Tags Posts tagged with "PDF to CAD Conversion"

PDF to CAD Conversion

PDF To CAD Conversion
Ways For Ensuring Quality Of PDF To CAD Conversion

In this age of computer aided design process, The AEC Associates PDF to CAD conversion is usually the first step in the design process these days; these drawings provide a starting platform especially in case an extension or addition to an existing building is being planned. Poor quality PDF to CAD conversion produces poor quality drawings, making viewing and modification of the drawings difficult. As a result, the quality of design process also suffers. It is, therefore, imperative to ensure quality of the conversion process in order to get top quality converted drawings.

Man and the machine

There are two factors that influence the quality of PDF to CAD conversion: the skill of the person doing the job, and the quality of the conversion software being used. One, therefore, needs to employ highly skilled and experienced professionals and use the best available conversion software to perform the conversion job. Alternatively, you can think about outsourcing the work to an experienced vendor instead of getting it done by an in-house team. In any case, it’s essential to ensure that conversion is accurate and of excellent quality.

Issues to be handled

A few issues make the conversion job quite complex, affecting the quality of the process, and that of the resultant drawings. These issues must be taken care of to ensure the quality of CAD drawings produced.

  • A vector PDF document contains very elementary objects, not having any CAD entities like CAD arcs or circles. The arcs and circles are produced out of either a number of short lines or out of Bezier curves, both quite complex processes. Even A small error magnifies the problem in the resultant drawings.
  • Text is contained in PDF files as a string of characters, each character having a specific style and positional information. Reconverting the text into CAD files often produces illegible text if everything doesn’t go well.

Construction industry depends a lot on PDF to CAD conversion in this era of computer software; it is essential and prudent for the organizations to ensure that the conversion work is taken seriously. This will make sure that converted drawings are of top quality, and the future design process begins on a solid foundation.

7 Design Considerations For Architectural CAD Services
7 Design Considerations For Architectural CAD Services

The AEC Associates Architectural CAD Services need to consider several design elements while planning a primary school building so that the building may perform its assigned task to perfection. A primary school building is the budding ground for small children who would grow up to become our future citizens; the structure created by Architectural CAD services must include every element that is necessary to provide a conducive learning environment to these students. We have so far discussed some design elements to be considered like accessibility to all, aesthetics to connect the building with the community, ensuring health and productivity, cost effectiveness etc; a few more elements are discussed here in this concluding part.

  • Safety and security

It should be a top priority for Architectural CAD services to provide a safe and secure environment to the children and other users of the school premises. Following points have to be considered in this context-

  • Corridors and school grounds must have a visual access from most spaces possible
  • School boundaries must be defined clearly and interior spaces should be made comfortable and ‘homely’ to increase a sense of ownership among the occupants
  • Access to the school building and grounds by individuals and vehicles must be controlled
  • Safe shelters must be provided in case some emergency situations arise
  • Sustainability

Green architecture is no more a buzz word, it has become a necessity. Architectural CAD services must consider all the green elements while designing high performance, green primary school buildings.

Energy, water and other resources should be used efficiently

Renewable energy strategies must be integrated with the planning of a school building. Passive solar design and solar photovoltaic panels should be employed to the maximum extent possible

Efficient mechanical and electrical equipment should be used

Natural day lighting should be provided to minimize the need for artificial lighting

Local materials should be used if possible

Architectural CAD services shoulder a great responsibility while designing primary school buildings as these structures perform the job of nurturing the future generations. We discussed some important design elements to be considered by the designers while designing these buildings in an effort to make our schools better suited to modern-day needs.

PDF to CAD Conversion
4 Reasons Why PDF Is The Preferred File Format For PDF to CAD Conversion

The AEC Associates PDF to CAD Conversion has become an essential day to day activity for the construction industry in the modern times. A solid starting platform is provided by PDF to CAD conversion for the future design process as architects can start working on the good quality drawings of the existing structure made available through the conversion process. People often wonder why PDF is the preferred file format for the process as hundreds of other file formats are available in this era of computer-aided design. Some of the reasons are discussed below for using PDF files for the purpose.

