Every so often, I want to reproduce a pattern from a magazine or book
that is drawn on a grid representing inch squares. I bought the huge
pad of gridded paper from staples (about 2ft x 3ft), and reproduce
them to scale with a straight edge, french curves and by guesstimate.
I then glue the paper to 1/4 hardboard, cut it out and use it as a
pattern guide for my router. Of course, this works, but it is
tedious. There has to be a better way to do this. Is it possible to
scan these scale drawings in, then enlarge them to real size? Even if
this would work with parts of the drawing, it would help. I also know
Kinkos can print very large graphics for a price ($$$); but it may be
Does anybody have a better technique they can share?
I've successfully used a pantograph for this purpose a time or two.
Doug Miller (alphageek-at-milmac-dot-com)
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<<A photocopier might work even better.>>
It will, provided the grid lines on the original are not light blue. That
color is known as "dropout blue" and is made to drop out of the picture and
not be reproduced by most photocopiers.
To e-mail, replace "bucketofspam" with "dleegordon"
you can just photo copy sections of the original design onto standard
letter sized paper with the photo copier set to the % enlargemen you
want. Move the original around to get full coverage then tape the
resultant pages together to get the full pattern at the larger size.
If you scan them into a computer and save them as a PDF or other
standard format, they can be printed with any % enlargement you want.
Most PDF print applications can "tile" the resultant enlargement such
that you get a stack of standard sized pages with registration marks you
can tape together just like with the photocopier.
Go to an old fashioned graphics preparation house, they probably now have
blueprint equipment as well and ultra large photo copiers. What you are
looking for is someone with a large graphics camera. This used to be used to
make large sheets of film which in turn are used to make printing plates.
These huge cameras can also precisely enlarge or reduce images and produce
very large prints from them.
Go ahead and take it to Kinko's. They usually have a large copier that will do
enlargements up to 400% and print on 36" wide paper rolls- some go even larger.
(Our local one has a 48" wide one that will print in color - need a bank loan
to use that one.) Not worth struggling with the problem when this technology
James T. Kirby
Center for Applied Coastal Research
Fri, Jun 11, 2004, 6:44am (EDT-3) firstname.lastname@example.org (KirkH) says:
Every so often, I want to reproduce <snip>
I gave up at two sons. Hehehehe
I used to use grid systems, but always made my own grid. But, I
consider using a straight edge, French curve, etc., a total waste of
time. Take it one square at a time, follow the original, sketch in.
Then when the whole thing's done, go over it, pretty up, as needed.
Works as well, lots quicker. After I got more confidence, I started
free-handing. Not as accurate maybe, but I tend to put in changes
You know it's gonna be a bad day, when you turn on the news and they're
showing escape routes out of the city.
My brother-in-law bought an opaque projector from a salvage joint. It
allows him to scale things to arbitrarily large sizes, which is handy when
the source pattern is on an 8.5x11 sheet and the item in question is
supposed to be large.
My Epson printer has a setting for "poster printing" that can be accessed
by selecting page layout. I can choose up to 4 pages wide by 4 pages high.
Meaning the original will be spread out over that many pages of paper...then
just tape them together to make one very large print. Should work for what
you want unless you need bigger. I'm sure that Epson isn't the only printer
that offers this...plus I remember reading a story on the net not to long
ago that told how to create this affect with your computer instead of the
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