Using plotter to test Drawings before cut

Has anyone used a plotter to cut out cardstock or something similar to test their drawings before using the plasma table to save some metal?

I downloaded a sharpie holder from a maker site…had a friend print it up…modded it a bit to work properly…
but after the first few cuts on the table…I have found how to use sheetcam to properly look at cuts before I make them…
I installed laser pointers to allow me to properly place metal on the table to get the most out of the sheets…

do not even take out the marker any more…unless I have a customer who has no concept of what I am drawings and size.


So tell me more about the laser pointers and the sharpie holder. inquiring minds want to know. :slight_smile:

inquiring minds also use the search function at the top right of the page…
try the word sharpie…
then try the word laser…

also go to a few free 3D printing sites…look for Langmuir in their search function…

not being rude…but when you use the search function you often find topics and ideas you did not know you wanted to read about also…

the world will open before your eyes…

There comes a time in every forums life when a curious question about what YOU did ends up with a sideways insult like you gave. It’s that point when it becomes obvious that you are tired of helping. If I didn’t want “your” experience, I wouldn’t have posed the question to “you”. Especially since you said you ordered a sharpie holder and then modified it yourself. So finishing the statement with “not being rude” is in fact being rude. So if you are tired of helping folks who seek your opinion, then don’t log in. I noticed the same answer coming out of you on several threads. Maybe you need a vacation.

hold on there…was not a side ways insult.

I was providing simple guidance…a way to help yourself…if I only pointed you in one direction with only one solution then you would not see all the possibilities out there.

I am far from being tired…if you had looked a little more you would see that I help all the time.

I passed on my experience by showing there is more than one way to get information…you just choose to not take that as helpful…that is your choice.

I gave you the option of everyone’s answer…not just my experience, or what I did…and I told you what I did…I searched…

Experience and learning is from taking on challenges and succeeding or failing…either way you gain experience…having answers handed to you gives you no experience…it only gives you the answer.

good luck and please be polite.


I am very good with the search function. But there is a lot of differing ideas and schools of thought. and most of the threads dead end without conclusion. so when someone who has spent 3 months soaking up information (me) seeks the input of someone who is successfully using the equipment (you) and wants a particular piece of information. A direct approach is often the best method. I know what you ordered for parts. But nothing tells me how you are using them.
I see that you are always adding content and I also see the increasing use of the “use the search bar” answer. But you didn’t bother to assume that I knew what the search function was and responded sarcastically.

And Yes I had 3 other people read your response and they all thought it was sarcastic.
I would still love to know more about YOUR set up. that’s why I asked YOU.

and the purpose of that review was what? Vindication for your response?

AND he gave you the means to link to the data (because it seemed as if you didn’t know how to get it) AND to respond in THIS thread would have been off topic. So, stop your bitching and, if you are seriously interested. Look it up. Stop wasting this thread’s bandwidth.


I think you’re talking about cutting test parts out of cardstock to check fitment, not to make sure they will cut correctly right?

makes sense, but I haven’t tried it. Before steel prices went nuts I had cut multiple test pieces out of 18 gauge.

What are you trying to test or cut?

Correct I’m cutting a flange for an exhaust bracket that has 3 bolts coming through I wanted to cut some card stock to test my dimensions to make sure it slides over the bolts right

Hmm. I feel like it wouldn’t be a perfect representation, because the plasma may be .02 or so off depending on kerf and taper. Cardstock may flex a hair and go over the bolt when the same file cut on your table would be off. I have a cricut, even so I don’t think I’d bother cutting a test piece. I’d scrap some 16 gauge just to test the part out.

I know the feeling you have. Let me guess, it’s in a tricky spot to measure? I built a battery tray that unless I disassembled half my engine bay I wasn’t going to get good measurements. So lots of trial and error.

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Hah yes you feel my pain. I am going to give the 16 gauge trial piece a go before I hit the 5/16 stainless. Thank you for the input!

How big is the bracket? sometimes you can go to a body shop and get old damaged panels and get some metal from them. hoods and trunks are pretty good stuff.
You can also check for drops from a local metal shop.
A small drop of thin metal shouldn’t cost very much.


Looks like I’ll be hitting all the local body shops tomorrow!

YES I use my Klick N Kut to model everything think I make. It’s cheaper than wasting metal. There are any machines that do this. Look for ones that will read DXF files or SVG’s. I run a software called signlab which came with my machine which will convert SVG files into DXF files as well. I also model everything at a scale so can troubleshoot cheaply. I’m doing alot of 3d type art mostly birds so making them in paper first is most helpful. Hope that helps

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If the part is small enough to fit on a sheet of paper, use fusion’s drawing feature, export as a pdf and print the pdf. Basically print out a 1:1 drawing/blueprint and either cut out the paper part or set the mating flange/template on the paper to check alignment.

Just make sure everything is set to 1:1 on the drawing and to 100% on the print settings.

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Clever thanks for the suggestion

i know your pain Baxta , im new here but i had to interject .BTW great practice to use a posterboard template in any event. Have you tried the “FF” filthy finger you run that finger over a piece of notebook paper that you have placed over the surface youre going to duplicate. the pressure of your finger makes a detail template layout that can be transfered or measured . works in a tight pinch like it seems youre in now. good luck I hope my first post is a helpful one