Scan to AutoCAD – What You Need to Know

AutoCAD is commonly used by Architectural, Engineering and Mechanical firms to create and to digitally revise existing drawings.  Today’s affordable large format scanners, combined with effective raster conversion services and/or software,  provide the ability to translate old AutoCADpaper archive designs into AutoCAD files for permanent records and easy CAD updating.   The Scan to AutoCAD process converts paper drawings into DWG or DXF formats.

An experienced Scan to AutoCAD service can customize the scanning process to suit specific drawing requirements and to solve integration matters between the paper drawings and the AutoCAD conversion, enabling your internal staff to focus on current projects.   They can also help your company to manage the challenge of organizing and making the archives readily accessible and easily located.  This is particularly helpful if your engineers have large numbers paper drawings that must be saved for reference and for further design.

Outsourcing your Scan to AutoCAD requirements can save both time and money.   Because scanned drawings are in a raster to format, they must be converted to vector format in order to import them into your AutoCAD system.  There are several different methods that can be used to convert scanned drawingsScan to AutoCAD

One method is heads-up digitizing.  Heads up digitizing is probably the simplest form of raster to vector conversion, although not necessarily the best or the most accurate.  In heads-up digitizing, scanned images are traced by creating design file elements on top of a scanned image. This allows scanned images to be converted into an AutoCAD file.  Often, you may be able to selectively trace only the portion of the image that interests you, or you can redraw the entire image.

Another method is to use commercial raster to vector software, which often enables the user to do “automatic raster to vector conversion.”  Software such as this traces lines automatically from the scanned raster image using image processing and pattern recognition techniques. The idea behind automated raster to vector conversion algorithm is to let the computer do the actual line tracing and eliminate tedious manual tracing the human operator has to do.

The important thing to realize is that “best” method is the one that provides the best end result.  And, that may be any one of the methods mentioned above, or a combination thereof.  This is one place where a professional Scan to AutoCAD conversion service has the benefit of experience to determine the best raster to vector conversion process for any particular drawing or set of drawings.

Keeping ahead of the competition is key, and that means being able to effectively manage your designs and drawing assets.  This is why, when modifying, managing or distributing priceless engineering drawings, corporate heads will often utilize a Scan to AutoCAD Service to convert their paper drawings to their AutoCAD systems.  AutoCAD drawings take less time to revise and distribute when compared to paper drawings.cad/cam expert

Additionally, document management can easily be implemented once design data is digitally stored in an AutoCAD system, thereby improving process efficiency, revision tracking, distribution and editing of information.

The odds of survival are increased when engineering companies offer quality products that arrive at the markets faster than the competition. Scan to AutoCAD adds worth to engineering drawings and enhances a firm’s greatest asset known as “information.”   Scan to AutoCAD may also help companies manage other components of operations including bidding and workflow management because less time is spent looking for old paper drawings.


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