How to convert drawings to .dxf

Want to design your own teardrop or tiny travel trailer. You can do that in 2D or 3D. We keep our secrets in here!

How to convert drawings to .dxf

Postby chorizon » Thu May 07, 2009 6:08 pm

I figured a few people in the CAD forum would find this of interest.

I use a program called Wintopo to convert "raster" images to "vector" images. Its free from:

http://www.wintopo.com/

Its supposed to convert .jpgs and other drawing files to .dxf or .dwg. Scanning an image in and converting the file is a major PITA, but I've found the following method to be very easy.

1) Draw or trace your pic on a piece of paper.
2) Scan it into your computer with a scanner.
3) Run Wintopo and convert it to your preferred format.
4) Open the file in your CAD program.
5) Create a new "level" or "layer" (other than the one where your image resides) and draw over the top of the original image to "clean it up". Of course make sure the layer where the original image is is "visible".
6) Three-point arcs work well for this.
7) Stay away from splines as they don't export too well between CAD packages.
8) That's it!

I made this Speaker Grill for a customer of mine. The thing that "looks" like a longhorn (but actually isn't) was traced out on a piece of paper from a cardboard pattern he had made. I then machined it from .500" 6061-T6. Wish I had taken a picture of the final product, but it looked really nice.


Solidworks image:
<img src="http://i692.photobucket.com/albums/vv288/chorizon/biggrillassy.jpg" border="0" alt="Big Grill Assy">
User avatar
chorizon
Platinum Donating Member
 
Posts: 871
Images: 94
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:44 pm
Location: Austin, Texas

Postby mikeschn » Thu May 07, 2009 6:13 pm

That looks interesting, I might have to try that.

TC Pro also has a trace program which does the same thing, but for the most part, I don't use it.

Instead I import a photo, and just draw over the parts I want. It's actually pretty fast, and the results are as accurate as you want them to be.

Mike...
The quality is remembered long after the price is forgotten, so build your teardrop with the best materials...
User avatar
mikeschn
Site Admin
 
Posts: 19128
Images: 468
Joined: Tue Apr 13, 2004 11:01 am
Location: MI

Postby GregB » Thu May 07, 2009 10:01 pm

Soo, uh, Josh, if it isn't a longhorn what is it? Fallopian tubes and a uterus?

GB
I'm not dead, yet. I'm feeling better.
User avatar
GregB
500 Club
 
Posts: 528
Images: 108
Joined: Thu Sep 29, 2005 2:22 pm
Location: UT, Lehi
Top

Postby angib » Fri May 08, 2009 1:48 pm

mikeschn wrote:Instead I import a photo, and just draw over the parts I want. It's actually pretty fast, and the results are as accurate as you want them to be.

I know pros that use this technique even with other people's CAD files - if, say, you want an outline of an engine in your boat drawing, it's more efficient to import the manufacturer's DXF, trace over it for the limited info you want and then delete the DXF - otherwise your boat drawing contains every bolthead and piece of piping on the engine!

Andrew
User avatar
angib
5000 Club
5000 Club
 
Posts: 5783
Images: 231
Joined: Fri Apr 30, 2004 2:04 pm
Location: (Olde) England
Top

Postby chorizon » Fri May 08, 2009 6:36 pm

Yes, if you have the means to import a picture or photo into a CAD program, then that would be an excellent route to take as well. I use Solidworks and MasterCAM and alas, neither allow it.

I understand Illustrator will convert images into something usable. My "graphics" program is MS Paint. Wintopo was the first freeware I found that worked well for me, and would work for anyone in a similar situation; someone with plenty of CAD'ing power but no graphics program.

And Greg, I maintain only that is not a familiar trademarked image! ;)
User avatar
chorizon
Platinum Donating Member
 
Posts: 871
Images: 94
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2008 12:44 pm
Location: Austin, Texas
Top


Return to CAD secrets

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest