Updates and fixing tiled printing

software
printing

#1

ronanletiec … I use myself Valentina/LibreFashion just to do some clothing/accessories for myself DIY-like , so I tend to think that most of the users will be like me …

I created a new thread because I think the tiled printing is very important. If you do a forum search on tiled printing you will see several threads where I was trying to get it to work. I never did prove whether the internal scaling is correct if you export a full size “A0” or larger svg or pdf file then try to tile print it later from an external utility. I had the sense that there was one or more issue and I was really busy trying to get tiled printing to work because I was in a rush to make patterns I could use to sew theater costumes. I had also volunteered to do a tutorial and was teaching myself to be disciplined and learn to draft a pattern “by the book”. I had lots of experience doing alterations, transformations, upcycling, basically creating costumes for people of widely different sizes and shapes using whatever I could get my hands on.

At any rate, if you have the time and inclination to make tiled printing work consistently and well, it would be a huge service to the community. I documented one path through the software which worked consistently for me but others have pointed out many issues with layout. Recently I got a pattern and was completely unable to get dress pieces to go into a layout and it was because the individual pieces were too long to the a0 paper. Slspencer had to point this out to me and suggest that I use “roll” paper for the layout.

I believe the target audience will include several types of users and a non trivial number will need tiled printing.


#2

#3

Thansk for the new thread. Maybe we could gather here what’s exactly not working with the tiled export.

Before the fork, the change of name and the summer break, I was working on the following issue:

I would go on there. What I want to achieve with this issue is:

  • Allow other paper formats, not only A4
  • use own margins, not the same margin values as for the layout
  • be able to have tiles in portrait or landscape

Technical discussion about this issue can be made directly in github.


#4

@ronanletiec the only other issue I have with tiled printing is that I would like the ability to save a layout then reload it in a different session and print tiled then. Since the load and save of a layout is not so closely related to the other issues, does this need to be tracked as a separate issue?


#5

With save a layout, do you mean save the layout as a pdf and then make the pdf tiled later on? Or do you mean that the layout generated should be saved in the val file, in order to not have to be generated again when opening the file later? Anyway you’re right, I think it should be adressed as a separated issue.

As for the tiled pdf, right now I’m doing the changes like I discussed with Roman back then, in the “export as” dialog. For now it looks like this: tiledpdf

The values entered are saved in a setting, this way they are kept aven after closing and opening the programme again.

I think it’s good this way but what I don’t like is that for now when you go under File > Layout > Preview tiled pdf or print tiled PDF, there is no way to edit those settings. It only happens when doing the “export as.”

We should think of another way to have a single central dialog for the pdf tiling.


#6

If you save the layout as a PDF, will you be able to exit valentina, come back later and open the saved layout PDF and print it tiled from valentina? I would like to see the ability to save the layout in some format that preserves enough information to make it printer independent.

Example: save the layout with roll paper or A0. Later you have the option to take the saved layout and print it tiled for letter or A4. Or Later you have the option to take the SAME saved layout and create it on a plotter using A0 or a roll of paper.


#7

What you want is to be able to create tiled pdf from another pdf (or svg, png etc).

Under the hood it’s probably quite different than the process that we have to generate the tiled pdf from the valentina file. And there are probably already lots of programm that do the poster export that you want.

Why is it more interesting to generate the tiled pdf from another pdf rather than using your .val file, generating the layout and export it to tiled pdf?


#8

there have been several threads with people who documented problems with tiled printing.

https://forum.seamly.net/search?q=tiled

The basic issue is that it is frustrating to put a lot of work into creating a pattern only to find that when you print it it is not scaled perfectly. If you save the pattern as a PDF layout and take it someplace to print on big paper the scaling may be correct. If you use some utility to tile and print that same pdf on a printer with small paper, you take the time to attach the puzzle pieces together and you find that the result is NOT QUITE a pattern that fits. I understand that the internal scaling (90 vs 96 dpi is one example) is not the same for all printers and all utilities. I understand that Roman did not have the time to try many different programs to see which would and which would not print correctly.

