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Re: Controlling scale of Graphics on paper

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  • Subject: [mg126298] Re: Controlling scale of Graphics on paper
  • From: Joseph Gwinn <joegwinn at>
  • Date: Sun, 29 Apr 2012 02:11:31 -0400 (EDT)
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  • References: <jmtd9i$sim$> <jndtpo$jm0$>

In article <jndtpo$jm0$1 at>,
 Szabolcs Horvát <szhorvat at> wrote:

> On 2012.04.21. 6:32, Joseph Gwinn wrote:
> > I would like to use Mathematica to make printed templates of various
> > kinds.
> >
> > In one use, a complicated shape is generated mathematically and
> > displayed using Graphics or Show, the plot is printed on paper, the
> > paper is glued to a piece of wood, which is cut and drilled to the lines
> > and center-points.  This requires the ability to control the on-paper
> > scale factor, so that a length of 1.0 in a line ends up being one inch
> > (or one centimeter) on paper.
> >
> > I assume that this is possible, but have not found anything relevant in
> > the online documentation.  What I have done is used Mathematica to make
> > dolls of machine parts; in this case it was sufficient that all be in
> > the same scale, which was achieved using ImageSize->72*6 directives, but
> > ImageSize doesn't speak directly to the issue of scale on paper.
> >
> > It may be that ImageSize->{w,h} can be used, but there is some math
> > required.
> >
> > So, my question is how best to achieve a specified scale on paper.
> >
> You got several suggestions.  One thing that hasn't been mentioned yet 
> is exporting to DXF.
> DXF is a CAD-specific format, so there's support for printing to exact 
> scales.  First export to DXF, then open it with a CAD program or a DXF 
> viewer and print to a precise scale.  I think this will fit your 
> application best.
> If you are going to go the PDF route, this might be valuable (similar to 
> other suggestions):
> You'll need to get rid of any PlotRangePadding and ImageMargins too, if 
> you choose this route.

Hmm.  I do have a CAD program (Alibre), and it does understand DXF (of 
course), but that's a whole new world.  

I was hoping for a simpler solution, in Mathematica only, for 
non-precision and one-off applications.  One would hope and assume that 
Mathematica can do this natively.

But it's a good idea nonetheless, for more complex jobs.

Joe Gwinn

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