What is CAD Conversion?

CAD or Computer Aided Design is the most popular application for creating and managing drawings on the computer. Creating a CAD file from a paper drawing or a PDF file is termed as CAD Conversion. (This differs from CAD creation, which is the process of creating a drawing of a building or object on CAD from scratch, wherein no record of that project is available in hard or soft format).

Why is CAD Conversion needed?

Today, with Computer’s are the most reliable method of creation, storage and analysis of data and records. Millions are being spent on moving all available information to the Computer – right from historical records, to Education to statutory legal information. In this scenario, Real Estate and Property form not only an important part of that movement, but recording them is also important for accurate town planning, valuation and growth assessment.

CAD files are almost mandatory for these actions on a premise:

  1. Sale: Many State Governments make it statutory for digital records to be a part of a sale deed and registration. Even otherwise, with big bucks at stake on every square foot of space, accuracy is of paramount importance, which comes with CAD.
  2. Lease: It is a norm for a prospective tenant to run a trial space planning of his requirements on a CAD plan of the proposed property before deciding to even inspect the premises.
  3. Renovation: A CAD file is almost mandatory for a contractor to even quote for a an addition  or alteration in a premises.

With this in mind, informed owners ensure that they possess CAD documents of their premises. In case these are not available in CAD, then CAD conversion becomes necessary to make the process of sale, lease or renovation more efficient.

When would you need CAD Conversion Services?

The answer to that sounds simple: “I would need CAD Conversion Services when I do not have a CAD drawing of my premises”.

This leads us to the real query: in which situation would premises not have a CAD record:

  1. Pre CAD Era premises: While CAD entered our lives in 1963, it really permeated the AEC world in the late ‘80s, once computers, CAD software and CAD trained personnel became easily available.
  2. CAD file destruction or corruption
  3. CAD file unavailability: Due to a dispute or pre agreed terms, the firm creating the drawings might refuse the client CAD files of his premises. Or the firm would not exist when the client, after years, realized he needed Cad files of his completed project.

What are the inputs to be given to the CAD Conversion Services partner?

To correctly create a CAD file from a paper or PDF, the following are required:


  • Original documents to scale


  • Scanned documents to scale with main dimensions written down on the drawing before scanning


Note: a hand sketch of a premise with measurements is not CAD Conversion. It is CAD creation.



  • Original PDFs with main dimensions cross verified at site and variances mentioned

How long does a CAD Conversion Services job take?

With these inputs, the CAD Conversion Services partner will ask the relevant questions and complete the drawing.

A standard Architectural plan measuring 5,000 sft. drawn on a scale of 1:50 (or ¼”) should take around 8 hours to convert from paper, and 3 hours to convert from PDF, including quality checks.

Adding time for query resolution and additional buffer if the CAD Conversion Services partner is in a different time zone, 2 man days should be a comfortable start to finish time period to estimate.

CAD Conversion Services are now a specialized industry with firms employing hundreds of people turning out high quality CAD files in short turn around times.