© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition

Instruction Manual

© Richard Stewart

2007

R & L CAD Services Pty Ltd Mackay QLD AUSTRALIA

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© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition

Table Of Contents
Overview ...............................................................................5
Printing the Pattern .......................................................................................... 5 Exporting the Pattern ....................................................................................... 5

Copyright, Licensing and Disclaimer.................................5
Copyright ......................................................................................................... 5 License Agreement ......................................................................................... 6 Disclaimer........................................................................................................ 6

System Requirements .........................................................6 Installing on your Computer ...............................................7
Install the Plate „n Sheet program files ............................................................ 7 To Install The Temporary Key ......................................................................... 8 Install the Hardware Lock Driver ..................................................................... 8 To Install The Hardware Lock ......................................................................... 9 Install Adobe Acrobat Reader ....................................................................... 10 Support .......................................................................................................... 10 Ongoing Development ................................................................................... 10

Getting Started – Make a Pattern for a Cone ...................11 The Category Menu ...........................................................13 Getting Started – Entering Values ....................................14
When there are two views for entering parameters ....................................... 15

Apply Material Thickness ..................................................16 Dimensioning .....................................................................18
Overview of Auto Dimensions ....................................................................... 18 Overview of Manual Dimensions ................................................................... 19

Auto Dimension Modes .............................................21
True Lengths ................................................................................................. 21 Step-Off Dimensions ..................................................................................... 21 Diagonal Dimensions .................................................................................... 21 Coordinate Grid and Coordinate Table ......................................................... 22 Coordinate Grid ............................................................................................. 22 Coordinate Table ........................................................................................... 23 Frame and Area ............................................................................................ 24 Item Number.................................................................................................. 25 Page 2

© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition
Bend Angles .................................................................................................. 25 Display Router Groove Symbols ................................................................... 26

Manual Dimensions ...........................................................28
Dimension Points .......................................................................................... 28 Dimensioning in Model View ......................................................................... 29 Applying a Manual Dimension ....................................................................... 29 Horizontal Dimensions ......................................................................... 30 Vertical Dimensions ............................................................................. 30 Aligned Dimensions ............................................................................. 30 Offset Aligned Dimension .................................................................... 30 Remove Dimension ............................................................................. 31 Stretch Dimension ................................................................................ 31 Edit Dimension Properties ................................................................... 31 Hot Keys ........................................................................................................ 32

Shape Properties .......................................................34
Number of Press Lines .................................................................................. 35 Angle of the Seam ......................................................................................... 35 Template Type .............................................................................................. 35 Pattern Spacing ............................................................................................. 36 Router Groove ............................................................................................... 36 General Note regarding Properties................................................................ 37

Special Properties .....................................................37 Join Type ....................................................................38 Global Options ...................................................................40
The Color and Display Options Tab .............................................................. 40 The General Options Tab .............................................................................. 41 The DXF Options Tab ................................................................................... 42 The Printing Options Tab .............................................................................. 42 Printer Calibration .......................................................................................... 43 Material Options ............................................................................................ 44 Material Editor ............................................................................................... 44

Move and Rotate Pattern ...................................................45
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....................... 48 Dynamic Zoom ............................................................................................................. 58 Printing ..........................................................48 Pan ........................ 45 Rotate Pattern ...................... 50 Mass Properties ..................... 48 Zoom Window .............................................................................................. 48 3D View Buttons ......................................................................................................................................................... 60 Page 4 .............. 54 Export DXF and Send to AutoCAD Options .................................................................................................................... 48 Zoom Extents ........... 59 Printing the Current View............................................................................................................................................................................... 60 Printing a Template .........................................................................................................................................................................................50 Measure ....................... 57 Exporting a Model .......... 50 Materials Editor ...........................56 Overview .... 46 Viewing and Zooming......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 51 Project Identification ......................................................................................................................................................................59 Print Setup..................................© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition Move Pattern ......................................... 48 Zoom Previous .................................................................................................. 49 Rotate View .......................................................................... 49 Pattern Information................................. 59 The Two Modes of Printing ........................................................................................................................................... 53 Label ......... 56 Exporting a Pattern .......................................................................

Exporting the Pattern Plate 'n' Sheet Professional may be used with a CAD program or an NC profile cutters. front. Printing the Pattern Plate „n‟ Sheet Professional can be used with most printers. The shape is defined by entering dimensions and the unfolded pattern produced instantly by pressing the „Enter‟ key. Wherever possible. In Version 4 we believe we have been able to provide many additional features while maintaining the program‟s original simplicity for basic users. error messages will let you know if a size is not valid or conflicts with another size. Tools are supplied to zoom in or out and to view the shape from different angles. Large full size patterns can be produced on small printers by printing across multiple sheets of paper and joining them up while maintaining accuracy. side. Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes private Page 5 . Orthographic viewing angles (top. It is able to export both the pattern or 3D model as a DXF file readable by most CAD and related programs. „Ease of use‟ is our guiding principle. The program is fully “Stand-Alone” and a CAD program or an understanding of CAD is not essential to using the program.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition Overview Plate „n‟ Sheet Professional is designed to make it easy to unfold shapes commonly encountered by fabricators and sheet metal workers. from wide format CAD plotters to small A4 inkjet or laser printers. Sizes may be altered at any time and the shape will change dynamically. Licensing and Disclaimer Copyright This manual and the software is the copyright of Richard Stewart and R & L CAD Services Pty Ltd. end and four isometric angles) are available at the click of a button to allow true length measurements to be taken directly from the model. The shape may be viewed as either a 3D model or as a flat pattern at any stage of the process. Several dimensioning modes are available and the resultant pattern may be printed or exported as a DXF for use in other software. Copyright.