Easy to access

PDF (Portable Document Format) is developed by Adobe systems. Adobe reader required to read PDF files is usually pre-installed in all the computers worldwide, and this is one of the reasons it’s a favorite for PDF to CAD conversion. Viewing it anywhere is quite convenient, and it can also be viewed on most web browsers.

Accuracy

A PDF file may contain one or more pages; it enables viewing of each page in sequence and gives an exact idea of the document since the viewed pages are exactly as they would look in print.

Light in weight and volume

As we are all aware, CAD programs generally use DWG or DXF file formats for design and drafting purposes. These files are binary files. Architects, engineers and other AEC professionals create heavy two dimensional and three dimensional designs, and this heavy design data is stored in the DWG format very efficiently. These DWG files can sometimes be very heavy and it is difficult to email them to interested parties. PDF files, on the other hand, are quite light and handy, so these files are converted into PDF format and emailed to the desired destinations.

Versatile file format

Portable Document Format files can hold just anything from text, images, pictures and graphics etc. They can hold the data in original format and when these files are reconverted into the original format, they don’t distort the data. So, when PDF to CAD conversion takes place, they can easily be viewed, modified and printed as desired.

 Architectural CAD Drafting
A landscape design presents a different challenge for The AEC Associates Architectural CAD Drafting services since they have to create an art form on a different kind of a canvass. The creation here keeps changing with plants growing, environment conditions changing, and different people using the space. The challenge here for Architectural CAD drafting is to use a design process that considers all aspects of the land, the environment, the growing plants and the need to have a landscape that is aesthetically pleasing, functional and ecologically healthy.

Elements of a landscape design:

Architectural CAD drafting have to begin by considering the needs and desires of their clients and the conditions of the site. Plants and hardscape materials are then arranged into a harmonious design, we collectively call these two as features. These features, in turn, can be described physically by the visual quality of the following elements:

  • Line
  • Form
  • Color
  • Texture, and
  • Visual weight

We earlier discussed the importance of color in a landscape design, let us now take up line and form, and their significance for the designers.

Line is perhaps the most common element in a composition. It creates all forms and patterns, and can be used in a number of ways to create pleasing landscapes. In a landscape, lines are created in different ways-

Edge between two materials

Outline (silhouette) of a form

Long linear feature

Lines are like a goldmine for the designers since they can be used to create countless shapes and forms besides controlling the movement of the eye and the body. Architectural CAD drafting can use lines for creating pleasing patterns, developing spaces, generating desired forms, controlling eye and physical movement, and producing a cohesive theme for a beautiful landscape.

Landscaping is a very vast and interesting topic. We shall continue discussing the importance of lines and forms in our future posts as well.

f CAD Documentation Services
Efficiency Of CAD Documentation Services Matters

The AEC Associates CAD Documentation Services must understand the requirements of their clients and realize that each stage of design and documentation has different sets of objectives to meet and different sets of people to cater to. Efficiency and time-bound delivery must always be the first priority of CAD documentation services because their clients invest huge amounts of money in their projects; even a small error or a slight delay could land them in big-time trouble.

Types of documents:

The importance of the job CAD documentation services handle can be gauged just by the sheer number of document types they have to prepare. Take, for example, a permit set that is prepared for authorities to review some particular aspects of a project. Similarly, a bidder would require a bid set to understand and price the project accurately. A contractor needs a precise and accurate CD (Construction documentation) set in order to execute the project as per the design.

Working as per the requirements of the client:

The biggest challenge for CAD documentation services is to understand the requirements of each client and deliver accordingly; only then can they be meticulous and precise in their output. According to different requirements, we can classify these services as follows:

  • PDF, paper to CAD services
  • Preparing site drawings from PDF documents
  • Making SD to DD drawings
  • Preparing permit sets
  • Preparing drawings of existing structures
  • Construction documentation
  • Making bid sets for bidding purposes

Following a process:

It is very important for CAD documentation services to establish and follow a set process, so that no scope is left for any misconceptions or errors. To ensure precision and meticulous execution, it’s essential to give due importance to the ingredients necessary for comprehensive CAD documentation; the process could be as follows:

