Author Topic: Etched Brass Name Plates.. design software?  (Read 8386 times)

Offline 10KPete

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Etched Brass Name Plates.. design software?
« on: February 01, 2016, 12:57:40 AM »
I've accumulated a ton of information on how to make etched name plates, and I've seen some beauties.

What I don't have is the software to do the design work! Sounds nuts but it's true. When I bought the MacBook Air 4 years ago
I thought it would come with, or could be equipped with, software like I was used to on my PC.  Nnnooooo!!

What I'm looking for is a program that will run on this Air, using OSX 10.7.5, that I can use to create the lines, curves, text,
shapes, etc, etc, typical for these name plates. And that will put out .pdf files for printing. And that doesn't cost much.

I've been looking through the MacStore but the problem is that the descriptions don't really describe what the darn program will
really do! There's no demos, and I really don't want to spend months downloading and testing all the programs to find the one
that will work.

Can anyone share their experiences with these programs so that I could close the selection set some???

Thanks,
Pete
Craftsman, Tinkerer, Curious Person.
Retired, finally!
SB 10K lathe, Benchmaster mill. And stuff.

Offline Dave Otto

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Re: Etched Brass Name Plates.. design software?
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2016, 01:05:28 AM »
Sorry Pete I'm not a Mac guy; but I have done a number of etched plates using Auto CAD for artwork design.
I would like to see what you are up to when the time comes.

Dave

Offline zeeprogrammer

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Re: Etched Brass Name Plates.. design software?
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2016, 01:14:14 AM »
What I don't have is the software to do the design work! Sounds nuts but it's true. When I bought the MacBook Air 4 years ago
I thought it would come with, or could be equipped with, software like I was used to on my PC.  Nnnooooo!!

I have both types of machines. The problem I have is, even when I get a the 'same' program for both...they don't work the same.
Apple likes to be different.

I've not done this...but some people have made their macs 'dual boot'. That is, the mac will run 'windows' and windows programs.
But it's been a while and it may not be true any longer.

Worth looking at if you have loads of PC programs. But if you do have loads of PC programs...I'd just get a PC and not worry about trying to get a mac to jump through hoops.
Carl (aka Zee) Will sometimes respond to 'hey' but never 'hey you'.
"To work. To work."
Zee-Another Thread Trasher.

Online crueby

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Re: Etched Brass Name Plates.. design software?
« Reply #3 on: February 01, 2016, 02:39:57 AM »
Pete, if you get to the point of making the etched plates, love to see how it works.

Offline Don1966

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Re: Etched Brass Name Plates.. design software?
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2016, 03:44:26 AM »
What I don't have is the software to do the design work! Sounds nuts but it's true. When I bought the MacBook Air 4 years ago
I thought it would come with, or could be equipped with, software like I was used to on my PC.  Nnnooooo!!

I have both types of machines. The problem I have is, even when I get a the 'same' program for both...they don't work the same.
Apple likes to be different.

I've not done this...but some people have made their macs 'dual boot'. That is, the mac will run 'windows' and windows programs.
But it's been a while and it may not be true any longer.

Worth looking at if you have loads of PC programs. But if you do have loads of PC programs...I'd just get a PC and not worry about trying to get a mac to jump through hoops.
You could use Bootcamp to load Windows on a Mac. The only problem is you have to boot up with one or the other but not both. It only runs on one platform at a time. This is an apple software for running Windows. Probably the best for Windows on the OS system. Then you can run you Windows programs.

Don

Offline 10KPete

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Re: Etched Brass Name Plates.. design software?
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2016, 04:28:49 AM »
Thanks for the replies fellas. I bought this Air thing after my PC went TA. I was intrigued with the idea of a small device. But it
seems the Air has half the memory of the Pro so a dual boot, or similar, will be difficult. That's according to the few folks I've
discussed it with. I didn't know that at the time. Had my haid up me arse. :facepalm:

I had AutoCAD 2000i on the PC, and still have all the discs and all my files. I love that program, and I don't even scratch it's
capabilities. My PC ran XP Pro and handled the AutoCAD beautifully. A new PC will have Win10 unless I spec otherwise. That
I have covered. The local computer guys (really great!) can set me up with Win 7 which will run the AutoCAD. But I'm warned
to never let that machine see the 'net as the 7 isn't supported by MS for bug repellant. That's cool, I use the Mac for that now
anyway.

But do I really want two machines!!?? One for engineering and one for everything else?? Geezzzz.... :insane:

So that's why I'm beating me haid agai' th' wall trying to find something basic for the tag/label graphics. Oh, I'll probably end
up getting a PC going for the AutoCAD someday. It just seems inevitable somehow. I've got the Fusion 360 link but that seems
like such a huge, huge, change and right now I feel that there are too many changes going on and I just want to retreat to
the shop and do stuff I know about. :'(

And Win 10 won't handle the AutoCAD version and I ain't a gonna pay their price for a new one!! That's why the F360 look-see.

