How Can I Print A Drawing???

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How Can I Print A Drawing???

Postby bkkbuilder » Sat Apr 14, 2012 1:53 am

I have done a home plan using Qcad on Ubuntu 11.4.

When I try to print I get a blank page. Actually, I think there is a very faint line drawing on there but it's close to blank. I tested my printer with other material and it works fine with normal toner density.

This seem like maybe when the drawing is scaled down the line widths are also scaled down and the very thin lines are mostly being wiped out but a few still exist due to luck on pixel line up. If this is the cause then I can't actually believe the program prints this way!

I have dimensions in cm and a total plan size of 8m x 9m. I used the fit-to-page option to make it fit on an A4 page. According to my rough figuring that should be about a 40:1 scaling. Are line widths also scaled? Why does my drawing disappear? How can I print? Maybe use some other program that does this correctly?
Last edited by bkkbuilder on Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How Can I Print A Drawing???

Postby bkkbuilder » Sat Apr 14, 2012 2:54 am

Answering my own question:

I found I can export as a PNG bitmap and then open it in Gimp and convert to grayscale and threshold it with value 255 to make light traces reduce to black (if desired). I chose a bitmap size like 600x900 pixels to make the lines have a equivalent 150 dpi thickness. Higher or lower bitmap size can control how thick the lines are.

I find it a little absurd that in a CAD package one has to go to this trouble just to print. A print option for choosing minimum line thickness would be enough to let users print on most printers with scaled down drawings. I read on the web that Qcad outputs zero width (default) lines as a "device minimum width line" and on modern high-rez printers this is always so thin as to be almost invisible. Allowing the user to set a minimum line width would allow for control over this critical print behaviour without resorting to roundabout exporting and external manipulations just to print a drawing.

I guess on free software we just have to bear it but this puts Qcad on the list of software I wouldn't ever pay money for.
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Re: How Can I Print A Drawing???

Postby Clive » Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:52 am

Hi bkkbuilder and welcome.

Sorry to hear about your recent experience with the QCAD 'free' version. Please don`t let this 'put you off' from even testing out the pro version - you will be amazed at the vast difference here!

If you are willing to attach your file (use dxf format) I (and I`m sure others) will be willing to have a look at your file in the pro version and test the results for you. I can honestly say that I have not had any problems with scaling down any large drawings to 'fit to page' etc...and using different line weights (including 0.00mm) when printing.

Regards

Clive (a satisfied QCAD user)
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Re: How Can I Print A Drawing???

Postby bkkbuilder » Sat Apr 14, 2012 1:08 pm

Actually, QCad has worked quite well for me in actually editing the drawing. So it's only this weird printing behaviour that has me miffed so far. I downloaded Version 2.2.2 for Ubuntu and thought to try it out. But at this time I'd rather not get hooked into paying for a commercial version. I just don't use CAD software often and have just been working on a small plan for a house I'm building. I had drawn it in Inkscape but was running into problems with that program's lack of accuracy/resolution. The best thing for me would be an update of the Ubuntu Repository version. I guess that will eventually happen and in the mean time I'll just print via bitmap exports as a workaround.
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