Getting Plans By Download

As you may have noticed, DIY Plans at Mechanical Elements are “Ready For Download“, right now.  That means you can buy them now, then have them on your computer in just a few minutes.  That’s the magic.

Yet, for those of us who are not techno-wizards, sometimes it’s not always so smooth.  That’s the purpose of this article.

The Purchase Process

The start of the process is selecting the product – plans – that you wish to buy.  The Plans Store is here.  Scroll to see, or click into a category to narrow the search.  Once you find what you want, use the BUY NOW button to put in into the “Shopping Cart“.  From there, follow through to the “Checkout” page and complete the form for payment.  Make sure to read and check the Use Agreement.

Right after Payment, your order will appear with a link to download the plans.

Download Plans Screen

Downloading The Plans

This is usually a simple process — just click the link, and the plans will save to your computer.  Sometimes the computer will ask where to save them, but most of the time, they will just download.  But to where?

Plans Views in the DownloadThere are a lot of ways to setup a computer, so it’s hard to say just where.  However, if your computer (or phone) did not ask where to save the file, then it has a place to automatically put your downloads.  Find that folder, and you will find the plans.

To find downloads on your computer, do a Google search for “Where is my download folder?”  or  “How to find download files on iMac?”  Make sure to specify the devise, the operating system and the version.  Example:  Windows 10, Mac, iPhone, Android or Linux.

If you have trouble with the download,  OR  can’t find the download link,  OR  if there are other problems while downloading . . . . Please see the troubleshooting guide “Where’s My Plans Download?

For easy access to view files, and for easy printing and such, we recommend using a computer rather than a phone.  Also, downloads are often easier and more likely to be error free with a computer.  (I’m not dissing phones, that’s just what our customers tell us.  We see far more download problems with phones.)

After Download, How Do I See The Plans?

The Plans are in the download file.  We recommend you move this file to a project folder to keep it safe and easy to find.  The next step is to Open the File.

  • Some files are .PDF format, so you can open them directly.  If your computer does not recognize a PDF file, a free PDF reader is at
  • Some files are .ZIP format.  That means the download contains 2 or more files you will need.  Open the ZIP file, then save the contents (some call it ‘Extract”) to your new project folder.  If your computer does not recognize the ZIP file, a free ZIP utility is at

A ZIP file is a nice way of packaging several files into one.  So, the PDF files (usually for drawings and instructions) will open as noted above.

For some plans, the ZIP file will also contain are other file types, like DXF.  You can’t open or read these extra files unless you have a CAD program.  Please read in the instructions about what those files are for, and what you should do with them.  It’s all in the instructions.


Sample Plans PageYou are welcome to print the plans.  The PDF Reader will help you do that.

All plans and instructions can print on 8.5″ x 11″ paper.  Use the “Scale to Fit” option when you print them.  That works for most people.  However, if you want drawings printed large, you can choose 11″ x 17″ paper (sometimes called ‘Tabloid’), or even 17″ x 22″ (but that’s huge).  If you want them big, feel free to have a print shop put them on any size paper you want.

We recommend printing on 11″ x 17″ paper if you have it, but 8.5″ x 11″ paper also works well for most people.  If needed for a super detail view, then use your computer and the PDF Reader to zoom in.

For high quality large prints, take the PDF files to a local print shop like Staples or Kinko’s FedEX.  They can help.  If they complain because of the Copyright, please let them know you have our permission to print one copy.

Plans In The Download

That’s it.  You now have all the info needed to get moving on your awesome new project.  Getting plans via download is so much faster than by mail, and it saves you shipping cost too.  Enjoy Your Project!

Finally, don’t forget we have a bunch of articles about building and fabricating to help with your project.  Check out the Library of Articles with Tips and more . . . or use the “Show Me” search bar at the top and bottom of the page to type a question.

Thank you again for being part of the Mechanical Elements family.