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What are the benefits of converting legacy drawings?

Drawings which are redrawn into vector formats, producing intelligent objects and complying with your company's current CAD standards, can streamline the drawing change process that enables critical resources to perform more value-added work. Many companies have found that their legacy drawings contain critical resource information which cannot be efficiently retrieved from drawings that consist of paper or even raster images. Our Redraw provides you with the ability to data-mine your drawings for information using text search engines, browsers and various other tools that link drawing data to relational databases, thus improving the efficiency of your operations by 20-30%. Some of our clients maximize their return by having us redraw only those legacy drawings that are candidates for engineering changes or reviews due to projects and work orders that are scheduled to be released during the upcoming year; others have us redraw selected legacy drawing simply in order to obtain the benefits of efficient information retrieval.

 

What is manual redraw?

Manual redraw uses the cognitive skills of a human operator to recognize and control the construction of each object within a drawing. The simplest (and most common) way to perform manual redraw on a paper drawing is by visual take-off from the paper drawing into the computer using CAD software and operator initiated commands and placement. All manual redraw techniques rely heavily on the human operator to control the redrawing process and this results in highly accurate drawings which are required for further processing like transferring of data to CNC for machining.

 

 

 

 

What is heads-down digitizing?

Heads-down digitizing is a labor intensive manual redraw process where an operator hand-digitizes vertices (i.e. points) from a paper drawing taped to a digitizing board and then executes CAD commands to redraw the lines and arcs and retype the text.

 

 

 

 

 

What is heads-up digitizing?

Heads-up digitizing is a third form of the manual redraw process where the paper drawing is first scanned into a raster image and then displayed on a computer screen. The drawing is redrawn into vector format using software that traces vector lines and arcs on top of the raster image background. The software normally pauses at intersecting lines and waits for the human operator to initiate a command based on the operator's cognitive decision. This method is called heads-up digitizing, tracing or overlaying. With a trained operator it can be faster than other manual redraw methods.

 

 

 

What is a Scanned Raster Image Drawing?

A scanned raster image is a digitized image of a drawing taken either from a paper copy or microfilm copy of the drawing. A scanned raster image places small black dots, called pixels, where it recognizes a contrast between the normally white paper background and the pencil or ink markings. A typical drawing can have millions of small black dots, or pixels, representing these markings. This technology is similar to making a Xerox photocopy on paper using an office copy machine, a process that most of us are familiar with. The main differences are that drawings can be much larger than the 8-1/2"x11" paper and instead of placing the image immediately on a blank piece of paper, a digitized image is placed in a computer file that can later be viewed, edited and printed by a computer program. Normally each of these dots is one color (black) and raster files can get very large if uncompressed. If color is added to each dot, these raster files can become exceedingly large even when compressed.

 

 

What is a Vectorized CAD drawing?

A vectorized CAD drawing is a computer file that represents a drawing using more intelligent data than dots or pixels. This data can be used to distinguish between line segments, arcs, points, circles, text and color. Vectorized drawings can also define even more intelligent objects by defining collections of lines, arcs, circles and text as objects called symbols or blocks. The real power of CAD is derived from its ability to define and manipulate large numbers of scalable, reusable objects and most CAD drawings require more than simply pixels, lines and arcs. Virtually all CAD and graphic illustration software defines image data as vectors because of the associated precision, the capability of rapid processing of vector objects, and operator ease with regard to modifying these images.

 

 

What is auto-vectorization?

Auto-vectorization is a process performed by a software program on raster images of drawings to convert them to vectorized lines, arcs, circles and sometimes other primitive shapes such as arrowheads, solids and text. Most auto-vectorization programs can be run interactively by an operator or unattended using a configuration file that provides some limited control of the vectorizing process. Although the auto-vectorization technique is usually less costly than the manual redraw technique, the quality of the finished drawing is not comparable to other CAD drawings. The typical auto-vectorization replaces a lot of little dots with a lot of short lines and arc segments. Extensive manual labor is usually required to make the many corrections required in an auto-vectorized drawing.

 

 

 

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