The tiled print from valentina can produce many blank pages. I found that doing a preview tiled pdf then manually selecting only the pages with content worked best for me. It is possible to go through a process every time to do this but it gets tiresome


#9

All right, we will have to check the scalling of the tiled pdf. I must say I never had problem with ubuntu and my hp printer. I export the layout to tiled pdf. Then open it with my pdf reader, select in the print option no scaling (default was 97%). That way it always worked, but we’ll probably have to do more testing.

To be sure I always make a pattern pieace which is just a square of 7cm x 7cm and only print it.

Someone suggested to have a ruler in the margin of the tilde pdf, I think it’s a briliant idea. A view dots along the cutting lines at every cm / inch would be a good way to test the scalling.

Oooh yes, I’m annoyed as well every time, sometimes in a pdf with lets say 20 pages, 8 are blanks and I do the same as you do to print only the interesting ones. A solution would be to remove all the blank around the pieces before doing the tiling, I think it would significantly reduce the amount of blank pages. The result woudln’t have the same format as selected (for instant A0), but it doesn’t matter att all!


#10

I believe that Roman was right and the internal scaling in valentina was not a problem. I believe that the problem was that there are many utilities that will work properly to print a saved pdf file with proper scaling and there are some that will not. When I wrote material on the original threads I was frantically trying to print a pattern that fit properly on my home (small format) printer. I worked through the issues with margins and sound a way to do what I needed. Your suggestions are good.


#11

One feature that I would strongly suggest that LF supports is an orthogonal/diagonal grid around the border of each page, right to the edge of the paper. I used to make large signs, and having both horizontal/vertical and diagonal grids really made it a lot easier to line pieces up. Here is a simple example I just threw together to show what I mean. gridtest02.pdf (7.2 KB)


#12

Haha it took me a few minutes to understand that LF is LibreFashion :sweat_smile: I guess I should go to sleep.

I think you’re right, that we need some guide to help assembling the pages. Especially when the border of a page has no pattern line going through to help place it. In your suggestion, the grid would still be seen when everything is assembled? I guess if it’s a light gray and the lines are very thin, it doesn’t really matter. In other commercial tiled pdf patterns, I’ve often seen a triangle at the middle of each border to help positionate, it’s not so bad either.


#13

Triangles can be helpful, but the full grid works better. Here is an example with two triangles per side. See how some are hidden by the art? That is one of the problems with it. gridtest03.pdf (12.2 KB)


#14

regarding having a guide to assemble the pages. I am not disagreeing that a grid or triangles would be nice. I do want to point out that there are index lines on all of the relevant edges of each tiled piece ONLY IF you have the MARGINS in the layout selected big enough. I was never to get an answer about how big is big enough. I started using 1.5 inch margins on each side because that worked. I realize that it wasted paper but at that point I did not care. @ronanletiec I suggest that you make a simple pattern and create a layout and print it with the margins BIG so that you will see the tiled index lines working the way Roman intended them to work.

I would suggest a descriptive error message to tell the user what is happening when the margins are too small and those index lines disappear without warning.

You really will not see the problem unless you try to print out something that requires AT LEAST 4 pages of letter sized paper.

Here is a pattern that will illustrate the problem. Try getting this into a layout and printing ALL of the pieces. Hint, @slspencer can help speed up the process of guessing how to get the pieces into the layout, but I suggest you just try it to see where the difficulties lay.leilanidress-kimlayout.val (45 KB) Leilani_full_size_mannequin.vit (2.0 KB)

Try printing this first with the margins all set to 0.1 Then printing with the margins all set to 1.5


#15

The main reason that I made the grid go all the way to the edge of the paper is that you can never know what a particular printer has as absolute limits for margins. Because the grid (in my example) extends more than 2cm from the edge, it is guaranteed to be printed. (I forgot to include page identification in my examples, so here is another. If you try printing it, you’ll see that the grid and the page label pretty much disappear if you aren’t looking at them close up.)

gridtest04.pdf (15.0 KB)


#16

I’m lucky enough that my A4 printer can print starting at 3mm from each edge of the paper, so for me it works perfectly when I set the following margins: left: 0.5cm, top:0,5cm, right: 0 and bottom: 0 (why 0? because we have the 1cm for gluing anyway so the dotted line will be printed and the Grid for positioning as well because it’s far enough from the edge).