  • A well thought-out and defined schedule
  • Constant reviews and discussions at various stages of the project
  • Quality check on final PDF documents
  • Preparation of reference sets in CAD format
  • Sample outputs in PDF

Essential qualities of PDF to CAD conversion
Essential qualities of PDF to CAD conversion

The use of computer software has changed the working of AEC industry completely over the past few years; new processes like The AEC Associates PDF to CAD conversion have become an integral part of the design process now. PDF to CAD conversion performs the task of converting PDF files into CAD DWG files as is quite evident; these converted drawings provide a platform for the future design process. Naturally, this process has to be precise, accurate and error-free to ensure that the designers have a hassle-free passage once they have these drawings in their hands.

PDF files: PDF file format is an acceptable way of sharing information when there is no need to edit the information; it is a good way for architects and other industry professionals to protect their financial interests and also their designs. These files can hold text, images, raster images and vector objects and are very versatile. Since these file are not editable, they have to be converted into DWG files in order to view or edit them. This is where PDF to CAD conversion comes into play.

Essential qualities needed for CAD conversion:

As mentioned earlier, CAD conversion provides a platform for future design process so it’s imperative that the converted drawings obtained from the process are fully editable, one hundred percent dimensionally accurate and multi-layer. In order to be able to edit the drawings layer-by-layer, the converted drawings have to be precise, clear and very accurate. The vector quantities like arcs and circles have to be real instead of being formed out of Bezier curves or multiple lines, otherwise you will never get the drawings of desired quality. Similarly, it’s very important that the converted drawings are scalable and do not get pixilated when you zoom into the image. One has to use top-quality conversion software or manual vectorization technique to make PDF to CAD conversion live up to its promise and potential.

Use of CAD software for design and drafting process has gradually made The AEC Associates PDF to CAD Conversion an integral part of the building industry in recent years. Computer aided design software replaced the age-old manual design and drafting process with a faster, more accurate and far more efficient system at the end of the 20th century as slowly all the industry professionals embraced the new age process. As the use of computers grew, the process of PDF to CAD conversion was introduced and became inevitability for the industry.
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PDF To CAD Conversion

Reasons for employing CAD conversion:

Before we go into the reasons for employing PDF to CAD conversion, let us look at the two file formats CAD (DWG or DXF) – Computer software uses DWG or DXF files to store two and three dimensional design data in an efficient manner. This design data is often quite heavy but it offers multiple benefits to the design professionals providing powerful tools and intelligent features.

PDF- PDF or portable document format is a versatile file format that can hold any combination of 2D vector image graphics, text and raster images. They store and transmit back the data without distorting it. Moreover, they can be viewed on practically every computer and all the web browsers. Now let us discuss the reasons why CAD conversion is required.

  • Even though DWG files are very efficient for storing the design data; they can become very heavy sometimes and are nearly impossible to transmit through email to the desired locations. They are, therefore, converted into lighter PDF files that may easily be emailed. Later these files have to be reconverted into DWG files for viewing and editing with ease.

  • Another reason for employing PDF to CAD conversion is to protect the financial and professional interests of architects and other industry professionals. PDF files cannot be edited or tampered with, so they are just like the paper prints; so professionals hand over the drawings in this format to their clients and other outsiders. These files are then reconverted for future design process whenever the need arises.

PDF To CAD Conversion

Contrary to what many people think, The AEC Associates PDF to CAD Conversion is not a stroll in the park but an art that needs a lot of skill and experience. Use of CAD software by various professionals like architects, structural engineers, services consultants, interior designers and contractors etc has made PDF to CAD conversion an integral part of the design industry in recent years; it’s a job that takes a lot of practice to perfect. As mentioned, these professionals employ CAD software that uses DWG or DXF file formats for creating and storing heavy two dimensional and three dimensional designs.

Why do we need PDF to CAD conversion?

The CAD files (DWG or DXF) can sometimes become so heavy that it’s virtually impossible to email them. So, one need to convert these files into lighter PDF files for emailing purposes. However, PDF files cannot be edited; thus the recipient has to reconvert these PDF files into DWG format in order to be able to view and edit them as desired.