Australia. be it electronic. NT 4 and Windows 2000 and Windows XP). A USB hardware lock is required to run the program. R & L CAD Services Pty Ltd accepts no responsibility for any losses arising from the use of the program. If you do not agree with the terms of the license you should not proceed with the installation. Approximately 50 Mb of hard disk space is required to install and run Plate 'n' Sheet Professional. by any means. Because the pattern may be split up into small sheets and then arranged on the plate it is. Disclaimer Every attempt has been made to produce a program that is functional. easy to use and accurate. Some older pen plotters and some “Multifunction” (Fax-Scanner-Copier-etc) are not supported. Queensland. You may move the program and hardware lock between computers but it may only be used on one computer at a time. criticism or review as permitted under the Copyright Act. The final checking of the developed shape remains your responsibility. research. License Agreement License conditions are displayed during the installation of the software. Page 6 . without the written prior consent of Richard Stewart. The Hewlett Packard DesignJet series is being used successfully by many of our clients for printing large sheet sizes. Call or email to discuss further if you are concerned about the suitability of your printer. A summary of the License conditions and disclaimer is available when you are running the software by selecting the “Disclaimer” item from the Help me. no part may be either copied or transmitted in any form. The printer must have a driver that complies with the Microsoft standard for Windows compatible drivers. possible to use a small (A4) laser or inkjet printer. mechanical. recording or otherwise.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition study. System Requirements Plate „n‟ Sheet Professional requires a system capable of running Microsoft Windows (Windows 98. however.

install the Plate „n Sheet program files 1.com website. If necessary log off and logon as an Administrator or contact your IT personnel. install Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you are only evaluating the software this step is not necessary to run the program in evaluation mode. Close any programs that may be running. If installing for the first time the program will run in “evaluation” mode at this stage but you won‟t be able to print or export patterns. The first step installs the software on your computer. known as a driver. Page 7 . Plug the hardware lock into a USB port.adobe. If you have received the package and have the USB Hardware lock this step is not necessary. to explain in more detail: First. Before the computer can recognize the lock another piece of software must be installed. You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer to read the electronic version and of the manual and for the “Help” buttons to function. If necessary. 2. And now. 4 5 Install the Hardware Lock. If you have purchased the software you will receive a USB hardware lock (also known as a “Dongle”). you may obtain a temporary software key (a code) to enable you to begin work right away.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition Installing on your Computer 1 Install the Plate „n Sheet program files. A copy of Acrobat Reader is on the CD or may be downloaded from the www. creates a shortcut icon on your Desktop and adds an item to the Windows “Start” menu. 3 Install the Hardware Lock (“Dongle”) driver. On most systems you will need to have “Administrator” privileges. 2 Install the Temporary Key If you have purchased the program from a website and are waiting for the CD and USB hardware lock to arrive.

You should check with your IT personnel before proceeding. Click the “Start” button . When completed. Then Install The Temporary Key This step is not necessary if you already have the USB hardware lock. 5. Follow the on screen instructions. To install the Aladdin USB driver 1. Yes. click the button “Authorize” to complete the operation. The setup process should begin automatically. If you have been given a temporary code by your dealer follow these steps: Click on the „File‟ pull-down menu and select „Licensing‟ to display the following dialog box. enter the name exactly as supplied by the dealer from whom you purchased the program.select “Run” and click the “Browse” button. Log onto the CD ROM (usually D:) and click the file name “Setup.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition 3. Place the Plate „n‟ Sheet installation CD into the CD drive. 4. then follow step 4 .exe”.otherwise go to step 5. Place the Plate „n‟ Sheet Professional CD in the CD drive. In the text box labeled “User name:”. Next. it is case sensitive! Very carefully enter the code into the text box marked “New Key”. If in doubt use the default settings. If it doesn‟t. Page 8 . install the Hardware Lock Driver On some computers you may need to install a device driver. The driver is another program and is supplied on the Plate „n‟ Sheet Professional V4 installation CD.

Browse the CD with Windows Explorer and open a folder named “Hasp Drivers”. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the process. 4. Most computers have at least two USB ports.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition 2. If your computer is quite old and does not have any USB ports you can purchase a PCI card with USB ports on it. install The Hardware Lock The hardware lock (or “dongle”) is an electronic device that plugs into a USB socket on your computer. Check that the red light in the end of the hardware lock is glowing. Once again this will be available through your local computer shop. The replacement cost of a hardware lock is the cost of purchasing a second license of the program! Page 9 . If all of your USB ports are occupied you can purchase a USB “splitter” from your local computer shop.exe (double click to run it). 3. 5. When you plug the Hardware lock into the USB port a small red light will be visible in the end of the device to show that it has been recognized by your computer. Very Important Note You must make every effort to keep the hardware lock safe.au for further advice if you are having difficulties. Please contact support@plate-nsheet. Run the program named HaspUserSetup.com. 6. finally. the mouse or printer.5” x 0. When the program starts up and at various times during the operation of the program a test will be carried out to see if the device is in place.25” (or 13 mm X 6 mm) and often used to connect a scanner. And. The USB port is a small rectangular socket approximately 0. Exit from the installation program if it starts automatically by clicking the cancel button on the „Welcome‟ screen. which will make one USB port into 2. 4 or more ports. If the dongle is not in a USB port the program will respond as if it is running in evaluation mode.

there is a copy on the CD. Page 10 . If you are unsure. we are happy to discuss a customized version for a negotiated fee. Use Explorer to locate a folder on the CD named “Acrobat Reader Version 8” and open it. Support Direct software support should be obtained from the reseller from whom you purchased the product.exe) and follow the instructions on screen. You must have a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer to be able to use the on-line help. If the issue cannot be resolved. perhaps discuss it with your IT personnel or computer supplier. this cost may be minimal. If you have a special shape not included in the standard package. Ongoing Development R & L CAD Services Pty Ltd is dedicated to product improvement. Double click on the file inside (named AdbeRdr80_en_US. If the proposed customization happens to be in line with our plans for developing and improving the product. Before installing either check whether you already have a copy installed (as most computers do). Version 8 is the latest version at the time of printing but requires at minimum Windows 2000 with all current service packs installed. Please let us know if you encounter difficulties in using the program or manual or have suggestions for improvements and additions.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition Install Adobe Acrobat Reader Plate „n‟ Sheet Professional uses an Acrobat PDF file as the main Help source. the reseller may refer you to a technician for further assistance. If not.

