From paper drawing to CAD

To convert a paper drawing into a CAD file in the past, the engineering department had to buy some specialist raster-to-vector conversion software. In practice therefore, new projects were started entirely on CAD, while older projects were retained in paper format. The drawback, of course, is that work is duplicated, especially when older designs need to be modified.

Recognising the reality of how engineering teams work, IMSI has released the latest version of its CAD software together with raster-to-vector conversion capabilities, allowing the user to convert scans of drawings and raster files into fully editable vector files.

Using TurboCAD, engineers can now take monochrome or colour drawings and change them into TurboCAD vector file formats. Once there, the files can be edited and saved in industry-standard file formats, including AutoCAD native DWG and DXF. Most standard raster file formats are supported, including TIF, CALS, BMP, PCS, JPEG and PhotoCD. TurboCAD automatically interprets the graphical information in these files and converts it into CAD entities, including lines, Bezier curves, arcs and circles.

The user can review and check the results by overlaying the original raster file with the resulting vector file. According to IMSI, the software’s ability to convert raster files goes beyond other CAD software’s ability to use and edit bitmaps.

TurboCAD 4 has tools for optimising the resulting CAD file. The user can manually select and edit the vectors. The Professional version handles images of up to 24in. x 36in. and has advanced tools which correct the flaws inherent in scanned or faxed drawings, including orthogonal adjustment and automatic trim and extend. Both versions include menu-selectable settings which optimise the converter’s handling of different types of raster images, including architectural, mechanical, logotype and contours.


Tel: 0181-581 2000

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