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Re: Drawing file conversion from handwriting and pdf file to Auto Cadd dwg file

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By digitizing the drawings and working them in autocad, I'm afraid you will only be bringing the client into the 20th century. As much as I have been known to rail against BIM as it applies to my practice, this may be the right time to suggest the client consider building a model of the building in 3 dimensions using one of the popular BIM packages. It will provide a great deal more flexibility in future work on the building to have as much of it in solid form as can be made.

Most conversion programs I've seen (there used to be a dozen services advertised in Cadalyst) are just line sements - there's very little clean up and no adherence to a set of customized drawing standards. If simple on-line storage is the goal (i.e. to be able to bring up and either electronically transmit or print out portions of files) then there are a couple of solutions. Steel Dynamics in Roanoke, VA has done with their plant drawings though the scans may be in a proprietary format. You might also see if your local university has done the same with their old hand drawings. VT has a system, but - thanks to my architect friends - I have not had to use it much.

Scanning is cheap if you can get the right shop or cut a deal. I was getting scans at $1/sheet (D or E) in Roanoke, and for $1.25 in Blacksburg (had to negotiate that one). For $15k I picked up a laser plotter/scanner/copier this spring that does up to 36" wide sheets, and does a pretty good, fast job (5-6 second D size scan, 15 second D size print).

You might also check the forums on - they're are people there who have transitioned from paper to digital.


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