I’ve made a quick graphic, using your .vit and .val, to show what’s interesting (sorry for my poor graphic skills haha):

tiledpdf_graphic

Until now, the Layout margins (or previously known as fields) were used as well for the margins of the tiled pdf. The tiled pdf will get its own margins margin, see the following dialog:

saveLayout1

The tiled pdf margins needs to be set so that the printer can actually print the content (in my case they should be > 0.3mm, except for right and bottom).

Where do you suggest to do that? We can’t know the value because it will be different for each printer. What we could do is add a warning/help message somewhere in the dialog, to explain what the margin values are for.

You mentioned printing on letter sized paper. For now the tiled pdf is only exported in A4 (I’m about to change that, see the dialog). Could that explain why you have issues with scaling?

I’ve had trouble opening your .val file, because it hat the valentina version 0.6.3. Do you know were you got this version from? because now we have 0.6.0. There was also a tag “previewCalculation” in the val file, that the programm doesn’t know.


#17

True it can be a problem.

Could you do an example for the grid / triangles using a page of a tiled pdf export as base? Right now we already have cutting line, the grid positioning etc. It would be helpful to get the idea on how to integrate a grid in the current state.


#18

Just as a note… I set my Canon printer to 8.5" x 11" borderless and it prints the dashed lines on 2 sides (bottom & right side?) 1/4" in… no cutting required. Any way you look at it taping/pasting/gluing a tiled print together sucks. I tried printing from tiled PDF, but was having scaling issues. I should try again, now that I have a better idea what I’m doing.

As soon as a I get a chance I’m going to try using the 36" vinyl cutter at work with a pen in it to plot. Wish I could use the 72" plotter we have, but it’s a dedicated plotter with no Windoze driver. :frowning:


#19

I’ve just made a pull request. Whoohooo I did it, I managed to take into account the new margins for the tiled pdf, the paper format and the orientation.

You can now edit those when you clik on File > Layout > Export As, and select “tiled PDF”. Those values are also taken into account for File > Layout > Preview tiled Pdf. But you can’t edit them there, I’m not very happy about that.

If anybody has an idea, how we could manage the tiled pdf / those settings, so that it’s more intuitive and user frienly, that would be good!

It’s the first time I’ve worked so deep under the hood, I might have make a few mistake here and there. I’ve tested as best as I could, but it would be nice if some people could test as well. when the pull request is accepted that is, or before if you are willing to clone my repo.


#20

I don’t have a good answer yet for how to sense the different possible printers. What you did with putting separate margins for the tiled pdf is brilliant.

I think a good explanation of how the feature works (on the wiki or in the manual or both) would solve this. That does not mean that you personally need to do it.

My pattern file was created with one of Roman’s builds after the fork. I will look for an older pattern. The issue I was trying to show is any pattern that is at least 2x2 as a tiled output. that particular pattern does not matter.

My original issues with scale were in July. I was trying to create a tutorial and a sample pattern that fit me personally (the first time with valentina and not manually using big paper). So, I tried to print the pattern and fit it. There was one specific measurement where a line measured 16 inches according to the formula on the screen inside valentina. If I saved the tiled PDF and printed it with an outside program (I think I used Ocular, but I am no longer sure) the printed copy measured about 15.7 inches). Roman was very busy with his own work and was not able to help me. I finally figured out that if I selected preview tiled PDF from inside valentina I could make it work. I did not pursue it any farther at that time