Complexities:

CAD conversion has its own intricacies and complexities that make it a specialized job. Firstly, there are no CAD arc or circle entities in a vector PDF file. These arcs and circles have to be created either out of many short lines or out of Bezier curves; a process that is quite complicated and requires top-quality conversion software and skilled user. Secondly, PDF files store words and sentences as text strings that are tough to reconvert and need a lot of practice to perform efficiently.

A lot of hard work and sophistication goes into PDF to CAD conversion to ensure good quality converted drawings. Since these drawings act as a starting platform for the future design process; it’s essential to employ skilled and experienced professionals and use high-quality software.

6 Things To Look For Before Hiring Architectural CAD Conversion Services

 

The AEC Associates Architectural CAD Conversion Services play an important role in providing a solid platform for the future design process for architects and other construction industry professionals by supplying good quality converted drawings to them. The quality of these drawings goes a long way in determining the fate of the project; thus the quality and efficiency of Architectural CAD conversion services is paramount. People often wonder what all this fuss about the quality of the conversion process when so many free online conversion software are available and anyone can just go on and convert their drawings whenever needed; however, PDF to CAD conversion is neither a simple nor an easy job. An inefficient or amateurish conversion could result in low-quality drawings with lot of errors, necessitating a reconversion of the drawings or going to the site for measuring the structure again. Let us discuss some of the issues of CAD conversion and qualities essential for Architectural CAD conversion services.

  • Convertibility of PDF files:

There are two types of PDF files: raster and vector; former are created by scanning a paper drawing and are converted using raster to vector conversion while the latter are created by saving PDF from a CAD file and the conversion process is quite different. One must ensure that the vendor is able to convert raster, vector and hybrid PDF files to DWG with equal dexterity.

  • Editable true arcs, circles and Bezier curves:

The function of Architectural CAD conversion services is to provide editable files because vector PDF files do not contain any CAD arc or circle entities. If your service provider gives you make arcs and circles option; you would find it easier to get true arcs and circles, otherwise arcs and circles are made out of several short lines quite difficult to edit.

Easily editable text strings:

Words and sentences are held in PDF files as sets of individual characters, thus they allow for very fine positional accuracy of text. These sets of characters possess associated positional information, thus reassembly of these characters into strings is quite challenging to say the least. Your service provider should be skilled and experienced enough otherwise the resultant text would contain split words and discreet characters making it quite illegible.

Architectural CAD conversion services perform an important role for the industry and despite the claims of being the best in the business; many don’t have the requisite skill and experience. We shall continue this discussion in our next post to throw light on qualities these vendors should possess.

The AEC Associates PDF to CAD conversion has now become an integral part of the daily routine of the construction industry, providing a starting platform to the designers for the future design process. Most professionals in the AEC industry require PDF to CAD conversion on a regular basis; thousands of online conversion companies have mushroomed all over the world to cater to their needs in the recent years. Let us talk briefly about the file types used in the process before discussing the complexities involved.
PDF To CAD Conversion
File types used in CAD conversion:

Two types of files are used in PDF to CAD conversion: PDF files and CAD files (DWG or DXF).

PDF, developed by Adobe systems, is a most accessible file format and can be easily accessed almost anywhere since PDF reader is pre-installed in virtually every machine. PDF files may contain several pages, each page exactly as it would look in print.

DWG or DXF files are used by almost all the modern CAD software all around the globe. They can store heavy 2D and 3D design data with all the possible details.

Reason for PDF to CAD conversion:

There are basically two reasons for PDF to CAD conversion.

  • DWG files contain quite heavy data; it often becomes difficult to email them. They are converted into the lighter PDF files for emailing purposes. These files are later reconverted into CAD files for easy viewing and editing.
  • Just like erstwhile ammonia or blue prints, professionals issue the drawings in PDF format as they cannot be edited or tampered with. This way they can protect their professional interests.

Complex process:

Even though CAD conversion has become a common process, it is by no means easy or simple. On the contrary, it has many complexities involved and requires expert handling for good end result.

