Idea: New printing option: Coloured overlapping layouts

So, I made a pattern and the detail pieces. Then I generate a layout and print it tiled, giving me 12 mostly empty pages. Then I need to cut the edges, glue them together. And because finally paper is annoying, I trace onto pattern paper.

But then I wonder, why did I need to print 12 pages when the biggest piece fits on two? When you get a pattern from a magazine all the pieces are on a single sheet but different colours (with many sizes together).

So here’s my idea. Right now I can generate the layout for A3 paper, this gives four “pages”. Suppose Seamly could give each page a colour and then flatten them down to a single A3 “page” layout. And then print that tiled.

As an experiment I just tried this by exporting the layout to SVG, opening in Inkscape and doing some cutting and pasting and it works quite nicely. Seems like this could be automated.

What do you think?

3 Likes

So one of the options in the “workpiece (patternpiece) tool (options)” dialog would be a printing color, (or line style, for the monochrome printers?) Sounds like it might be a nifty paper-saving idea. However, I wonder how well it would work with Labels?

On the general idea of saving paper until the pattern can be traced onto good work-paper, have you looked into using a projector to trace (or even cut) off of?

1 Like

I think it’s more a convenience feature. The idea of keeping patterns as glued together pieces of A4 paper just doesn’t seem appealing. This is what pattern paper was invented for.

A projector, I wouldn’t have thought of that. Seems to me it would be a bit tricky to be sure it’s 100%. As for labels, I think you’d probably skip them. In the magazines here anyway they just print a letter or number in the same colour then just refer to it as “Green A”. I’d then think of putting the labels on a separate sheet so I could cut them out and glue them to the cutout pattern pieces.

OTOH, given that this isn’t a common feature request maybe I’m just doing it all wrong :slight_smile:

Incidentally, while I’m here I’m wondering about automatically adding a test square to each page.

That said, Seamly doesn’t have to do everything itself. This could just as easily be done by a Python script on the side.

2 Likes

Yeah, that’s part of why when I heard about using projectors I was intrigued. The paper savings is nice, & helps pay for the tech, but it’s the elegance of not having to worry about storing gluey/tapey bundles of A4 (or Letter) that wins. (Though the paper-saving might be more help with getting grants :wink:)

Your suggestion is definitely worth considering, whether the devs end up accepting it at this time or not!

:unicorn:

1 Like

Have you tried using roll paper in the settings?

image

And then select the A3 paper in the Preview Tiled:

image

I also make the margins .25 which is the Acrobat Reader’s minimum margin.

Those are the settings that I normally play around with.

1 Like

Greetings from the FB-group Projectors for Sewing

I’ve been projector cutting quite some time now.

After creating details of a pattern, I save the file in svg-format.

Then I open the file in a vector-graphic program. I have to mirror and combine the pattern pieces if necessary, in most cases to rotate pieces 90°, to make lines quite a bit thicker, to increase font-size, and to create a layout for the fabric width I intend to use. Then I add a puffer-zone of 50cm around the layout so that I can move pattern pieces freely to positions in which cutting is easy.

As the final step, I save the file in pdf-format which I then use to cut the fabric. So, it’s rather complicated. I’d prefer to project the pattern directly from Seamly2D.

I haven’t used, not yet, the layers-feature of pdf-format to make it easy to access different sizes, but for companies offering pdf-patterns, in addition to mirrored pieces with center lines, all pieces in grain direction, thick lines, big font-size, and puffer-zone, it’s a required feature in projector files.

Each projector setup is unique, and so is the magnification percentage we define in calibrating our setup. We have found one free pdf-reader that allows us to enter the magnification percentage in tenths (Adobe Acrobat Reader). It’s only available for computers. If anyone here knows about a pdf-reader for mobile devices that keeps layers and allows zoom percentage in tenths, we would really appreciate the information.

3 Likes

Xodo PDF Reader. This is what the facebook projectors for sewing recommends for mobile. It is free from my understanding. I too export my svg file to Adobe Illustrator, although I heard inkscape (free) is what most people use. I export the each size svg file to a new layer. I do have to manipulate each size since exporting from Seamly doesn’t always have the same layout. It would save me tons of time if it did. First I create a template for A4 with overlapping pages and print aligning square on each page. I repeat creating a template for A0, US Letter, and projector. From the A4 template I import the different size svg into its own layers. Align all the pattern pieces to my likings, and save as. I then copy all the layers except the template and paste “remembered layers” to other templates and save as. Remembered layers will paste all the layers.

3 Likes

Just create a 4"×4" (10cm x 10cm) square pattern piece. Save it as a pattern to load as a template for later use where your 1st piece is always the test square.

4 Likes

Have you tried exporting from the “Details” screen, instead of the “Layout” screen? It’s the button labeled “Tools for creating details.” on the bottom right of the Detail toolbox. At least until @Douglas or somebody gets it a name that actually makes sense. LOL.