Any suggestions on "simple" software for this AirHead unit will continue to be entertained. Please!

Thanks,
Pete
Craftsman, Tinkerer, Curious Person.
Retired, finally!
SB 10K lathe, Benchmaster mill. And stuff.

Offline Hugh Currin

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Re: Etched Brass Name Plates.. design software?
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2016, 05:10:11 AM »
Pete:

How about xfig? I've used it a little under Linux. Not real easy to use but should do what you want. I believe there is a port to Mac.

There are likely more user friendly graphic programs, but xfig is free. I know nothing of Macs or this port but it could work.

Hope this is of some use.

Hugh
Hugh

Offline 10KPete

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Re: Etched Brass Name Plates.. design software?
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2016, 05:21:43 AM »
Thanks for the link Hugh. I'll have to look at it more tomorrow but I'll say that when I just looked at what you linked to my
mind went screaming in the other direction! Initial impression is it's too strange to contemplate. :shrug: :o :noidea:

 But I'll look at it tomorrow.

Pete
Craftsman, Tinkerer, Curious Person.
Retired, finally!
SB 10K lathe, Benchmaster mill. And stuff.

Offline Hugh Currin

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Re: Etched Brass Name Plates.. design software?
« Reply #8 on: February 01, 2016, 06:08:41 AM »
Thanks for the link Hugh. I'll have to look at it more tomorrow but I'll say that when I just looked at what you linked to my
mind went screaming in the other direction! Initial impression is it's too strange to contemplate. :shrug: :o :noidea:

 But I'll look at it tomorrow.

Pete

Pete:

I wouldn't blame you for running hard and fast. I've used xfig for a few drawings in technical journals (it plays well with LaTeX) but haven't gone deep and do not feel comfortable using it. The learning curve is steep. But then, it is free if you (as I do) consider ones time in cents/hr. Please let us know.

Thanks.

Hugh
Hugh

Offline sshire

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Re: Etched Brass Name Plates.. design software?
« Reply #9 on: February 01, 2016, 01:58:12 PM »
Pete
The guys who originally did Solidworks have a new company, OnShape.
Totally cloud-based CAD. Free unless you need the enterprise collaboration and billing stuff. Exports every CAD format and PDF known to man.
Runs on anything with a browser. I tried it on my MacBook Pro (2012.) ran just fine. Will even run on an iPad but I can't imagine doing CAD with my finger :ROFL:
See if it works for you.
Best,
Stan

Online Dan Rowe

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Re: Etched Brass Name Plates.. design software?
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2016, 02:14:53 PM »
Pete,
I agree with Stan Onshape is a really good 3D program and the free version is the full package and is very useful to make .stl files for printing. I have run it on a PC and an iPhone.

Dan
ShaylocoDan

Offline kvom

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Re: Etched Brass Name Plates.. design software?
« Reply #11 on: February 01, 2016, 04:49:25 PM »
OnShape has a very limited selection of text fonts at present.  It does work well as a 3D CAD program.

Offline 10KPete

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Re: Etched Brass Name Plates.. design software?
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2016, 05:53:40 PM »
Well, I've found the site and bookmarked it. Sorta scanned it and it looks interesting.

Here's a question for those who've used OnShape: Can I import my 2D AutoCAD drawings and continue to use them
as 2D drawings? For example, I have a drawing of the property here with the buildings, fences, driveways and all the
buried utilities. I need to work on that and not lose the layers and 'groups'. Also have the floor plans for the house
and garage/shop with electrical, plumbing, etc. Same need.

Each catagory has it's own layer; lot lines, water pipes, electrical runs, radiant heating tubes, etc, etc. For the obvious
reasons!

I tried with TurboCAD and it just trashed the layers and stuff; wouldn't import that data correctly. Which is why I
quit trying to use it.

Those are my big concerns, the rest is easy! I hope.

Thanks,
Pete
Craftsman, Tinkerer, Curious Person.
Retired, finally!
SB 10K lathe, Benchmaster mill. And stuff.

Offline Dave Otto

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Re: Etched Brass Name Plates.. design software?
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2016, 06:43:31 PM »
It's hard to beat a good 2d program like Auto CAD for doing 2d only work. I can imagine what a pain it would be to create complex artwork for an etched tag using the sketcher in a 3d modeling program. the constraints would be a nightmare. Simple stuff would be ok though.

One program I don't remember seeing mentioned is DraftSight from the Solid Works folks. It is pretty much a carbon copy of Auto CAD and at least for know free. So if you are familiar with Auto CAD you would have any trouble running DraftSight.

One thing I'm not sure about with out checking into is if they have a version that will run on a Mac.

Dave

Offline Dave Otto

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Re: Etched Brass Name Plates.. design software?
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2016, 06:46:05 PM »
It appears that DraftSight will run on a Mac; I would suggest giving it a try. I'm pretty sure that it won't screw with any of your Auto CAD layers and styles.

Dave