  • Vector PDF files contain no CAD arc or circle entities, these arcs and circles have to be made either out of many short lines or Bezier curves if top-quality software is not used and the resultant drawings may be of poor quality.
  • Similarly, words and sentences are held in PDF files as a set of individual characters, each set with associated positional and style information. Only good quality software and skilled persons can ensure exact reproduction of text in the converted files that would otherwise become illegible or distorted.

PDF to CAD conversion is a complex process that needs good software and skilled professionals to ensure excellent converted drawings. If the drawings provided to the designers are of top-quality, the future design process will start on a positive note.

The AEC Associates Architectural CAD Conversion Services play a vital role in facilitating the design process in this era of computer aided design and drafting process. Professionals like architects, structural engineers, services consultants, interior designers and contractors etc require the expertise of Architectural CAD conversion services on a regular basis. Despite being used very commonly, PDF to CAD conversion is neither a simple nor an easy task as there are several issues with the procedure that make it quite complex.

architectural cad conversion service
4 Challenges Faced By Architectural CAD Conversion Services

File formats:

As is evident, two file formats involved in the process are PDF and DWG (or DXF). A PDF (Portable file format) file may contain one or more pages, each page containing any combination of 2D vector graphics, text or raster images. These pages can be viewed in sequence and they look exactly as they would look in print.

All the modern CAD programs use DWG or DXF file format. Architectural design involves working in two 2D or 3D data; this heavy design data is easily stored in DWG files, which are convenient for viewing and editing purposes.

Complexities involved in Architectural CAD conversion services:

The job of Architectural CAD conversion services is certainly not a walk in the park with so many complexities to take care of. Some of these issues are discussed here.

  • Text: PDF files are just like true copies; they allow for very fine positional accuracy of text. These files treat words and sentences as sets of individual characters, each character having a specific associated positional and style information. If the conversion is not accurate enough, the text in the converted drawing may become illegible or flawed.
  • Vector graphics: A PDF file contains very limited vector graphics. It contains no CAD arc or circle entities; these arcs and circles are made either out of several short lines or out of Bezier curves that are very difficult to edit. It’s imperative to use high-quality conversion software as they have an option to replace the short lines and Bezier curves with true arc and circle entities, ensuring a good quality.
  • Line types: It’s often pretty tricky to maintain line types and widths as defined by users; this, however, is essential to ensure top-quality drawings. It’s the responsibility of Architectural CAD conversion services to make sure that there are no slip ups.
  • Multiple raster files: Ordinary conversion makes separate raster files for each raster image making storing and editing a very challenging task. The challenge lies in using high-quality conversion software and skilled professionals so that all the raster images could be mapped into a single raster image file that can be edited or vectorized conveniently.

Conversion process must be taken very seriously as excellent quality converted drawings are the foundation stones for a good design. There is no substitute for using top-quality software and employ highly skilled personnel for the task in order to obtain desired results.

Architectural CAD ConversionArchitectural CAD conversion is an essential part of the design process in the modern computer era where using advanced 3D CAD softwares is the norm. Contrary to what many people believe, Architectural CAD conversion is not a child’s play, it requires a lot of skill and practice to perfect the art. PDF files contain arcs and circles made out of either several short lines that are difficult to edit, or out of Bezier curves. If the conversion is not efficient, the positioning of lines can change giving false impressions or drawings can lose clarity. Again, a PDF file allows for very fine positional accuracy of text, with words and sentences held as a set of individual characters, each with associated specific positional and style information. The reassembly of these characters into strings is very challenging and if conversion is not done accurately, this information can get distorted and resultant text in the DWG files could be illegible.

A single PDF page could be made of multiple raster images. If these raster images are saved as separate raster files, the user could be burdened later with incomprehensible information and the quality of converted drawings is not very good. However, if these images are mapped as a single raster image file, the drawing quality is excellent and an added advantage is that while saving the DWG file, the file is associated with a single raster file.

Architectural CAD conversion is a critical function for every professional associated with the construction industry, and getting it done by a skilled professional ensures quality, accuracy and resource optimization.

