While designing the lift mechanism for the new rolling ball sculpture, I found myself using a paint program and a lot of manual work to get printed plans with a 1:1 scale factor. In other words, I wanted printouts that were the actual size of the mechanism. This would make it easier to build it.


Rolling Ball Sculpture Motorized Mechanical Ball Lift

I wrote some code in the Linkage program to do this and it mostly worked. It’s not a very robust feature, but it does print plans at the actual size of the mechanism.


New Printing Controls

After I got this working, I added it as an option. Since I need this to be selected before a print preview, I added it, as well as the other typical printing controls, to a new panel in the tool bar (“ribbon bar” for those who care). When the Actual Size check box is checked, printing is done actual size. PLEASE don’t try this on something that will generate hundreds or thousands of sheets; there is no checking for this type of mistake and it will just try to print it all.

The feature is not as robust as I want. I just don’t have time to work on it more than this. In the future, I will make it so that blank sheets are not printed, and add page numbers to the print preview, and in the final printout if requested, to make it easier to handle multiple sheets. For now, this is only really useful for smallish mechanisms that can fit on a few sheets.

The new version is available here.