Is anyone doing work on a regular basis with a larger digitizing tablet? How much bother it is to digitize a drawing larger than the size of the tablet, i.e., digitize left half, shift the sheet with the drawing and then digitize the right half?
I have a rough idea of how to do this but would like to hear from others who have actually done so. I'm thinking about buying a 36" x 48" or larger tablet. I'm running AutoCad LT97.
From contributor P:
A large digitizer will be a large investment. I have done what you are suggesting many times, and if you are careful, you can digitize one part of a drawing, then remove and recalibrate the tablet, then digitize the next part of the drawing. Just be sure that you accurately measure and lay out reference lines in order to "lie" to the computer when you recalibrate.
Will I see an improvement in speed with the tablet and a shifting of the tracing? Our process on the CNC router with the laser pointer is dead-on accurate.
By the way, we just got a big 4' x 6' GTCO whiteboard for our distance learning classroom that I have used as a digitizer. It is basically the same thing (a big electromagnetic field) that cost about $1200.
As to the laser, we always leave it attached to the router anyway. It's just a cheap Radio Shack laser pointer that we've clipped onto the router housing. As to router time, the router only runs about 1 to 2 hours per day anyway. So, given all this it sounds like the digitizing board really wouldn't be that much of a step up. Please tell me more about the GTCO whiteboard.
Using your example of a part that is too wide: digitize the left side of the part and also digitize two points, one at the top and one at the bottom - the farther apart the better, on the far right of your digitizer. This will be in the middle of your part. Shift the part on the digitizer to the left and digitize the same two tooling points and the rest of the right side of the part. Then move the right side geometry so the two sets of tooling points line up with each other.
By the way, the tooling points can be completely arbitrary. Add them yourself if there aren't any convenient features in the middle of the part.
However, this whole issue may be a mute point, as I've got a used 36" wide bed scanner coming. I found it in Texas and it's on the way up here now. If that works as I think it should, I'll be sitting pretty. I already have raster to vector software I'm familiar with, so as long as the scanner works, I should be all set.