Architecture PDF to CAD ConversionArchitecture PDF to CAD conversion is perhaps the most talked about topic in the construction industry today. CAD softwares have completely replaced the erstwhile paper-and-ink manual drafting and design process and Architecture PDF to CAD conversion has become an essential feature in the new scenario. Architectural and engineering drawings are made in the DWG and DXF file formats in CAD softwares, which have multiple powerful tools and several intelligent features to enable the designers to give full rein to their imagination. They can now play with forms and shapes at will and can design directly in three dimensions. Draftsmen don’t have to worry about redrawing the whole schemes in case of even small alterations as connected entities can now be automatically altered with the help of some useful tools. However, DWG files have one small drawback, being too heavy these files cannot be emailed to desired persons or organizations. This becomes a necessity when one wants to communicate the drawings to the clients for their comments, or to the consultants for their inputs etc. These files are converted into PDF files for emailing to the desired destination. PDF is a versatile format that can hold data in image, text or tabular format, and doesn’t distort it on reconversion. It’s a very popular format and is usually available on all computers, so conversion into PDF is easy and convenient. When files reach the desired party, architecture PDF to CAD conversion is required to enable the users to view and edit the files as required. This conversion is very useful as it retains all the line locations, thicknesses and colors, and also doesn’t lose the flexible printing control that PDF file format has. It has become an essential feature for the construction industry now.

PDF To CAD Conversion CompaniesComputer programs have taken over from the earlier paper-and-ink manual drafting and design process, and for a number of reasons the demand for quality PDF to CAD conversion services is growing by the day. A number of free online PDF to CAD conversion services are available now, but they won’t give you assured quality. Replicating the vector images and text contained in the PDF drawings to CAD compatible DWG or DXF formats becomes necessary in order to view and edit the drawings as required. We must be aware of the fact here that the original drawings made in the DWG format are very heavy and cannot be emailed to desired destinations. This becomes necessary when the files are to be transported to the clients for comments, or to various consultants for their inputs, or to the outsourcing services for detailing etc. These files are converted into PDF files and emailed conveniently.

pdf to dwg conversion servicesNeed for PDF to CAD conversion services arises when the PDF files have to be reconverted into DWG format for further viewing, editing and additions. Only a skilled person or organization can dish out a fast, efficient and quality product. This demand will only increase in the days to come, and these services will have a major role to play in the design industry.

DWG to PDF ConverterPDF to CAD conversion company is a lifeline for the design industry in the modern era where manual paper-ink design and drafting seems like a thing of a bygone era. PDF and DWG are two file formats that are most frequently used file formats by most professionals associated with design industry, and their lives would be in complete chaos without the services of a proficient PDF to CAD conversion company.

PDF To CAD ConversionPDF is a very versatile file format that can hold data in graphic, text, table and other formats and when this data is converted into other formats like DWG etc, there is little or no distortion, thus this is very useful for computer users. On the other hand, most CAD softwares use DWG format for two dimensional and three dimensional design data, and this file format is used by design professionals like architects, civil and mechanical engineers, draftsmen etc.

DWG files are very heavy and cannot be emailed, thus they are converted into PDF files, which can easily be emailed to interested parties. Later, these PDF files have to be reconverted into DWG format so that they may be used and edited conveniently as required. This reconversion has to be very accurate and professional, and only a skilled PDF to CAD conversion company can ensure accurate, good quality conversion. Imagining the design industry without quality drawings is unthinkable, and with CAD softwares an essential feature of the industry, PDF to CAD conversion company also is an indispensable organ of the same.

A good quality architectural PDF to CAD conversion is an essential day to day activity in the modern times. One would like to ask, however, why do we need architectural PDF to CAD conversion and what are its benefits?

Architectural PDF to CAD ConversionPDF (Portable Document Format) is perhaps the most popular file format presently for various reasons. It is developed by Adobe systems and Adobe reader required to read PDF files is usually pre-installed in all the computers. Viewing it therefore is very simple, and it can also be viewed on most web browsers. PDF files enable viewing of each page in sequence and give an exact idea of the document as the viewed pages are exactly as they would look in print.

CAD files are generally used by architects and engineers for design and drafting purposes. These are usually DWG or DXF files that are binary files. Architectural work requires creation of heavy two dimensional or three dimensional designs, and this design data is stored in the DWG format.