Page 11 . Note that the parameters are shown in red until they have been entered. Select the cone as shown below by double-clicking on the shape image or clicking on the Start button. Enter sizes here Name of shape shown here Enter the shape “parameters”.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition Getting Started – Make a Pattern for a Cone Start the program and click the “New” button and select a “Cones” from the Main Category List and “Right Cone Truncation” from the Sub Category List. Main Category list Sub Category list Start Button This will display the Model Window and a diagram of the shape with spaces for entering the values that define the shape (“Parameters”).

The colored face shows the direction of the view. If the values are red they have not yet been applied. A message will be displayed if an invalid value is entered. You may alternate between model view and pattern view as you wish. The basic process is the same for all shapes. Press the enter key to apply the new values. Click on the view buttons to view the shape as a 3D “wire-frame” model. Congratulations! You have successfully created the flat pattern development of a cone. (Tip! Pause the mouse over a button to find the name of the view. You may change the parameters at any time.) Return to Pattern View by clicking the “Pattern View” button. Now for some more details… Page 12 .© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition Now view the unfolded shape by simply pressing the “Enter” key or clicking the “Pattern View” button! “New” Button “3D View” buttons “Pattern View” button Note that once the parameters have been successfully processed they change color to blue.

© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition The Category Menu The menu consists of a main list of shape categories on the left side and a sub list. First select from the Main List Then select from the Sub List Double click on an image Shape Description Or click the Start Button Selecting from the sub list reveals further choices shown as images. You may begin a shape by either clicking the “Start” button with the left mouse button or by double clicking on an image. If the shape consists of more than one part. The sub list changes as selections are made from the main list. as with the branches shown above. Page 13 . Each shape has a brief description. Select “New” from the “File” pull down menu (or click the “New” button) to return to the Category Menu after completing a pattern. the part highlighted in blue is the part for which the pattern will be created.

Remember. the decimal point “. Undo and Redo buttons. Page 14 . Incorrect parameter is highlighted when error message is cleared. The numbers will be red until they have been processed. Use the delete or backspace keys if you make a mistake. While the parameters are shown in red the shape has not updated.”. Error message. When you close the message box the invalid or missing parameter will be highlighted. use the „Undo‟ button to step back through recent changes.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition Getting Started – Entering Values Enter sizes by clicking on the number and begin typing. if they are still red they have not been processed and the shape has not updated. The parameters will change to blue when they have been successfully processed and the shape has updated. Click the „Redo‟ button to cancel the last „undo‟ operation. Do not enter units such as “mm” or “Inches” An error message will occur if you forget a size or enter an invalid size. Note: If you make a mistake or change your mind. Only numbers. and the negative symbol “-“ may be entered.

there will be a blue “Hyperlink” to switch from one view to another. Rectangle-to-round transitions need a top view to dimension the rectangle and a front view to show the height Click Hypertext to change view Click Hypertext to return to first view In these cases. Page 15 .© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition Parameters are blue showing the sizes have been accepted Parameters are red showing the sizes have NOT been entered or accepted When there are two views for entering parameters Some shapes require two views to fully define the shape.

For example. as measured at the mean. are transferred to the outside diameter. Page 16 . The program will then calculate the shape of the pattern based on the mean thickness of the shape. In / Out / Mean Setting Enter the Material Thickness here Enter the thickness of the material to be used. Note: A “Wrap-Around” template may also be produced for use with stock pipe. You must tell the program whether the parameters being used are the INSIDE dimensions. In this case the true lengths. OUTSIDE dimensions or the MEAN dimensions.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition Apply Material Thickness Plate „n‟ Sheet Professional will allow for the thickness of the material being used when creating the model and the unfolded pattern. See the “Shape Properties” section for more details. if you were to use meters to enter diameters. the thickness must also be in meters. All sizes must be in the same units.

See the tutorial about Creating Patterns for Fabricating from Plastic. the cylinder has a diameter of 100 and the Material Thickness is 10. Inside measurement as entered Material Thickness For mild steel and most common materials. There are exceptions to this.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition Mean Diameter Mean Thickness and “Neutral Axis” For example. The INSIDE option is selected so the program knows that this parameter is measured inside the cylinder bore. the material will compress a little on inside of the bend and stretch a little on the outside of the bend. in the diagram shown above. The pattern will be created for a cylinder with a diameter of 105. The “Neutral Axis” of the material (the line that neither stretches or compresses) is very close to the middle of the material when the material bent around a gentle curve as found in most cones and cylinders. See also “Help for this Shape” Chutes Page 17 .

it is more efficient to set the size before.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition Dimensioning Dimensions may be applied automatically or manually. The Auto Dimension Options are enabled by selecting from the “Dimension “pull-down menu or by clicking on the tool bar button: Dimension Menu Default Text Size Auto Dimension Toolbar button The text size for the dimensions is shown on the drop down list. While text size may be changed after the dimensions have been applied. Overview of Auto Dimensions There are several modes of Auto Dimension available. Auto Dimensions may only be applied to pattern View. The following provides a brief overview of each method. Click here for apply True Lengths Page 18 . not to the wire-frame model.

