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#71246 by artmanvt2000
Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:49 pm
Has anyone tried using any software that will convert scanned images, either pdf of jpg, to a usable dwg format? What has your experience been, positive or negative?
#71248 by MtnArch
Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:11 pm
I've used both Print2Cad and AutoDWG for PDF conversion, and depending on how the PDF was created directly affects what you get. If it was generated from a drawing-type program (like Dcad, Acad, etc.) it works pretty well (especially Print2Cad); if it's a scan of an old hand drawing that has a lot of background, lots of curves (like leaders) and very distinctive lettering style it's not worth using. It's the old saying of "garbage in/garbage out". I haven't tried it with a JPG but imagine that it would be a similar type of result - the cleaner and clearer/crisper the image the better.

If you've got a file (single sheet) you'd like to send me I can run it through Print2Cad and see how it does. PM me with your contact info and I'll give it a go.
#71251 by artmanvt2000
Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:41 pm
Josh, I totally agree with you. If you want an accurate drawing to use it is better to insert the image and trace it. But in todays economy time is money, and we are exploring the option using a software to save time. We all have had the client that needs an addition/renovation and the have drawings from the 1960's.

MtnArch, I have also use the trial for Print2CAD, which does do a great job with native pdf's, pdf's created with a pdf writer. They do not work well with pdf's that are created with a scanner, which are raster images.
#71253 by joshhuggins
Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:22 pm
For PDF to DWG conversion I use Any PDF To DWG Converter with good results for PDF's with vector data (CAD generated). It will also attempt to convert any bitmap images in the PDF to linework, but that is rarely usable other than for taking the averages of the linework.
#71259 by Robert Scott
Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:28 pm
I've always found it faster and better to trace and create new rather than use the conversion software. On CAD generated PDF they work good enough...on images/scans they create more work than I care to deal with.

My 2 cents...

#71327 by Ted B
Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:59 am
I've been using SketchUp Layout to handle .jpgs and .pdfs in my construction documents. It saves me the half-step of needing to convert the .pdfs to .jpgs to insert in Datacad. This applies to work-site photos, hand-drawn pencil or pen sketch-details on graph-paper, and word-processed specs and spread-sheet schedules output to .pdf.

I do find that I have to be mindful of the pixel-density of saved-.jpgs. The typical pic or scanned image has way-more pixels than required for a clear and clean printout, and can be memory hogs if you're not careful. Even on my digital Nikon camera I have the image-size set down to 3megs, and still more detail-density than you typically need; 12meg to 15meg-pixel images just waste memory for most uses. Most paint-programs can resize a .jpg down to a reasonable .dpi/pixel-resolution.

Since my typical construction drawings are typically a composite of Datacad drawings-sheets and Layout, I plot each page to .pdf -- then collate using PDFTOOLS into one .pdf-file for archiving, printing or distribution. I just have to keep track of the sheet-numbers to get them in the right print-order. [The sheet-orientation is still occasionally a challenge, and requires manual "adjustment" after they come out of the printer.]

Occasionally I have a stack of ltr.-size pencil-sketch details for a remodeling project that it's just not-worth redrawing in CAD for a one-off use. In that case I may scan and compose a separate .pdf- composite file at ltr.-size for the details, and issue with the standard-size 11x17" construction drawings.

I do find that if I leave reference-marks, I can re-scale "close-enough" in Datacad and Layout for printing-purposes.

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