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Old 14-02-2014, 16:29   #1
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Sailcut Cad

I found a neat software program for Linux. Gotta love those free repositories. Full function sail design program gives panel layout and design that works with several different cutter plotter protocols. Im tempted now to give making my own sails a try. i have a friend who does vinyl lettering that has a cutter plotter of adequate size. Now im kicking myself for not buying a roll or two of spinnaker material that one of my suppliers had at giveaway prices a while back. Anybody out there tried this program? Its in the Ubuntu repository and likely other distros.
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Old 15-02-2014, 10:04   #2
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Re: Sailcut Cad

Is the sail design program worth what you pay for it? It'll only cost you a spinnaker's worth of material (and the time) to find out. There may be a reason the software is free. While the measurements and material may create what looks like a sail, you also have to know how to put it together so it doesn't blow apart when you put it up in a breeze. If you're just cruising, it may be better than nothing. You will have to tell us, if it is, how much.
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Old 15-02-2014, 13:52   #3
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Re: Sailcut Cad

Quote:
Originally Posted by psk125 View Post
Is the sail design program worth what you pay for it? It'll only cost you a spinnaker's worth of material (and the time) to find out. There may be a reason the software is free. While the measurements and material may create what looks like a sail, you also have to know how to put it together so it doesn't blow apart when you put it up in a breeze. If you're just cruising, it may be better than nothing. You will have to tell us, if it is, how much.

I sew for a living and have been for a decade.

If you arent familiar with the world of linux your missing out. Im using a computer with Linux that was free. It was running with windows vista when someone gave it to me because it was so slow. Now it takes 2.5 seconds to load firefox. The program is fairly complex and there is much data to load before it will design the sail and all the pieces to put it together. Heres a screenshot of the data input for sail design, click on it to enlarge.


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Old 16-02-2014, 06:35   #4
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Re: Sailcut Cad

More sailmaking terminology on the form than I am familiar with: dihedral angle...? And a good bit of technical detail on things like the sail shape that could result in really nasty sails if the right numbers weren't input. (GIGO!) It looks like it might work, but I'd have to ask my sailmaker friend first. Then he'd get upset at my taking the bread off his table, and I'd have to buy a new jib from him, at least. (Getting a sailcover would add insult to injury.) If you have the machines to handle the material, it might be worth a try. You are right to see if someone actually IS using the software before spending on sailcloth.
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Old 16-02-2014, 07:09   #5
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Re: Sailcut Cad

I have a friend who has a big vinyl cutter too and have used it many times...but not with sail cloth. He changed his blades once a month. Me thinks bad idea to send sail cloth through a machine not designed for it. There might be a way to have the cutter draw the shape then cut manually. My Macgyver instinct if I were to make a sail would be to get an old projector and project the design on the fabric then trace it out. Rudimentary but with the right measurements you could be spot on accurate. Just an idea.

Good luck!
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Old 16-02-2014, 07:23   #6
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Re: Sailcut Cad

Interesting, also available for Mac and Windows. I remember back in the day a visit to a North Sails loft that had a gantry type machine cutting sailcloth. Also not so sure about cutting cloth on a vinyl plotter. Maybe spinnaker cloth but Dacron might be a bit much. I do definitely remember a vinyl plotter we had that you could also attach pens instead of cutters which would draw out stuff so you could cut by hand. Always good to do a mock-up before going full size.

Link to Sailcut CAD
http://www.sailcut.com

Link to Sailcut CAD Handbook
The Sailcut CAD Handbook
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Old 16-02-2014, 09:42   #7
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Re: Sailcut Cad

Good point about the vinyl cutter not maybe not handling sailcloth. The whole endeavour would take a bunch of research, but in the end i bet you would know much more about your sails and how the draft affects airflow. I read the book the Art and Science of sails from cover to cover a few times. It was interesting reading of the competition between the handcrafted batten drawn sails and the computer generated sails. I guess the two if I remember right North Sails and Sobstad sails went back and forth in the world cup competitions. i think most sail lofts today are using computer generated layouts for their sails. its not new science. I guess a good starting point would to make some sails for my dinghy. i like the sails i have which are cut down larger sails but it would be fun to tinker with and not break the bank if mistakes were made. Can always use something like topoddessey which is a lightweight polyester canvas
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