Click this button for a Horizontal Dimension. Each Auto Dimension mode will be discussed in detail later. Page 19 . the Top View. Experiment by turning various modes on and off by returning to the Auto Dimension options. To manually apply a horizontal dimension. click on a toolbar button.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition The Auto Dimension dialog box shows the various dimensioning modes. For now. Front View and Side Views but not isometric or rotated views. vertical or aligned dimension may be applied between any two points. Overview of Manual Dimensions A horizontal. That is. Manual dimensions can be applied to the pattern and also orthographic views of the 3D model. just select “True Lengths” by clicking on the check box. The result will be as follows: True lengths printed along each press line The true length of each press line has been placed onto the pattern.

© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition Click a point on the pattern using the left mouse button and hold it down. When you change to another view those dimensions will no longer be visible. they will be displayed again when you return to the view current when they were created. However. A small circle will appear at each point as the mouse moves over the pattern. Page 20 . Dimensions applied manually to the wire frame model. The dimension will find the closest point. Move the mouse until the dimension line is in the correct position and click again. Horizontal and vertical dimensions applied manually to the pattern. Keep the mouse button down as you drag the mouse to the second point and then release it when the second small circle is over the required point.

© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition Auto Dimension Modes True Lengths This mode displays the “true length” of each press line as an aid to marking the shape onto the material or to check the shape and scale of the pattern. Apply “True Length” dimensions along each press line and step-off distances around the top and base. Page 21 . Diagonal Dimensions This mode displays the diagonal distance from the end of one press line to the start of the next press line. See below for examples of each of the Auto Dimension modes described above. Step-Off Dimensions This mode displays the straight-line distance from the end of one press line to the end of the next press line. This provides a means of triangulating the shape to mark it onto the material or to check the printed shape. Step-Off Dimensions may be applied around the base profile or around the top profile.

Coordinate Grid This mode displays the distances in the X and Y-axes (as measured from the left hand edge and base line of the pattern. you may dimension each part from a common datum (0. Step-Off around the base. the horizontal and vertical distances measured from the left edge and base line of the pattern. See the example below: Page 22 .0) point. That is.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition Step-Off around the top. such as an elbow. Alternatively you may dimension each part from an individual datum point. Diagonal Dimensions Coordinate Grid and Coordinate Table This mode displays the X and Y coordinates of each point around the profile. If the shape has multiple parts.

Labels to suit a “Coordinate Table”.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition Coordinate Table Apply a “Coordinate Grid”. The Table of Coordinates may be positioned on the drawing by clicking the “ok” button. Click this button to access the Coordinate Table dialog Page 23 . saved as a text file by using “save” option or printed directly by using “print option”. A table of coordinates of each corresponding point may be viewed by clicking the coordinate table button on the tool bar. This mode marks the ends of each press line with a code.

It is also useful for finding the most economical arrangement of the pattern. width and area displayed. if you are sending the result to AutoCAD. Page 24 . The display of the table on drawing is controlled by “Display Label” checkbox.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition If you are using small page sizes such as A4. This is useful for determining the size of the material required to make the shape. Frame and Area When this mode is selected a rectangle is drawn around the shape with the length. hide the table. rather than including it on the drawing. Sometimes rotating the shape allows the shape to be cut from a smaller piece of material. the Frame and Area may be applied to the entire shape or to the individual parts comprising the shape. it is usually better to print the table on a page of its own by clicking the “Print” button. If the shape is made up of multiple parts such as an elbow. deselect checkbox. displaying it on the drawing is a convenient way of exporting both the pattern and the Coordinate Table. the the To the However.

such as a segmented bend. The date and time that the shape was last updated is also displayed.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition Length of the Rectangle Rectangular Area Width of the rectangle Item Number and Date/Time Stamp Item Number When this mode is selected the number of the item is displayed on the pattern. the press lines on the transition shown are on the inside surface. The angle displayed is the angle between two adjacent faces measured at right angles to the press line. To distinguish it from a true length dimension is shown in brackets and with a degree symbol (160). The item number may not be necessary for single part items but is useful when the pattern is of an item made from several parts. The item number is also displayed on the wire-frame model to help identify the parts. Page 25 . Bend Angle displayed The press lines are to be pressed down. For example. Bend Angles When this mode is selected the bend angle is displayed down each press line.

The bending then takes place at the bottom of the groove. It is a common practice to cut a groove with a router along the press lines. press down on the press line if the angle is less than 180.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition If you are using a press. Display Router Groove Symbols Fabricating shapes from plastics may require additional preparation. Press up if the angle is greater than 180. Enter “Router Groove” Dimension Before this option is available there must be a value in Material Thickness and in the Router Groove property. Page 26 .

When this mode is selected a symbol is placed on the press line to show the router groove dimension and direction. Page 27 . the groove is to be cut into the same side as viewed. the angle will be greater than 180 and the groove is to be cut on the opposite side. See the section about Properties for more details on the use of Router Grooves. If the symbol points down as shown.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition Router Groove Symbol Material Thickness must be entered. If the symbol points up.

While text size may be changed after the dimensions have been applied. Dimension Points Dimensions may be attached only to certain points on the shape.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition Manual Dimensions There are several types of Manual Dimension available. as follows: 1 The endpoints of the press lines. Auto Dimensions may be applied to both Pattern View and wire-frame Model View. 3 The midpoint between the endpoints of press lines on the profile. 5 Points around the perimeter of the lap join allowance. 2 The reference point (the little cross that appears at the apex of a cone pattern). it is more efficient to set the size before. The Manual Dimensions are applied by selecting from the “Dimension “pull-down menu or by clicking on the tool bar button: Dimensioning Toolbar buttons Default Text Size Dimensioning Menu The text size for the dimensions is shown on the drop down list. Page 28 . 4 The corner points of the rectangular frame when “Frame and Area” is enabled.

© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition 6 Points around the perimeter of a hole. Dimensioning in Model View Manual Dimensions may be applied in Model View in orthographic views only. such as in a branch. Rear View and End Views only. However. Move the mouse over the shape and a small circle will jump to the closest dimensioning point. Applying a Manual Dimension Click a toolbar button or select from the dimension pull-down menu. Manual dimensions applied to the wire frame model. Orthographic views are the Top View. Page 29 . Keep the mouse button down. Click with the left mouse button when the small circle is on the required point. they will be displayed again when you return to the view that was current when they were created. Move the mouse again and stretch the dimension out until the dimension line is in the required position. Click and release the left mouse button. When you change to another view those dimensions will no longer be visible. With the left button held down move the mouse over the shape until the small circle is over the second point then release the button. Front View. Dimensions cannot be applied in isometric or rotated views.

It displays the direct. Aligned Dimensions An Aligned Dimension may be applied between any two points. It is similar to the manual dimension in Version 3 of the program. shortest distance between the two points.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition Horizontal Dimensions A horizontal dimension may be applied between any two points. The dimension is drawn as a line connecting the two points. Vertical Dimensions Similarly. a vertical dimension may be applied between any two points. Offset Aligned Dimension An Offset Aligned Dimension may be applied between any two points. It displays the horizontal distance between the two points even if the points are not aligned horizontally. It displays the vertical distance between the two points even if the points are not aligned vertically. It displays the direct. shortest distance between the two points and allows the dimension to be offset from the origin points. Page 30 .

Each dimension will be highlighted in turn. Each dimension will be highlighted in turn. To Stretch a dimension: Click the tool bar button or select from the “Dimension” pull-down menu. Edit Dimension Properties The properties of all or individual dimensions may be modified after they have been attached to the drawing. Move the mouse over the shape on the screen. Left click with the mouse when the correct dimension is highlighted. Move the mouse over the shape on the screen. Stretch Dimension Stretching allows the dimension line and text to be moved while leaving the origin points attached. The properties that may be modified are font size and color and dimension line color. Holding down the left button move the mouse. Drag the dimension line (shown dotted) to the new position and release the mouse button.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition Aligned Dimension Offset Aligned Dimension Aligned Dimension Remove Dimension To remove a dimension: Click the tool bar button or select from the “Dimension” pull-down menu. Page 31 . Hold down the left mouse when the correct dimension is highlighted.

A dimension with modified properties retains its modified color or text size. Hot Keys The dimension operations above can be used more efficiently with the use of certain “Hotkeys”. Click with the left mouse button to select. This was not the case in Version 3. Select Text Size (font size) from the drop down list. Select the text color or dimension line color by clicking on the corresponding color patches and choosing a new color from the color array that is displayed. Click the Edit Dimension Properties button on the Dimension toolbar (or type the Hotkey “P” on the keyboard. Unmodified dimensions automatically change when either the Global Options or Default Text size values are changed.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition This can be used to highlight important dimensions using color. Move the mouse over the pattern to highlight the required dimension. This means that individual Auto Dimensions may be deleted or have its properties modified. The dialog box shown below is displayed showing the properties of the selected dimension. to reduce the size of text in congested areas of the drawing and adjust the color to make it more printable. Pressing certain keys on the keyboard can be used rather Page 32 . the color is determined by the default setting in the “Global Options” dialog and the font size is set by the “Default Text Size” on the top toolbar. Note 1: When a dimensions are first applied. Note 2: Dimensions in Version 4 that have been applied using Auto Dimensioning are the same as dimensions applied manually.

Hot key A D H O P S V Operation Aligned Dimension Remove Dimension Horizontal Dimension Offset Dimension Edit Dimension Properties Stretch Dimension Vertical Dimension Page 33 .© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition than clicking a toolbar button or selecting from a menu and some users find this faster.

Not all of the settings are applicable to every shape. Each setting and its purpose are discussed below.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition Shape Properties There are various settings that can be applied to the shape. The “Properties” dialog is used to modify these settings. When a setting is not relevant that setting will be “grayed out”. Page 34 . Click the “Properties” button here to access the Properties dialog. See expanded views below.

for example). Template Type This setting can be applied only to cylindrical shapes. particularly for transitional shapes (for example Rectangle to Round).© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition Number of Press Lines Sets the number of Press lines (also known as “True Length Lines”) used to generate the shape. It is not applicable to all shapes. a large number of lines may also slow down the generation of the views and pattern. However. If it cannot be applied to a particular shape it will be greyed out. Page 35 . a greater number of bend lines results in a more accurate pattern. determines the position of the join or seam. as some must have the seam on a particular side or position (branches. The default value of 24 is sufficient for most shapes based on the cone and cylinder. As discussed in the topic on Material Thickness the pattern is recalculated on the mean thickness of the material. when applicable. Generally speaking. Angle of the Seam This setting. It has two options: Mean Thickness: Use this setting when the pattern is to be cut from flat material and then pressed or rolled to shape.

This option is used to create a thin template that wraps around the pipe. This option is only available if there is a value in “Material Thickness”. When there is a value in Router Groove. Page 36 . In such cases this option will be visible and allows the user to set a gap between each component to allow for the thickness of the cut or to separate the shapes for clarity of dimensioning. the “Display Router Groove” option in Auto Dimension Options is enabled and allows the Router Groove Symbol to be shown on the press lines (see Auto Dimension Options for further details). the Elbow or Segmented Bend).© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition Wrap Around: Use this setting when you are using stock pipes or preformed cylinders. Pattern Spacing This applies when multiple parts are nested in a single sheet (for example. The Router Groove value must also be less than the Material Thickness. Router Groove Router groove is used when folding some plastic material and specifies the remaining material at the bottom of the groove. Router Groove Symbol is enabled in Auto Dimension Options. The true lengths are as measured at the mean thickness but are transferred to the circumference of the outside of the cylinder. Zero (0) means no groove.

if you are working on more than one pattern at a time and set the number of Press Lines to 48. In this case the shape has additional settings if required. Ovals and Elbows. For example. Over time additional options will be added to other shapes. For example. Special Properties Some shapes will display an additional „Special Properties‟ button as shown above. Page 37 . It is not necessary to select „Special Properties‟ to obtain a full standard pattern however you may like to look at what options are available. Other shapes with special properties include the Segmented Bends.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition General Note regarding Properties All the properties settings are specific to the pattern being produced. this value is applied only to the current pattern and other patterns that are currently open may have a different value applied to them. two parts or four parts. using the “Special Properties” of the 'Rectangle to Round' transitions may be broken up by a variety of methods so that the join may be on the corners or on the flat. so that the pattern may be created as a single part. If this button is “greyed out‟” then there are no special properties.

