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Question CADTools or Alternative for Illustrator

Discussion in 'Adobe' started by Mega-Tech, Apr 4, 2019.

  1. Mega-Tech

    Mega-Tech New Member

    Jun 29, 2018
    I need a tool or plugin for Illustrator that will let me work around the size limit imposed by Adobe.

    One employee has some experience using CADTools plugin, but that's seriously overkill for only needing one of it's multitude of features.

    I need a way to work in scale in Illustrator (with minimal errors), and then upscale when ripping in Onyx.

    And no, Corel Draw and Flexi are not suitable alternatives. :D

  2. CMGman

    CMGman New Member

    Jan 21, 2019
    I am not sure if this will help at all or even if I am on the same page with you but because Adobe Illustrator limits the art board to just over 200", I make graphics that need to be larger using the mm dimensions under preferences, then change my units from inches to mm. This allows me to create almost any size image. If needed I import the graphic into CAM CAD and then I just scale the graphic x 25.4
    Hope this information is useful.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

    Jun 15, 2009
    Mesa, Arizona
    You need a workaround for a tool with a designed limitation, but tools intentionally made without that limitation are not suitable options? Makes tons of sense to me!
    • Hilarious! Hilarious! x 1
  4. Bly

    Bly Very Active Member

    Mar 9, 2004
    Scale 1:10 works.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

    Sep 27, 2010
    Based on the fact that the OP has another post about wanting to move away from Flexi, I would speculate that the reason that those 2 options aren't viable is something else outside of their ability to work with bigger artboards.
  6. ThatGuy

    ThatGuy Member

    Dec 6, 2016
    Hear nor There
    I just work in 1:10. I can use my fingers & toes to make the conversion. Still have all 10....of each.
    • Hilarious! Hilarious! x 1
  7. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

    Jun 15, 2009
    Mesa, Arizona
    I know, it just like when a client tells us they want a sign with all the properties of metal but it can't be metal.

    Seriously though, learn to work in scale, use another tool, or pony up for the workaround.
  8. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

    Feb 4, 2005
    Lawton, OK
    I work in scale only when I have no other choice. 99% of the time I am making my artwork at full size. CorelDRAW and Flexi both provide a lot more breathing room than Illustrator. The max art board size in Illustrator is currently 227" X 227". Back before Adobe re-built Illustrator on PDF technology at the end of the 1990's (it was a purely Postscript application before) the max art board size was only around 10' X 10'. Adobe has received a ton of user feedback regarding the art board size limits, but I don't think they're going to do anything about it anytime soon. That's going to leave Illustrator users stuck with using some kind of scale percentage on large designs.

    CorelDRAW has a 1800" X 1800" max art board size, but page sizes above 1000" will often bring up the pop-up message "this zoom has exceeded the boundaries of the drawing space, your window will be adjusted accordingly." Flexi can go bigger. Unfortunately Flexi does not draw with the precision level of CorelDRAW or Illustrator. Plus Flexi is stuck clear back in the 1990's with its outdated type handling. You can't do squat with elaborate OpenType font character sets in Flexi.

    I really do not like applying scale percentages to rulers. CorelDRAW allows this with its "Edit Scale" function. The end results can be all over the place when that CDR file is opened in a different version of CorelDRAW, opened in CorelDRAW on a different computer or exported to a different application. What I mean by "all over the place" is the artwork often doesn't blow-up to full size accurately. It will be off a little or even a lot. The function is just not anywhere near as reliable as creating a much bigger artwork and simply designing at full size. If I need the full size artwork represented at a certain scale on a printed sketch I will copy, paste and reduce the artwork to size using a specific numerical percentage that delivers 100% accurate results.

    I suspect a third party plug-in for Illustrator that monkeys around with the rulers could be prone to the same issues I see in CorelDRAW. If I design at scale within Illustrator I will not alter the rulers. I'll just include a big loud label in the artwork itself that it is at a specific scale, like 1" = 1' or 25% actual size, etc.
  9. MikePro

    MikePro Major Contributor

    Feb 3, 2010
    Racine, WI
    CADTools by HotDoor. thank me later
  10. shoresigns

    shoresigns Very Active Member

    Nov 1, 2011
    Vancouver, BC
    We design in 1:10 when we need to exceed Illustrator's size limit, and we've never had an issue with letting the RIP handle scaling it up 10x.

    I don't know why you would need a plugin to do kindergarten math for you. You're just moving the decimal over.

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