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09-23-2010, 14:35
Hello All,

A better name for this thread might have been: Printables Tutorial, but that would not be entirely accurate either and certainly not very specific.

In this thread, I will attempt to describe my process of taking a 1:1 scale box or other potentially "Printable" object and reduce it in size for Joes' use. The object in this case is a Juice Carton (Wegmans Brand Limeade).

Here are a couple cropped photographs of what the box looks like before disassembly.

09-23-2010, 14:48
Take a sharp thin knife and slice the box apart along the seams. It helps to have a couple boxes because sometimes there are imperfections you might not notice or the box might be damaged during disassembly.

(Note that this box was damaged when I cut it apart. I also removed the cap on this box so I could tell it was defective.)

Next, I tape on a piece of graph paper to check alignment on the photographs and a ruler to use in scaling the image. I found with the printers I use that 300 DPI works pretty well without having a huge file. Higher resolution doesn't seem to help because the printers aren't that precise.

At 300 DPI and 1:6 scale, the 12 inch ruler should be 600 pixels in the printable image.

09-23-2010, 14:58
In prior attempts to create printables, I would only check the alignment of the photograph and use a tool such as GIMP to rescale to 1:6 (Joe Scale). What I found was that often artifacts from the rescaling would make the image less than optimal even though the defects could not be seen in the actual printed object.

In experimenting a bit with the camera I use, I found that its 1/3 grid and a lower resolution would make rescaling unnecessary.

09-23-2010, 15:14
I found that the M3 resolution option on my camera creates a 1600 pixel wide image. The 1/3 grid theoretically means that each section should be 1600 / 3 or 533 pixels. At 300 DPI and Joe scale, that means that I should align the grid onto an image 10.66 inches 533 / 600 * 12 inches.

I marked a piece of graph paper with lines EXACTLY 10.66 inches apart. ;-)
and adjusted the zoom until the spacing was correct.

(I suggest once the alignment is done, re-zoom a half dozen times to get at least one photograph at the correct scale or at least close to it.)

To avoid any motion in the camera while photographing, set a timer. (I use 2 seconds on my camera.) You might need slow shutter times depending on the light. My shutter (shudder if I was holding it) times were about 1/15 to 1/100 second depending on the light. I used the smallest aperture I could get which was F8.0 on my camera.

I tried to take the shots indoors, but even with white-balance adjusted for the indoor lighting, the range of colours seemed to be worse.

- Ivan.