Lap Option Button Alternatively. The default join type is a „Butt” join where meeting edges of the shape butt against each other with no allowance for overlap. Enter sizes of Lap Join Apply an overlap by placing a lap allowance against the corresponding edges in the Join Type dialog. even though a butt join is required.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition Join Type Click the Join Type button to nominate the type of join and allowances if required. Page 38 . Sometimes. if an overlap is required. click the “Lap” option button. laps may be used to ensure that there is “green” material at each end of the shape.

© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition

10 mm Lap Join

Join Type button

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© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition

Global Options
Global Options are settings for default properties, printing, display colors and others. The Global Options dialog is displayed by either selecting from the “Tools” pull-down menu or from the Right-Click pop-up menu (click the right mouse button while it is over the drawing).

Global Option Tabs

The options are saved as a file on the hard disk and “read” each time the program is started. There are five groups of settings as shown on the tabs of the dialog box and their function is described below. The Color and Display Options Tab The General Options Tab The DXF Options Tab The Printing Options Tab The Material Options Tab

The Color and Display Options Tab Controls the color of screen objects such as lines and text. For example, some CAD users prefer to work with a black background and select line colors that contrast to black. To change the background color:

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© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition

Click on Color patch to change color.

For example, to change the color of the Press Lines, click on the adjacent color patch to show the Color Selection dialog. Select the new color and click the “OK” button to apply the new color.
Click on the new color.

Repeat this process to change the object color of other objects as required. The General Options Tab The General Tab allows a default number of Press Lines to be set. If you find that you always set the number of press lines to 48, for example, set that as a Global Option and it will be the default number for each new shape. Similarly, you may also set the default text size and the number of decimal places for dimensions and other measurements.

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You can.0 and “Mean”. The text size in the AutoCAD DXF is measured in units of measurement (mm or inches). of course. you may set these values as the defaults instead of 0. Page 42 . The DXF Options Tab The DXF Tab sets options for exporting DXF files. units of measurement may be set as the “Default” value here. line width. rather than font size. Frequently used settings such as page orientation. if you usually use 5 mm thick material and sizes based on “Inside”. You may enter your layer names here if you have a different layer naming convention or require specific layer names to suit a profile cutter. For example. always change it as you enter the shape parameters if there is an exception. Set the “Text Size in DXF” value in the same units that you are using to enter the parameters of the shape. The layer names will be used in the DXF file. The Printing Options Tab The Printing tab controls the default settings and appearance of the printed page.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition Set the default value for the “Inside/Outside/ Mean” option and “Material Thickness” for each shape. It also controls how shapes are imported into to AutoCAD.

Typical values will be quite small variations. If the printed pattern is consistently undersize in one or both directions. Note that it may take several attempts to arrive at the correct calibration.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition Printer Calibration You may find that your printer consistently prints with a scale error in one or both directions.993. your printer may print accurately in the direction that the printer head moves across the paper but has a small error in the direction that the paper feeds. For example. enter a value slightly greater than 1. Page 43 . Printer calibration compensates for such errors. Click the “Assist” button for help in determining this value. If the printer is accurate the calibration parameters will be set to 1. Note that the calibration factor applied in this way are cumulative.08 or 0. Large values generally suggest an error in the calibration value or a problem with the printer. such as 1.

mass and cost of different materials. these values must be set to get accurate results.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition Material Options If you are carrying out calculations using area. The materials shown below are examples only. Material Editor Enter the properties of the materials being used. Click on the “Material Editor” button. Page 44 . Note that the materials table will be different if you are using “Units” set to millimeters rather than inches.

Move and rotate may only be carried out in pattern view. Drag to new location The cursor will change to a “hand”. Pattern is highlighted Move the cursor over the pattern. Page 45 . Each part will be highlighted (change color) as the cursor moves over it. an Elbow) one part may be moved or rotated relative to the remaining parts.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition Move and Rotate Pattern You may wish to rotate or move a pattern so that it fits better on the available material. The process for both moving and copying consists of three basic steps: Select the pattern to be moved or copied Click on a reference point on the object Watch an image move or rotate on the screen and pick a second point at the required position or rotation. When patterns consist of multiple parts (for example. Move Pattern First select the “Move” button on the tool bar. Select the shape required to move by left clicking the mouse. click down with the left mouse button and drag the pattern to the new position.

Rotate Pattern Rotate a pattern around a point. Each part will be highlighted (change color) as the cursor moves over it. Pattern highlighted Move the cursor over the pattern. Move it until it is at the required axis point and press down with the left mouse button. Page 46 . Hold it down while you select a second point (rotation point). The small circle A small circle appears on the pattern. Select the shape required to move by left clicking the mouse.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition “Drop” in new position Release the mouse button when it is correctly placed.

The pattern will automatically snap those points to the closest 1-degree increment. if you want points on the pattern to be horizontally or vertically aligned.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition Rotate and “Drop” in new position Moving the mouse will cause the shape to rotate around the axis point. Therefore. pick those points as the axis and rotation points. Page 47 . Note: The first and second points of rotation will automatically align themselves to 0 degrees and increments of 5 degrees measured from 0 (the X-Axis). Release the mouse button when the shape is at the required angle.