It won’t export to a specific paper size though. It exports to whatever size it takes to show all the activated pieces as you have them laid out. But you could make a paper-size pattern piece to lay the other pieces out on in order to force a desired size.

1 Like

Xodo is recommended for mobile devices because it keeps layers. However, there is no way of entering zoom percentage. It has to be approximated by “pinching”.

Creating the four pattern file types in Inkscape is quite similar process to yours, I think. And equally time consuming.

2 Likes

I’ve been using the export option in Details, and it works well. Would work even better if I had drafted the pattern so that the grain lines would be horizontal. Is it possible to rotate pieces in Details; I don’t think so? It would be a nice feature. 90° at time, maybe.

2 Likes

Yeah. Of course you could rotate & re-trace in the drafting screen, but it would be handy to have that feature in the detailing screen! As well as flipping.

:unicorn:

2 Likes

No. Not at this time.

1 Like

With that we’re crossing over into the idea of producing a marker… either manually or automatically.

And that’s one of the problems that exists right now… we only have the option of producing a (print) layout, that is automatically and randomly placed pattern pieces on a selected size of paper. There’s no way to produce “in program” a “cut” layout AKA marker as to the #of each size, #of each piece, their orientation (rotation, flip x/y, right/wrong side), the width of paper/fabric, plaid matching, etc. That’s one of my longer range goals… Ver 7.0.0 ?? LOL

To either reorganize the layout mode or add a marker module to handle layouts that can be made manually or automatically and then printed or plotted or used as a cut file. And somewhere in that workflow a way to produce a scaled down layout to use in spec sheets as instructions for fabric layout.

3 Likes

Well, I can’t find the export option in the Details screen. But from the details screen, I was able to save as which gave me an svg file exactly like I have in the detail mode. I moved my pattern pieces to my coordinates of XY to match and it seems to work. I still need to play around a bit.

3 Likes

Hi @Shrymp

You can export directly from Layout mode here:

image

1 Like

Interesting. Here in the 20201005 weekly release of the Linux AppImage “Save as” only lets me save to a different VAL. But the “Tools for creating details.” button, which Grace pictured, opens a dialog labeled “Save Layout” which lets me export to a number of non-VAL filetypes.

:unicorn:

1 Like

There’s no way to produce “in program” a “cut” layout AKA marker as to the #of each size, #of each piece, their orientation (rotation, flip x/y, right/wrong side), the width of paper/fabric, plaid matching, etc.

When I started looking for pattern making programs I naively thought I could make a pattern and then see how it drapes across a mannequin. Turns out that’s way beyond where we are, but it surprised me that you cannot even enter that information anywhere. I expected you would be able to specify where the fold is (it’s just a text field now), and that it would show the unfolded parts and you’d be able to indicate the seams (what is connected to where), types of fabric, etc. This kind of information is different from what is needed for printing a pattern, but from what you say that is kinda the direction you’re thinking of? A stage after “Layout”?

1 Like

:grin: :crazy_face: When I need to create a layout across a range of sizes, I place all the parts with spaces in between and use this option to export to .svg. (I turn off the labels and grainlines after the 1st one.) Then I import them all into the same Inkscape file. They all layer on top of each other perfectly and I can ungroup them and tweak their placements further.

Hmmm… Yes, when I found Seamly2D, I thought that all I needed to do was to put in my measurements and then choose the style I wanted. It was a huge surprise that I had to learn how to actually create a pattern :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

However, there has been some talk, over the years, about the 3D mannikins and some people have imported their patterns into programs like MakeHuman or Marvelous Designer. There’s even a tutorial on Instructables on how to do this. But, for now, yes, our developers are very busy improving the program and I am so grateful to them, that I’m not even thinking of teasing them about this dream of mine :star_struck:

Yes, this should be coming out soon. It has been discussed in one of the developers threads.

If I understood @Douglas correctly, he is busy with the idea of 3rd module included in Seamly2D that would be for grading and layouts to be sent directly for cutting in an industrial environment. Up until now, the software has been designed for very small/home industry and the bespoke fashion environment.

The idea has always been to help people to build up their fashion design businesses without having to spend hours and hours bent over a table drafting pattern after pattern by hand because patternmaking software is so very expensive.

As the program is now, I can attest to it that the software has definitely achieved this and more. :grin:

1 Like

Marker for cutting yes… grading no. Grading would be another whole area. Which could include the idea of “nesting” different sizes in a single print… like commercially available patterns are done. That’s generally what other garment CAD programs will do. You draft a pattern in a middle size. Then using the grading section you define the grade rules (like misses, women’s, petite, etc) and apply those to the pattern… and they generally have an option to automatically nest the pieces without having to export to a 3rd party program like Inkscape and mess around there.

Yes… this will be one in the symbols tool I have plans for.

2 Likes