profiletool: Way too much time on my hands...

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profiletool: Way too much time on my hands...

Postby Glenn Butcher » Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:39 pm

Sat in a hotel room last weekend with not much to do. I'm cogitating on my first build, which I want to be very simple, so I originally just sketched a two-curve profile. Looked rather boring, so I started exploring profiles. To make a long story short, I ended up writing this:

http://pulpitrock.net/profiletool

I just finished this first version, haven't even used it yet. It's a javascript program in a web page; it doesn't interact with a server or store cookies, or any of the dangerous stuff you want to avoid. However, this means you can't save your work, yet.

It depicts a profile as four ellipse segments, SW, SE, NW, NE, on a grid with dimensions corresponding to a 4x8 sheet of plywood. The default shape is a angib's pico; you can revert to that at any time by refreshing the page, but you'll lose your work. You can select an ellipse and modify it; the red boxes let you drag the four radius extents, the green box lets you move the whole ellipse. The foci are red crosses. The undo button lets you restore back to the state prior to the latest modification.

It print previews okay, so it should print fine. You can zoom in and out with the browsers Ctrl-+ and Ctrl-- EDIT: Actually, I found out that I used the wrong coordinates, and if you have scroll bars in your browser window, modifying the ellipses won't work. I'll try to fix that this weekend. EDIT2: Fixed...

I'm guessing on how one would want to modify the profile, so your feedback on that is welcome. I'm considering more changes, particularly to draw measurements and guides for use in actually laying out the profile full-size on wood.

Anyway, have fun with it...
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Re: profiletool: Way too much time on my hands...

Postby Glenn Butcher » Fri Sep 20, 2013 3:16 pm

Just updated it with a fix for the coordinates, a 'coordinates' button that produces the plotted points for the selected ellipse in tenths of an inch, and some instructions in-page.

Still thinking about how to display useful dimensional data, and how to save work.
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Re: profiletool: Way too much time on my hands...

Postby tonyj » Sun Sep 22, 2013 11:35 am

Haven't been able to try it out yet--but looks like a good tool.

It is nice to see new members willing to expend so much effort to enhance our little community. Thank you for your contribution. :applause:

Now . . . Go build a trailer and join us camping! :D
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Just when you think a problem is solved, an uglier result replaces it.

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Re: profiletool: Way too much time on my hands...

Postby Glenn Butcher » Sun Sep 22, 2013 1:44 pm

tonyj, that's just what I'm after. I want to build a simple sleeping shell this winter, and get out there in the spring... ! Using the tool, here's the profile I've got so far:

112550

Three circles, one ellipse for a profile that will fit a 4x6 floor that will bolt onto a 40"x48" HF mini-trailer. I am struggling with keeping it Simple; reading all the good info here gets me thinking ambitiously... :D

I've updated the tool on the website; you can now save your work, and it has an option to display all the relevant measurements for plotting the circles and ellipses. This is all I'm going to do on it for the time being, but if any of you use it and have feedback, feel free to post and I'll see what I can do.
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Re: profiletool: Way too much time on my hands...

Postby KCStudly » Sun Sep 22, 2013 9:59 pm

I played with it a little. It would be nice if the ends of the curves always stayed connected (they were free floating and would separate when moved).

To my eye, I always want the curves to be tangent to the adjacent curve, so that there are no hard corners (and I think this is what trips most people up when trying to "connect the dots" using geometry alone... not points and splines).

I realize that this is a simple program and understand that you may not want to work on it (thanks for going to the trouble to begin with), but if you were to make changes, these would be what I recommend. (Don't do it for me, tho. I have access to much more sophisticated software.)
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Re: profiletool: Way too much time on my hands...

Postby Glenn Butcher » Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:00 am

Update: I put in three ways to modify the ellipse extents:

    Default: Opposite side stays anchored
    Hold down Shift Key: All four sides change
    Hold down Ctrl Key: Opposite side changes, alternate sides stay anchored

I also increased the canvas size so you can grab any of the four default ellipses' extents; before, NW's bottom, NE's right boxes were off the chart.

KC, I'm thinking about how to provide a mode where you get four boxes, and any one of them changes the two adjacent ellipses. I'm also going to provide some kind of way to change the ellipse segment extents (right now, each one is just 90 degrees fixed on the four cardinal points), as some of the profiles I want to draw need that.

What I really want out of this tool is something that, for a given profile, spits out the measurements needed to either 1) draw circles of a given radius from a point, and 2) draw ellipses with the 'string' method using the foci points.

NOTE: I haven't tested the ellipse measurements yet, so I'd encourage anyone who wants to use them right now to do a "scale model" test (say, 1" = 1mm) and do a string layout on paper before trying it on your good plywood. I'll try one soon, report here on results.

I 'm not going to get to build until I can clear the garage, mostly occupied by my son's stuff as he transitions from college to work. Okay, that may take a while...
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Re: profiletool: Way too much time on my hands...

Postby grantstew8 » Sun Sep 29, 2013 3:25 pm

Screech up has a three point arc, both ends and a point somewhere on the arc. I found it reasonably useful however it does draw segments not curves. It does give radius measurements though...

About a minute into the video shows how I drew an 8x4 sheet and used that as my limits
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Re: profiletool: Way too much time on my hands...

Postby hafley » Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:20 pm

Very cool. I'll have to play with this :)
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Re: profiletool: Way too much time on my hands...

Postby MrMatt » Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:55 pm

This tool is awesome!
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Re: profiletool: Way too much time on my hands...

Postby MrMatt » Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:01 pm

A quick mockup using the profile tool you created.
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Re: profiletool: Way too much time on my hands...

Postby MrMatt » Thu Oct 31, 2013 3:03 pm

I used your tool for the curve then some other tools for everything else.
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Re: profiletool: Way too much time on my hands...

Postby Glenn Butcher » Thu Oct 31, 2013 9:27 pm

MrMatt: Very nice! What other tool did you use?

I did some munging of the one on pulpitrock.net, displayed a picture underlay of a trailer whose profile I liked, added the angle extents of the ellipses to the input boxes, and made another ellipse modifier, so now:
    Drag: moves the selected extent, the opposite one stays still
    Shift-Drag: all four extents move; if it's a circle, the radius changes
    Ctrl-Drag: moves the selected extent and the opposite one;

The pic overlay would be hard to make 'friendly', but the angle extent inputs and the drag modifiers are ready for prime time; I'll try to move them up to the website this weekend

I've used the tool to produce two candidate profiles. I'll start my build thread soon, and put them up for comment. I also have a skylight idea...
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Re: profiletool: Way too much time on my hands...

Postby MrMatt » Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:20 pm

Paint.net and pencil. I'm thinking about building g a micro-tear. Use then small HF trailer (I already have it on hand) and a bunch of recycled lumber etc that I have laying around. I even have a spare AC unit. I think I could build one and only buy a bit of luan and a couple of hinges.
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Re: profiletool: Way too much time on my hands...

Postby Glenn Butcher » Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:59 pm

I updated the tool with the following:
  • Ellipse segment extents can now be modified.
  • Poor-man's file save: 'Export' opens a dialog from which you can copy-paste the data to a text file. 'Browse' lets you open that file in the tool. File/Save in Javascript is problematic...
  • Three ways to modify the ellipse extents; see 'Help' for specifics.
http://pulpitrock.net/profiletool/
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