Pick a point close to the bottom of the screen. Zoom Previous Click the Zoom Previous on the main tool bar to return to the previous view. you are not really moving the object. the cursor toward the bottom of the screen. Stretch out the rectangle. Nominate the first corner of the rectangle by clicking and holding the left mouse button down. In fact. Dynamic Zoom Click the Dynamic Zoom button to zoom in and out in “real time”. The coordinates of the point remain unchanged. Release the left mouse button. holding down the left mouse button. To zoom out dynamically. When you release the mouse button the pattern will zoom to the area of the rectangle. You are moving your view of the object in the same way you might pan across a scene with a movie camera. hold down the left mouse button. This can be carried out multiple times. Zoom Extents Click the Zoom Extents button on the tool bar to zoom in or out until the entire shape is visible on the screen.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition Viewing and Zooming Pan Click the Pan View button on the main tool bar to move the pattern within the current view port. This is the case with all of the viewing tools. move the cursor toward the top of the screen to make the image appear larger. Zoom Window Use the Zoom Window button to zoom by drawing a rectangle across the screen. pick a point near the top of the screen. Page 48 .

The center of rotation around which the view pivots is the center of the base of the model.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition 3D View Buttons Clicking on a View button will show a view of the 3D “wire-frame” model. Rotating the view dynamically allows the user to freely rotate the shape so that a better understanding of the shape can be obtained. Page 49 .End View And Left-End View. For example. with the colored side of the cube at the top displays a Top View of the model. Right. Release the mouse button when the view is in the required orientation. Rotate View Rotate View is only is available in 3D Model View and is used to rotate the view of the model dynamically. It also allows the user to rotate the shape so that points that are superimposed can be selected for measurement. Press down with the left button and move the mouse holding the left button down. Front View. Rear View. The lower right button displays an Isometric view from the right-front angle. dimensions may be applied on orthographic views only of the 3D model. As the mouse is moved horizontally. As mentioned in the dimensioning instructions. To use it. click the Rotate View button and bring the mouse cursor over the screen. the model rotates around the vertical axis. the center button. The view will be of the shape as seen from the colored side of the cube symbol. The orthographic views are Top View. As the mouse is moved up and down the screen the model rotates around a horizontal axis.

the angle in the X-Y plane. Move the cursor over the first point press down the left mouse button. It is the minimum rectangle from which the shape may be cut in the current position and rotation. The rectangular area. rectangular mass and cost are based on a rectangle fitted to the extremities of the shape. rectangular perimeter. Y and Z directions (delta X. This will show us the area. the distance in the X. delta Z) are displayed.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition Pattern Information Getting additional information from the pattern and the model. release the button over the second point. Measure You may find the distance between any two points on either the pattern or the 3D model by clicking the measure button on the tool bar. The point-to-point distance is displayed in a dialogue in addition the coordinates of each point. First Point True 3D distance Coords of each point Second Point Distances in the XYZ axes Mass Properties Click the material properties on the toolbar to display the Material Properties dialogue box. Page 50 . mass and cost of the shape as a rectangle and the true shape. delta Y.

First. It will be the true mass of the finished item. If this is the case. the label information will be printed onto the drawing. Click on the „Material‟ Tab. Materials Editor For the mass and cost to be accurate. Once the label is on the drawing. Rectangular properties True Shape Properties Material Description If the “Apply Label” check box is ticked. true mass and cost is the area bounded by the true shape of the pattern. some preliminary work is needed.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition The True area. Double click the label text to re-open the label dialog box. exit from the Material Properties dialog and set the material thickness. go to the „Tools‟ pull-down menu and select „Global Options‟. Important Note: If the material thickness is 0 (zero). The program can now calculate the mass. Hide the label by de-selecting the „Display Label‟ check-box. true perimeter. You may change the text color and font size. Also enter the unit of currency required if your national currency is not Page 51 . then the mass and cost will also be zero. it can be moved simply by clicking on it and holding down the left mouse button while dragging. Click the option button to select „Inches‟ or „millimeters‟.

Page 52 . Next.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition dollars. click the „Material Editor‟ button. In the case of the metric units.Metric In the case of the Imperial (inch) units the area is in square feet. „Mass Per Unit Area‟ and Cost Per Unit Area. Some steel merchants quote the density of material per cubic meter (this is typically 7850 kg/cubic meter for steel). m‟ is the mass in kilograms of a square meter of the material per 1 mm of thickness. Some sample data has been entered into the Materials Editor for testing purposes and this should be replaced with current data from your material supplier. It consists of a table of „Description‟. the area is converted to square meters to reduce the size of the numbers. The cost is in dollars (or your currency) per kg. Click the „Save‟ button if you wish to save these settings as “defaults” for future shapes. divide it by 1000 to get the mass per mm of thickness. The cost is in dollars (or your currency) per pound (lb). The mass is in pounds per square foot for 1 inch of thickness of the material. The value “Kg/sq. Material table . If this is the case. The materials editor may also be accessed directly from the „Tools‟ pull-down menu.

© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition Material table . You may enter a project identification name or number. there must be a thickness setting greater than 0. the mass and the cost will show as 0 (zero).Imperial (inches) The Materials data may also be modified using Microsoft Access. The name of the file is Materials. With a thickness of 0 (zero). Page 53 . Project Identification Click the project identification button on the tool bar to display the identification dialogue box.mdb Next. however be careful not to change field names or leave blank rows or blank values within a row. project description and the name or initials of the person who has produced it.

Dimensional information Page 54 . This information will be saved with the shape and can be recalled at any time. This can be printed with the pattern as a way of identifying the pattern and so the fabricator can check that the dimensions are correct during the rolling or pressing operation. Change font and text size Project Identification Click “Apply Label” check-box to hide or display the label on the drawing.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition Project ID added to item number. In addition. if you have the Auto-Dimension option “Item Numbers” selected the Project ID will be printed on each part. It is added to the Label and may be printed with the drawing. Project ID added to label and printed with the drawing. Label A label may be positioned on the drawing to show the parameters entered to create to the shape.

