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vijai747

Recreating AutoCAD Drawings

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vijai747

Hey everyone!

 

First of all, thanks to those of you who take the time to respond to questions on this forum. I've been using AutoCAD only for about two months now, and I can't tell you how valuable the information on this forum has been in helping me learn how to use the software.

 

With that said, I have a problem/solution regarding which I was hoping to get some opinion. I've been tasked with creating electronic versions of some older AutoCAD drawings for which only hard copies exist. There are a lot of them, so in an effort to expedite the process I thought I would try to scan the drawings and scale them appropriately so that I could just go through and trace the lines. I was planning on doing some sanity-checks of the measurements in the AutoCAD and actual drawings as well. This would save me the time of having to measure the length and angle between each of the lines on the drawing (to which there are wild variations) before drawing them in AutoCAD.

 

The problem is that these drawings were printed on some really large paper (Ex: 4ft by 6ft), so I can't really use a desktop scanner. My thought was that I could mount the drawings on a wall and take photographs of them using my camera instead. I would use the photographs to trace lines in AutoCAD.

 

I was curious as to what you guys think of this approach, and whether any of you have experience with such a project and had alternative solutions.

 

Thanks for your help! By the way, I'm using AutoCAD 2012, although I don't believe that matters.

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tzframpton

I have scanned/traced over old plans a billion times. Definitely the way to go. Can you get your company to pay for you to run to your local repro-graphics company and have them scan them on a large-format scanner?

 

*TIP* Scanning them as a monochrome TIFF format will be the best possible performance when you reference them in AutoCAD, rather than using PDF. HUGE difference.

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vijai747

Thanks for your response StykFacE. I'm glad to note that I'm not the only person who has been thinking about this. I don't know that going to a reprographics company is an available option; I'm certainly going to ask my boss next time we meet.

 

If that doesn't work out, I'm thinking about using a photoscanning app (something like docscanner, which works really well on my phone for other applications) to do the scanning instead if the photo quality isn't good enough by itself. Do you have any experience with that approach?

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Blackfish

What about any 'Raster To Vector' software, even Autodesk has AutoCAD Raster Design?

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tzframpton
Thanks for your response StykFacE. I'm glad to note that I'm not the only person who has been thinking about this. I don't know that going to a reprographics company is an available option; I'm certainly going to ask my boss next time we meet.

 

If that doesn't work out, I'm thinking about using a photoscanning app (something like docscanner, which works really well on my phone for other applications) to do the scanning instead if the photo quality isn't good enough by itself. Do you have any experience with that approach?

Never had to deal with that. I've always had access to a large-format scanner. Going the reprographics way isn't that expensive. It scans as quick and easy as any normal scanner does.

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tzframpton
What about any 'Raster To Vector' software, even Autodesk has AutoCAD Raster Design?
The problem is getting the hard copies into a digital form to begin with.

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SLW210

I agree with taking in to reproghraphics company for scanning....or

 

Might be an opportune time to purchase a large format scanner.

 

Hard part of taking a photo of the prints is you will not be able to line up with the entire drawing so results will be slightly skewed. I have taken photo of sketches on dry erase boards from meetings and inserted and traced, but high accuracy was not needed.

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RobDraw

When I didn't have access to a large format scanner, I would do multiple scans but only for a sheet or two at a time. Multiple sheets of that size would be a bit of a chore. A photo would not be a good option, IMHO, unless accuracy is not a concern.

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eldon

Another factor that doesn't seem to have been mentioned is distortion. Once a drawing has been printed onto paper, there is distortion. If the plots have been folded, then the creases make a difference. You might find that when tracing over lines that are meant to be parallel, then they are not parallel. Re-drawing to dimensions is the only sure way to go :(

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ReMark

With a large enough digitizing table you could electronically trace the drawings directly into AutoCAD at scale.

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ReMark

Vextrasoft recommends Vextractor. How very interesting.

 

And where would would download a free 30-day trial of this amazing program?

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ReMark

Funny that the guy has four posts in three years and they all reference the program. No other involvement with CADTutor.

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