Delcam, makers of PowerSHAPE and other modelling tools for design and manufacturing, added an option to import PDF and PostScript into PowerShape by scripting command line calls to the PDF to DXF executable. This was accomplished using the FLY SDK. Once the PDF is imported into PowerSHAPE it is can be modified saving engineers valuable time otherwise spent redrawing.
Godwin Pumps manufactures and maintains a fleet of portable pumps and related equipment for use in construction dewatering, mining, drinking water supply and water/wastewater bypasses. Regularly, they receive mechanical parts drawings from vendors in PDF file format for their technical documentation. Their drafters regularly need to use these in AutoCAD for assembly into larger drawings. Since AutoCAD does not support PDF import, they needed a reliable and precise way to convert these PDF files into editable CAD drawings. After evaluating different solutions, they chose pdf2cad for its precision and ease of import into AutoCAD.
When a CAD drawing is saved to PDF, it includes rich data about every object, character, attribute and layer. Since it’s computer-generated, it’s a vector PDF file. pdf2cad can be used to extract all of that information and render it as an editable drawing for use in CAD programs, Microsoft Visio or other drawing, illustration or presentation programs. Our software includes many advanced options which allow fine-tuning of the results or even compensation for information lost in the transition to PDF. For example, you can reconnect objects, separate layers and consolidate characters into words or lines. Learn more about the Difference between Vector and Raster PDF files.
Problems With Scanned CAD Drawings
Our software is not designed to convert scanned drawings. While our programs rely on data extraction, scanned drawings need to be traced.
When pdf2cad converts a scanned file, it produces an empty DWG or DXF container and one or more image files. These are either TIFFs or JPEGs. When these referenced images are located in the same directory as the CAD file, you’ll see the scanned file. Otherwise, you will see a blank page.
Scanned files are raster PDF files. When scanned, the drawing becomes a flat image, like a photocopy or snapshot. All information about the objects, lines and text is gone, and there is nothing to to extract. The most we can do with scanned files, is create a copy to use as a tracing layer in your CAD program. pdf2cad creates a DXF or WMF containing the raster image.
Options include tracing the drawing. This is very hard to do well and always requires manual clean-up. The quality of the traced drawing is dependent on the resolution of the original drawing. Garbage in, garbage out. To find options, do an on-line search. TenLinks is a good place to start. Although we get a lot of requests for this type of solution, we have not found one that meets our standards. If you do, let us know so we can recommend it!
Another alternative for scanned drawing is to use a service bureau to redraw it. This is often a cost-effective solution.
The DXF file format, or Drawing eXchange Format, is the vector file format developed and maintained by Autodesk for the exchange of 2D/3D CAD data in an AutoCAD drawing with other applications. It has been adopted as an industry standard for this purpose, with widespread support for reading and writing DXF files across CAD/CAM/CAE and other technical applications (such as CNC machines).
DXF files generated by Visual integrity software can be imported and edited in AutoCAD and other packages such as Microstation, UniGraphics and PowerShape. An SDK is available for developers and OEMs to create plug-ins or add direct PDF to DXF file format functionality to their applications.
Do you need to convert PDF-based drawings or CNC designs? pdf2cad delivers flawless DXF files ready to use or modify in your favorite program. All objects, attributes, layers and text can be modified if needed.
DXF and SVG are the main file formats used by today’s maker community. Creating them from PDF means you don’t need specialized software. You can create your design in whatever program you like best, save it to PDF and then convert it with pdf2cad for immediate use as a cut-ready CNC file. The possibilities are endless. Try pdf2cad free for 30-days for DXF or pdf2picture for SVG.