Label after positioning on the drawing Do not be concerned if the label hides lines on the drawing. Once the label is on the drawing. you will see what the drawing will look like after printing. When it is printed the text will be transparent. Double click the label text to re-open the label dialog box. You may change the text color.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition If the “Apply Label” check box is ticked. The label may also be printed separately for attachment to the cut material. it can be moved simply by clicking on it and holding down the left mouse button while dragging. Page 55 . the label information will be printed onto the drawing. If you click the print button and view the Print Preview. font size or hide the label by de-selecting the “Apply Label” check box.

Note that the current view determines what is exported and the options that are available.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition Export DXF and Send to AutoCAD Options Overview The DXF is a common format for exchanging CAD data between programs. If you are using AutoCAD LT you must save the DXF. Select „Export DXF‟ and save the file with a meaningful name. you may choose to export the shape only or include dimensions and text. The options available for the „Export DXF‟ and „Send to AutoCAD‟ are the same. You may also insert the DXF into an existing drawing as a block. you may wish to add the unfolded pattern or views of the model into an existing CAD drawing for further dimensioning. Page 56 . For example. Export Options Many NC profile cutters also use software that can read a DXF file and generate the NC code. the available options will be a little different than if the view is of the model. as described above. If the current view is of the unfolded pattern. In each case you may export: The Unfolded Pattern. Open this file with the CAD program you are using and continue to work on it. The current view of the 3D model as a 2D drawing. If you are using AutoCAD (the "full" version 2000 or later) you can transfer the pattern or view directly onto the AutoCAD screen. and open it with AutoCAD LT. Nesting programs can also usually read a DXF exported from Plate „n‟ Sheet. In addition. Use the „Export DXF‟ you wish to export the unfolded pattern or 3D model to a CAD program or other software for further drafting. The 3D Model. These tasks are selected from the “File” pull-down menu.

This has some advantages to AutoCAD users but is not always compatible with other CAD programs. labels or text may be exported as part of the DXF. Note: The „Arc and line‟ option uses a series of arcs of best fit around curves. connect each point with straight-line segments. Polylines. „Outside Profile Exported As‟: These options determine the entity type used for the outside profiles. AutoCAD polylines are a continuous sequence of connected points. etc. Page 57 . Meaningful names are usually best – use the Job Number. you will be prompted for a filename. the cutting profile with press lines. Make a note of the name and the folder. The available options are grouped as follows: „Items to Export‟: You may choose to export the cutting profile only. on the other hand. when you select „Export DXF‟. or client name. It behaves as a single entity. Exporting a Pattern The following options are available if the current view is of the unfolded pattern. by clicking the „Export All Items Displayed‟ checkbox any dimensions.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition In either case. In addition. Consider increasing the number of press lines to get a smoother curve around radii if using this option.

„Outside Profile Exported As‟: These options determine the entity type used to construct the shape.Z coordinate. A 3D model exported as lines and arcs is more compatible but is a “wire-frame” model and cannot be shaded. if you are creating a cone that is 2400 mm in diameter. Once the shape has been imported into a CAD program it may be modified. For example. This size is a dimension in drawing units.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition The DXF text size may be set at this point. In addition.Y. A surface mesh can be shaded or rendered in AutoCAD but may not be compatible with all CAD programs. the text may have to be 50 mm high to be legible on the printed drawing. If you are exporting the 3D model you may export it as a surface mesh or as line segments. labels or text will be exported as part of the DXF. Alternatively. The default value is determined by the Global Options setting. by clicking the „Export All Items Displayed‟ checkbox any dimensions. you may export the current view as a 2D drawing. Page 58 . The available options are grouped as follows: „Items to Export‟: You may choose to export the full 3D Model. where each point is an X. Exporting a Model The following options are available if the current view is of the unfolded pattern.

. The first preview will show the extents of the shape and the number of pages required to print it. It will be printed at the current zoom scale. Page 59 .© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition Printing Print Setup  The Print Setup dialog box is provided so that you can:  Select a printer  Set a page size  Set the page orientation (portrait or landscape mode)  Set the units to be either inches or millimeters  Decide whether the printed drawing is in color or monochrome (black and white). The initial (default) settings may be set and saved in „Global Options‟. The Two Modes of Printing Printing a Template: Select this option if you wish to print the unfolded pattern to scale to use as a template. Printing the Current View: Selecting this option allows the user to print the current view including a 3D model view or a pattern view but it will not be to scale.  You will find access to the Print Setup dialog from the „File‟ pull-down menu.

You can choose to print the template with or without scale marks by toggling the “Show/hide Scale on Borders” button. Page 60 . There is only one “Select Printing Operation” option when in this mode and that is to print what displayed.© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition Selecting an option will automatically display the „Print Preview‟ window. By clicking the “Display/Hide Scale on Border” button you can choose to print showing the border and/or ruler marks. Printing the Current View Select “Print current view” to print what is shown on the screen. Printing a Template Select “Print template” if you wish to print a full-size pattern. The preview window will have different options depending on whether you have chosen to print a template or a view.

A2 … B1. Scale Marks Select print operation here Borders of multiple sheets Multiple sheet labels Page 61 .© Plate 'n' Sheet Development Version 4 Professional Edition If the shape is larger than the sheet size selected in „Printer Setup‟. the outline of multiple sheets will be superimposed over the shape. You can print on one page or multiple pages depending on the pattern size and orientation. all of the sheets or the entire shape scaled down to fit on a single sheet.) of the sheet. B2…. You may print individual sheets. This selection is made from the drop-down list in the upper left corner of the “Print Preview” window. If printing on multiple pages the page numbers will be shown in the bottom left hand corner (A1.