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printing accuracy and making templates...


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so I freq use photoshop to create drawings... send them to my laser printer on 8.5 x 14 paper, and piece them together using hash lines.  works ok, but freq I'll be piecing them together to notice that lining up the ctr line won't allow for perfect alignment elsewhere (like of the outter body line.  This isn't an issue with software... I'm not scaling or anything... actual size... and it is very small distortions (a hair less than 16th inch) but it drives me crazy. 

I know I could send stuff to kinkos... and we actually have a lrg format printer at work, but I like to be able to print/re-print stuff at will when i'm working.  what I have works, but I'd like to improve it so interested to hear if you have experienced similar.

I know there are programs that automatically split your drawing and send it to the printer in pieces... and they advertise that they correct for little inconsistencies typical when doing so.  Was wondering if anyone can verify if this resolves that issue before I waste time/money on something that may not improve things?

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I don't know about current programs but I know that some printers used to have a poster mode back in the late nineties. The image could be split to at least 9 A4 sheets with aligning marks and gluing frames and the results were seamless.

If they could do it back then, they should know how to do it now. Or else we've gone backwords in technology.

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17 minutes ago, Bizman62 said:

I don't know about current programs but I know that some printers used to have a poster mode back in the late nineties. The image could be split to at least 9 A4 sheets with aligning marks and gluing frames and the results were seamless.

If they could do it back then, they should know how to do it now. Or else we've gone backwords in technology.

adobe has a poster mode... just haven't bothered trying it because I'd have to convert to pdf first.  Perhaps I should do a proof of concept and see... it'd be nice if there was an option that didn't require that.

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I already found a 101 but apparently I didn't save the edit.

Anyhow, here's one solution: https://www.digitalcitizen.life/print-large-image-multiple-pages-4-steps-using-microsoft-paint

That trick might even work directly in Photoshop.

This was my first suggestion, it's similar for Paint but they also mention a good quality online service: https://turbofuture.com/graphic-design-video/How-To-Print-A-Large-Photo-On-Many-A4-Pages-To-Make-A-Poster

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1 hour ago, Bizman62 said:

I already found a 101 but apparently I didn't save the edit.

Anyhow, here's one solution: https://www.digitalcitizen.life/print-large-image-multiple-pages-4-steps-using-microsoft-paint

That trick might even work directly in Photoshop.

This was my first suggestion, it's similar for Paint but they also mention a good quality online service: https://turbofuture.com/graphic-design-video/How-To-Print-A-Large-Photo-On-Many-A4-Pages-To-Make-A-Poster

Not sure you quite understood me there.  I am able to print it to multiple pages now... pretty easy to do.  I can piece together a poster simply by tossing hash marks on my images and printing out an entire guitar body on only 3 pieces of paper.  My issue is with the very small distortions I'm getting between the pages.  An issue of precision.  I'm aware that there are programs that are designed to do this automatically like this one: https://woodgears.ca/bigprint/ and that they even claim they can compensate for scale inaccuracy.

my question is more "can anyone verify the accuracy/precision of such programs"?

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You could always download the evaluation version of BigPrint and try it for yourself ;);)

Bearing in mind the printer scaling compensation in that software will only work if your images are routinely coming out with a consistent error in the horizontal or vertical. Any distortions that are being introduced that result in things like straight lines appearing curved, distortions at the edges of the print, or scaling errors that are different from print to print will be beyond what any generic compensation software can do.

What about if you change your printing strategy so that the critical stuff (pickups, bridge placement and centreline) all goes on one sheet of paper, and the remainder of the design (body outline, controls etc) gets printed on sheets that surround the central sheet of paper? A 16th of an inch error at the body edge is perfectly acceptable and probably invisible to the naked eye after cutting, shaping and sanding, whereas the same error through the centreline can result in the strings running off the edge of the fretboard.

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thank you sir, what I'm hearing is - it's not going to do anything for me (big print).  I appreciate not having to go through the install and uninstall. 

I do actually set it up to where my first print is usually the most important stuff (pickups/bridge/etc) and the centerline and trust that one the most while everything else is just a 'suggestion' from there on in.  it just bugs me.  The worste is when I'm doing a neck because it's really hard to get it perfectly symmetric.  I print it diagonally on a 14" piece but I end up really just using it as a guide and sort of plotting everything out manually anyway.  I guess the only real solution is to print at kinkos or perhaps there are printers with better precision.  I'll try my canon next time and see if that's any better.  also going to try the adobe poster print just to see if there is any more precision that way.  doubtfull.  wonder if there's a poster print in photoshop.

anywho, thank you again for the suggestion.

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No probs :thumb:.

