I have found the question in several places on the Google and in StackExchange, but I can't find an answer. So it either can't be done or I am asking the wrong question.

Of course, I am using the wrong program, but Autocad 3 is the last time I used Autocad. And I do know Photoshop.

I am trying to design the shape of a 2D part to be printed on a 3D printer. I do not want to learn yet another program to do 3D drafting, so I farm out all of my 3D printing.

Here's my problem. I am using the guides to draw my part outside dimensions (it's rectangular). But when I zoom into the part, the ruler changes. Remarkably frustrating when I am trying to indicate a hole to be drilled and the top of the board is no longer at 0 (vertical ruler).

So, can I do this in Photoshop?

Example images: Image 1

Image2, zoomed in

Image3, zoomed in more

  • 3
    I don't see any rulers changing here.. They stay in place and merely zoom with the image zoom. Place a guide at 1" and it stays at 1" even when you zoom. So... I have no clue what you are asking about. – Scott Sep 19 '19 at 5:54
  • It's very easy to move a shape if it's on the current layer. It's also easy to move the ruler origin, but it can be restored by double clicking the top left corner of the rulers. We have no idea what's going on if we assume you already know these elementaries. A screenshot with explanations would be useful. – user287001 Sep 19 '19 at 8:26
  • I did not know that I could move the origins. Thanks. But I would like to lock them so that I don't have to do this with every zoom. – user3573562 Sep 20 '19 at 6:35
  • 1
    Actually, I think it's a matter of poor placement to begin with. Zoom in and place the guide at 11.5mm.. it will stay there. If you are zoomed out the precision of guide placement based upon rulers isn't that great. Another option would be to use the View > New Guide menu item so you could place a guide by the numbers. You are simply never going to get CAD-like accuracy in a pixel editing application such as Photoshop. – Scott Sep 20 '19 at 9:16
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    you're trying to draw... a vector shape... for 3D printing... on a photo editor? You'd be way better off using at least Illustrator. – Luciano Sep 20 '19 at 11:24

Warning: two frame challenges in one answer!

1) The guides are not moving at all - the visual precision is super-low when you are zoomed out: either zoom way in to place them precisely or use the View>New Guide menu approach so that you create them in exact places using numeric entry.

2) Photoshop is so deeply the wrong tool for your task that it's counter-productive to use it - I recognize that of course AutoCAD is expensive if you're not using it routinely - however there are so many CADD tools out there these days which are both excellent and either free or super-low cost that this entire exercise is moot. Look into: OnShape (3D and 2D draughting free) DraftSight (low-cost 2D draughting), FreeCAD (name says it all), DesignSpark Mechanical (low-cost and free CAD) and so on.

Heck even Adobe Illustrator or Affinity Designer as vector art program come closer to what would work well for what you're doing - at least then you could output .svg which most 3D CADD tools can read in, or .dxf which is a middling-decent CADD interchange format.

You also could learn (if you've time and energy) how to 3D model your part yourself - skipping the need for an outside 3D designer - using OnShape or Blender or modo and you'd get more final quality control and less cost / time overhead - but that may well be so far beyond the scope of a reasonable answer that I end up striking this section depending upon how much flak I take - but I felt like it had to be said!

Hope all this helps some.

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  • 1
    Thanks all. (Why is saying thanks so frowned on by StackExchange?) @Gerard gets the green check mark for pointing me to better tools for a hobby user. I am certain that Photoshop is the wrong tool, but I've been using Photoshop CS6 for years to work with image cleanup, resizing, etc. I was hoping to use the tool I know. The drawing was good enough for the 3D printer guy who is making my part. – user3573562 Sep 21 '19 at 4:49

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