DWG files are very heavy and it is difficult to email them to interested parties, so these files are converted into PDF format and emailed to the desired destinations. Portable documentformat files can hold the data in original format and when these files are reconverted into the original format, they don’t distort the data. That’s why when the files are reconverted into DWG files, they can easily be viewed, modified and printed as desired.

CAD is only 2 decades old in the AEC world.  A high percentage of buildings worldwide are much older, and were drawn manually in the pre-CAD era. They need to be converted to CAD for any transaction to happen – alteration, sale, lease or even valuation. Hence the growing need for architectural PDF to CAD conversion.

This Blog deals with the problems encountered in architectural PDF to CAD conversion, covering both the case of an actual paper, as well as a scanned image of the paper (more common).

Dimensions

The CAD Technician, habitual of finding out any dimension in the drawing by one simple command, can be frustrated at having to explore for unwritten dimensions on the paper drawing. That apart, not every space is dimensioned in a drawing; only the ones that the intended recipient need are. So sometimes the guesswork can be strenuous in an architectural PDF to CAD conversion job.

Scale

Possessing a paper drawing that is drawn to a known scale reduces the worry of missing dimensions to naught. Here are situations where scales would not be available or reliable:

  • Printout Not to Scale or ‘Fit to Paper’
  • Imperfect scanning
  • Dimension text manually edited

 Clarity of lines

If drawings are the language of design, lines are the alphabet. Taking this further, the character of the line is akin to punctuation. Just like the location of a coma or a period can alter the meaning of a sentence, each line type and line weight conveys something. Imperfect scanning or faded scanning can pose challenges to the drafter, like: “Is that that a staircase or a cupboard?” or “is that a picket fence or a boundary wall?”etc.

 Legibility of text

While dimensions and, to an extent, lines can be guessed, an unclear text cannot. This can be the bane of the drafter working on the architectural PDF to CAD conversion. Some causes for difficulty in reading text:

  • Free hand writing illegible
  • Bad scanning or faded drawing
  • Overlapping text – very common in CAD printouts

Angle

Since most walls are placed at right angles to each other, why would ‘angle’ be listed as a difficulty in architectural PDF to CAD conversion?

  • Paper not kept straight when scanned
  • Manual drawing has imperfect drafting
  • Site has many unusual angles (most common in farmlands or in buildings in small towns)

Resolution to these problems will be discussed in the ensuing Blog

With the introduction of CAD, virtually every transaction or operation in the AEC Industry needs a CAD file. Operations ranging from sale, certification, addition and alteration need a CAD file so as do activities like valuation, project management, and of late, even maintenance (Through Intelligent Building Management Systems). While CAD is all of 2 decades old, buildings that undergo these transactions are much, much, much older, with drawings available on paper, sometimes on ancient blueprints.

This Blog looks at the process involved in Architectural PDF to CAD conversion.

Input

Accuracy in Architectural PDF to CAD conversion depends heavily on the type and quality of input, which could be in any of these forms:

  • Blueprint of manually drafted drawing
  • Scan of  CAD Print
  • PDF output from CAD file

Information

In addition to the actual drawing input, certain information is necessary for the Convertor, such as:

  • Scale of input drawing (if not mentioned)
  • If scale is not known, then 5 to 10 important measurements in X and Y axes must be given. Best would be to give grid dimensions, or something similar, like room sizes, or floor heights.
  • Material specifications and pictures – in case of illegible scans or damaged blueprints

Tracing
Trace – sounds surprising, right? This is what it really means:

  1. Insert the scan in the AutoCAD file, as an image using the option ‘Insert Raster Image Reference’
  2. Drag the image to the desired origin
  3. Zoom Extents
  4. Align the image to a perfect X and Y axis
  5. Choose 5-10 lines in the X axis whose measurements are mentioned
  6. Dimension those lines using the ‘_dimlinear’ command’
  7. Scale the drawing so that the actual measurements and the AutoCAD dimensions match
  8. Repeat (5) and (6) and see if dimensions and measurements in Y axis match
  9. If not, this means that the scan is imperfect, or the print was taken with the command ‘Fit to Paper’ or ‘Stretch to Paper’, and the ‘Preserve Aspect Ratio’ box was unchecked
  10. In such a case, use Stretch command to scale the Y axis only to make the measurements and dimensions match
  11. Check dimensions and measurements over 5-10 places in both X and Y axis again
  12. If okay, we begin by drafting the AutoCAD drawing by drawing lines over the Raster Image below. It saves us the trouble of drafting each line afresh
  13. If not Okay, we abandon the trace process and proceed to the next process:

Drafting

In this case a fresh AutoCAD drawing is drafted, by viewing each and every measurement mentioned in the scan

 Rasterization

Most of us know that a scanned document can be directly converted to a Word document by an OCR scanner – a process quite popular in Research, Records and Legal documentation.

On the same lines, there are, of recent, software that converts the raster to vector that lead to a DWG or DXF CAD file.

Checking

Special points to look out for during Paper to CAD conversion, which are covered in a separate blog Quality Assurance in Architectural PDF to CAD conversion Service

Principally, extra Quality checks in Conversion involve looking out for:

  • Errors due to visual misinterpretation of the input drawing
  • Cross checking the output line for line with the input
  • Scale
  • CAD standards, especially layer management

Queries

It is more important to put up queries in Architectural PDF to CAD conversion jobs than in drafting or design jobs. This s because the queries mostly deal with poor legibility of the scan/paper, or missing information. Such information CANNOT be inferred by architectural intelligence or experience. It simply has to be asked.

Considering the number of building from the pre-CAD era existing in the world, one envisages a huge volume of CAD conversion jobs in the immediate future: enough to create a specialized industry out of Architectural PDF to CAD conversion.

Continuing from the previous post

  1. Lease:  It is almost a norm for prospective tenants to send in the site measurements to their space planners to see how well the premises accommodates their requirement with regards to people, visitors, future expansion, and most of all, parking. Again, as for a sale, rentals are also decided on dollars per square foot, hence the tenant would like to be accurate in the area calculations
  2. Divide: In case of an inheritance or a bequest to be divided equally amongst successors, the basis of accurate area calculations creates transparency and feeling of fairness
  3. Expansion:  Any expansion or addition of space to a built environment is always in context of the existing structure. Here again, a CAD file allows the designer to explore options
  4. Alteration: Changes in an existing structure call for the most accurate information, especially on concealed services like wiring, piping and air conditioning
  5. Renovation: Many users cannot vacate a premise that needs to undergo renovation. In such cases, the designer draws out phases in which the work will happen. Scope for error is minimal, which is why a CAD file is so important
  6. Valuation: Clients need to assess the value of their property for different reasons like collateral, mortgage, bequest, taxes, etc. The accuracy of the information becomes important to the customer in this case, which is something a CAD file can ensure in the best manner

A common term used in all of the above reasons for PDF to CAD conversion is ‘accurate information’.  A word of caution here: a CAD file is as accurate as the information input. Or, to quote a famous technocrat’s words – “Computers do not make mistakes. People do.”

CAD or Computer Aided Design is an application used to draw objects. In the AEC industry, it is most commonly used to draw plans, elevations and sections of a building or the interiors of a structure. A CAD file allows us to measure, edit, alter and perform various operations upon the drawing. Many times, a client or an AEC firm might not be in possession of the CAD file of their premises, but merely have the PDF output. Creating a CAD file from a PDF is what is popularly known as PDF to CAD conversion.

If I own and live in a premises, why do I need to convert the PDF file to CAD?

Certainly, the file format does not alter the conditions of your habitation! However, these are the common reasons for PDF to CAD Conversion:

  1. Sale: A prospective buyer needs the following accurate information to make a decision:Area: Property across the globe is now sold on the ‘concept’ of dollars per square foot (or square metre). A CAD file allows the buyer to check the veracity of the area quoted
  2. Sizes: It is also important to know that the sizes would accommodate the requirements well. An informed buyer also analyzes how well different types of uses can be accommodated in that premises, e.g., can the space he bought for an office work as well for a retail space, a restaurant or an institute?

More in the next post

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