TBH I can't think of too many situations where you'd need to print the neck as a 1:1 template. Headstock, yes. But unless the neck does something odd, like the fretboard only goes partway up the neck under the low E string and gets cut short, there's no reason you'd need anything other than two straight lines to represent the sides of the neck, and a couple of perpendicular lines to indicate the nut and last fret. Basing the neck build entirely off the fretboard even negates the need to print it in the first place.

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well, not saying there's not better ways, and measuring works but it'd make it easier.  I'm putting a fancy fretboard end on and I when I've bought pre slotted in the past I had the 23rd fret slot right where I didn't want it.  I want that end to stick out just so from the edge of the neck wood to give me no more room than I need to do a truss access under it and not be seen as much as possible.  on the other end - the headstock.  the way I like to do gibson style nut is to have exactly the width of the nut sitting right up tight to the 14/17deg angle and then when I put an 1/8" overlay I push it into the nut to secure it in place.  if that nut isn't exactly on the angle... it looks wonky.  I'll stop there as I think you see how anal I'm being... but having a full scale print that is perfect would make it easier to get that all where I want it.  what I'm doing now is probably as good as it gets... but I think it could only improve with a more exact drawing to work from.

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10 hours ago, mistermikev said:

Not sure you quite understood me there. 

Very likely so. The language barrier sometimes leaves details on the other side.

10 hours ago, mistermikev said:

My issue is with the very small distortions I'm getting between the pages.  An issue of precision. 

Understood. The issue might be your printer rather than the method you're using. It could be the paper feeding mechanism stretching the edges ever so slightly. The paper is grabbed against the rollers in one or two spots. In many printers the paper makes a tight 180 degrees turn against a roller - pretty similar to a fret bending jig! In a laser printer the heat can warp the paper, in an inkjet printer the paper gets more or less moist which affects the paper even more than heat. Measuring the length of a paper sheet accurately before and after printing may be fiddly but for what I've noticed a fresh print always is somewhat cupped or rolled.

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3 hours ago, Bizman62 said:

Very likely so. The language barrier sometimes leaves details on the other side.

Understood. The issue might be your printer rather than the method you're using. It could be the paper feeding mechanism stretching the edges ever so slightly. The paper is grabbed against the rollers in one or two spots. In many printers the paper makes a tight 180 degrees turn against a roller - pretty similar to a fret bending jig! In a laser printer the heat can warp the paper, in an inkjet printer the paper gets more or less moist which affects the paper even more than heat. Measuring the length of a paper sheet accurately before and after printing may be fiddly but for what I've noticed a fresh print always is somewhat cupped or rolled.

right on... I ramble to... so it could be MY language barrier!

I've thought of this... the paper not being aligned.  I tried to put it in there very tight.  You may be on to something with the heat because it freq comes out with the edges bent from the heat.  Also, the paper stock may contribute as I don't use 14" that much so it's old.  I'm def going to try the inkjet and perhaps get some thicker paper stock just see if that makes a dif. 

 

thank you all for your responses - I do appreciate.

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4 hours ago, norm barrows said:

anti-aliasing in the image or the printer or both might be a cause.   it will tend to make lines less than razor sharp.

it's a good guess but not the case here.  my lines come out very sharp and not jagged.  It's more of a precision issue.  when I line up my hash marks perfect... the outter edge will still be about 1/16 wider or shorter. 

thanks for the reply

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I'm using photoshop primarily which is not a draft solution but is known to be pretty accurate. I have scaled up pictures of a fretboard and found them to be very accurate to scale of pdfs of actual dimension so pretty sure photoshop isn't the issue, and I doubt there is an issue with the hp driver for the printer but you never know.   printing to actual size w/o any scaling. 

Beginning to suspect it is actually an issue with paper movement thru the printer because it isn't a consistent issue.

it may have something to do with the fact that I often run pnp blue and clear inkjet taped to A4 paper.  I've put a lot of tape thru either printer and there could be a little sticky spot that grabs from time to time.  Today I did a bunch of prints of carve templates and didn't have 1 issue. 

Perhaps I just had a bad batch of paper too... humidity can curl it a bit and perhaps that's what happened. 

 

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not sure we can't rule out alpha particles landing on my hard drive norm.  (challenge accepted: scenario where it IS in fact the data but also is inconsistent - hehe)

yeah, most home printer have those flimsy plastic guides that move around a lot... try and reprint something right on top of something you've printed and you'll know that for sure. 

I never use the edges of the paper, in fact I often pre-cut the useable part from the 8.5x14 before I join them.

for whatever reason, haven't had the issue since... gonna have to try to latch on to the common element when it happens again.

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3 minutes ago, norm barrows said:

you know how it is, the car never makes the noise when you take it to the mechanic! <g>.

next time that bug pops up its ugly head, you should take the opportunity to squash it once and for all - if possible - before it disappears again. there's nothing worse than a ghost in the machine appearing at the worst possible moment.

 

tru dat.

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