Signs using CAD

Discussion in 'Scratchin' & Bashin'' started by George D, Dec 3, 2003.

  1. George D

    George D Member

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    A couple of years ago I bought QuickCAD for the purpose of designing structures. In the process of playing with it, I found it can be used to make terrific signs. All size letters are crisp and clear. In the picture, the letters, “CB&W” are 2.5” high (HO scale), or about 0.03” in real size. I made a sign with letters as small as 1” in HO. They required strong reading glasses to read, and don’t have much practical value. The program has the same selection of fonts as a word processing program would have, so you’re only limited by your imagination..

    By the way, I have no commercial interest in QuickCAD……

    Once I get caught up with a couple projects I’ll post something about some structures I’ve designed.

    George
  2. belg

    belg Member

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    Hey George I was wondering if it could go smaller like for N scale? and I would love to see what this program can do for structure design.

    Thanks Pat
  3. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

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    Those are nice and clear. Good discovery! Looking forward to seeing signs in pics!
    Ralph
  4. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

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    Belg,

    I use TurboCad, a low cost CAD program as well as PagePlus, a desktop publishing program (DTP). I have used both to create N scale signs. I used PagePlus to make decals with boxcar lettering too small to read without a magifying glass. The big problem is not with the program, but with the printer itself. The smallest text size I used was about 3.0 pt., which requires a printer that has at least a resolution of 600 dpi.

    A DTP is better at minipulating text, adding drop shadows, gradiant colors, transparancies and backgrounds. CAD is best if you need accurate measurements and don't need anything fancy with text or backgrounds.. I have used the DTP to create N scale signs that are textured and weathered.

    Neat programs. My only association with Serif's PagePlus is I volunteer to do beta testing for it and other programs they sell, but I'd still buy it regardless. I use an older version of turbocad, so I can't say how the lastest version works.

    Don
  5. George D

    George D Member

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    For reference, those signs were printed on an HP Deskjet 932C, nothing fancy.

    Don, I agree about CAD being best when you don't need something fancy, but you can add pictures (sorta like pasting) to drawings. Here's a sign I did. The hotel was designed on my computer and made into a paper model that sits up on a mountain in the distance. I cheated, I reduced one of the CAD drawings of the hotel to make the sign. The sign is about 4" wide.

    George
  6. belg

    belg Member

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    Thank you men I appreciate the input as I find this is the part of this hobby that gives me the most trouble is the computer generated "stuff". I was able to talk to my friend and he's going to lend me his manual for the paint program and I started looking through the help tutorials and did not get to far with the time I've had to spend on it so far. I get back to you over the weekend after spending some time with the book.

    I was wondering if the cad program had a selection of windows that can be plugged into a drawing?


    Pat
  7. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

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    Usually not, but you can create your own precision windows and save them in a formate readable by Paint or another drawing program.

    I'm not trying to push one program over the other, since you can make signs in any number of programs including MS Word, but a desktop publishing program will give you a lot more built in choices for adding textures, shading, weathering and style. Here are a few signs I made using DTP that some of them would have been difficult to do in CAD. One sign has type as small as 1.0 pt., but can still be read (barely) when printed.

    Don

    Attached Files:

  8. George D

    George D Member

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    I was wondering if the cad program had a selection of windows that can be plugged into a drawing?


    Pat,

    I hope I'm doing this quote thing right.

    QuickCAD comes with a bunch of "symbols", including doors and windows. To put them in the drawing you use a technique similar to "click and drag". You can also make your own and save them so you can add them to any drawing. I've made a bunch of windows and doors that match Grandt Line dimensions for some structures I've scratch built.

    I don't know how other programs work, it took me long enough to figure out QuickCAD, so I'm not changing. If there's a drawback, it's the learning curve, but it's still well worth the effort.

    George
  9. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

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    George,

    To put a quote in your post, just click on the "post" button on the lower right corner of that post. It will come up already formatted. You can delete any part of the quote you want. It will then appear in your answer as a quote and in bold type.

    I don't blame you for not wanting to change. Some programs have steep learning curves, CAD is one of those. You can't just walk away on that time spent. The program I use has 3D capabilities, but I don't want to spend the year or two it would take me to learn it.:rolleyes: Besides, if I did, I have no idea what I'd use it for.:cry:

    Don
  10. George D

    George D Member

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    Don,

    I'll see if this works. QuickCAD doesn't have 3D, and I wish it did. But I'm too set in my ways to go out and buy another program and learn how to use it.

    George