# Part print to CAD model software

Gold Member
Hello all,
Is there software that coverts a 2D part print to 3D Cad model with PMI?
If you have a hand drawn mechanical drawing , 'blue print" part print with the classic human drawn tolerancing, can it be scanned to software to make a 3D CAD model with all the PM!?
thank you
rm

Gold Member
never mind, fellows..i found out that the major CAD suppliers have had the ability to import a PDF of 2d drawing and convert it to 3D cad model with PMI and have had this ability since 2013...nice!

russ_watters, Tom.G and berkeman
Gold Member
Further research shows that you can scan a mechanical drawing or blue print at the local FedEx store and store it in PDF format. The problem being it is a Raster (pixilated) format not vector format that the CAD guys use.
Does anyone know of a scanner that scans in vector format? I am pretty sure this can not happen but thought I would ask.
I found many free software that can convert raster to vector. Any input greatly appreciated.

Tom.G
Unfortunately, vector scan would need a very specific input, and to know what it was doing.

The Raster to Vector process in the real world goes as follows:
1. Preprocess a high-resolution raster scan to enhance contrast, which generates a more compact image, with one bit per pixel. Then remove isolated pixel dust.
2. Next, identify cardinal points with the mouse, and assign them coordinates. Map the pixel coordinates to corrected real world coordinates as you go.
3. Then extract structures such as straight lines, arcs and anything else the target vector language supports, all relative to the cardinal points. As vector structures are extracted, they can be plotted over the original raster image as a check of accuracy and progress.
The result is a compact vector file.

How many hundred images do you need to vectorise ?

Gold Member
Thank you, Bal
in USA we have many small job shops doing machining of parts for automotive and the like. Many parts are 2D mechanical drawings. Sometimes the part prints are in hundreds. So far this is the only way to convert them into 3D CAD models that I have found. You can buy a cheap laser scanner and scan in the part and convert it. I am not sure the PMI info would be present. PMI - part manufacturing information. aprrecaite the feedback

Mentor
The problem being it is a Raster (pixilated) format not vector format that the CAD guys use.
Does anyone know of a scanner that scans in vector format? I am pretty sure this can not happen but thought I would ask.
I found many free software that can convert raster to vector. Any input greatly appreciated.
You can't scan directly to a vector format, by nature of what vector and raster are. But there are CAD plug-ins that can convert. Just note their accuracy has limits because of the need to interpret.

FEAnalyst
You could try vectorizing images in Inkscape (free and open-source software), then importing them to FreeCAD (also free and open-source) and making a 3D model.

Gold Member
thanks Russ and FEA
Conversion of old part prints to CAD is critical to your survival in this economy. Using legacy part prints to inspect parts is too laborious and time consuming. You have to use CAD models with the PMI.

You can scan your legacy part prints at any FedEx office. Scan oversized documents, like blueprints or anything over 11" x 17" - Pricing: $5.99/3 sq. ft. or less$9.99 over 3 sq. ft. Store the scan in PDF format.

The problem is that this scan is a Raster scan ( pixelated) and format is a PDF in Raster format. This will have to be converted to a Vector PDF format and can be done easily by any CAD savvy person.

Raster to Vector conversion -

If you have received a PDF from your customers CAD Department, chances are it is in Vector PDF format with all the PMI data. To determine if it is in Vector format vs raster.

If it is Vector format it can easily convert it to 3D CAD model if you have Simens NX, Solidworks, Solid Edge, AutoCad, Auto Desk Fusion, Catia and Unigraphics CAD software. All can import and convert 2D to 3D and most have been able to do so for ten years!