mapping stuff...
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Grand Rapids MI/Zone 5b
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    O.K. How old a linux? Recent ubuntu linux variants (e.g. Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS) have librecad (was QCAD), and it is a pretty good 2D CAD program, and may do what you need.
    Import the scanned image as a single layer, use the points indicated by it to draw lines between them on another layer, and then hide the layer with the scanned image.

    While I tend to use XV for most work with photos, and xfig for simple drawing.

    Use the edge detector algorithms in "the GIMP" to get rid of the varying levels of gray and select the sudden changes in level.

    vector works well for some things.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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On 17 Nov 2017 03:12:13 GMT
<big snip>

Really old, Lucid 10.04. Pretty disheartened with Ubuntu. They never fix the gnarly problems, just move on to the next release. Then the newer release doesn't work well with your older hardware, so sorry...
I'll fight with it again someday when I bite on a newer computer. It will probably be some other Debian variant though.
I've got the older version of QCAD. Never could get it to do anything useful. Had much better luck running an old version of CADSTD via wine.
I've got Gimp, Mtpaint, Fotoxx, Xnview, Irfanview, Image Analyzer, ImageJ, Xfig... plus a few other oddballs ;-)
I do appreciate your thoughts on the manner though. You always bring good info to the discussion.
In looking at my graphics list I did spot something that Bob may find of interest though. I have a LEGO program. For creating stuff on the computer that can be built latter from a parts list. LEGO has their own application too. This one is called MLCad:
http://mlcad.lm-software.com/e_main.htm
It was fun to mess around with. Might make for some interesting prototyping :) Looks like it hasn't been updated lately though. Windows app, had to run via wine. Made for so-so performance on my old single core P4.
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    O.K. That can be a problem. I'm using it on an HP laptop made for the business world, and now refurbished. When I got it, it had a virus which I immediately removed (named "Windows 10". :-)

    I had a bit of problem learning to use QCAD, but later I picked up a PDF file of a nice guide to using LibreCAD and suddenly things got a lot easier. And it became a lot easier to learn than the other open source and free CAD programs which I have tried. I don't really trust Window enough to run Wine on something while connected to the internet.

    O.K. An interesting collection -- some of which I know and some of which I do not.
    One intersting thing in the public domain is brlcad -- but it is not a design type CAD. It is more useful for handling weird data structures, including the image format used in medical X-rays. If you've gotten X-rays or CT-scans and gotten a DVD-ROM of the results (which usually comes with a Windows program for viewing) and want to view on a unix or linux system, you can view it using that package.
    The "brl" of "brlcad" is the Army "Ballistics Research Lab".

    Thank you. I try to do that -- and to avoid getting into the troll operated discussions. :-)

    Intersting -- but Windows only, apparently.

    Understood. And out of the question on my Solaris 10 UltraSPARC systems. :-)
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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On 18 Nov 2017 03:13:46 GMT
<snip>

I looked into it a long time ago. Interesting program but I decided not to go any farther with it...
You might want to check out ImageJ if you haven't already. It is Java based, so should run on most anything with a good Java engine. It is aimed at medical and scientific pursuits. Has a lot of plugins for weird stuff in those areas. I would be surprised if it couldn't work with your CT-scan images somehow...
http://imagej.net/docs/index.html
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wrote:



It might be too big for your scanner - but NOTHING is too big for a good camera.

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On Thu, 16 Nov 2017 09:29:07 -0400, Leon Fisk

The Kurda was used pretty extensively by draftsmen, architects,and civil engineers using Autocad. Got rid of mine because it was no longer supported by current software and hardware - no serial port, for one.
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wrote:

I still have my 6x9 Wacom ArtZ sitting on the shelf. It, too, is no longer supported by Windows. I used it extensively with PhotoShop for graphic design (and photo manipulation) and a little bit with Corel Draw, IIRC.
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