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Convert 2D drawings to 3d for fabrication [message #22559] Thu, 13 January 2011 15:52 UTC Go to next message
avatar Gene Roban  is currently offline Gene Roban
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I'm a retired draftsman. I have 2D scaled engineering drawings for several pieces of equipment that I would like to have fabricated.

Are there service bureaus that will do this conversion for me?

If I choose to do it myself,can anyone recommend PC software that would make the job simple?
Re: Convert 2D drawings to 3d for fabrication [message #22562 is a reply to message #22559 ] Thu, 13 January 2011 16:03 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Youknowwho4eva  is currently offline Youknowwho4eva
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Gene,

What file format are your drawings?
If you need help with converting to 3D, post in the modeler needed section. Lots of helpful people here. I for one will help if they are fairly simple, don't have a lot of time right now for difficult stuff.

Depending on you file format there are different suggestions. Also if you have a budget. No budget, Sketch-up would be the easiest to learn, and wouldn't be too difficult to turn 2D into 3D. If you have a budget, I'd stick with the software that best supports your file type.


I learned a long time ago the wisest thing I can do is be on my own side, be an advocate for myself and others like me. -Maya Angelou
michael@shapeways.com Community Advocate
Re: Convert 2D drawings to 3d for fabrication [message #22564 is a reply to message #22559 ] Thu, 13 January 2011 16:30 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar GlenG  is currently offline GlenG
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Gene,
Even if these are 2-d CAD drawings I don't think there is any way to magically convert them to the 3d file formats required for CNC or other computerized fabrication methods. I think you will be stuck with the task of re-drawing everything using software that can create a 3d "solid" model. For CAM you need something that will generate an .STL file (stereo lithography). This is pretty much the default file format for all computer driven fabrication methods.
There are software packages out there available for free or reasonable cost. Go checkout "Alibre.com". They have free trial software and basic full function packages starting at $99. Plus an online support network. Otherwise just enter 3d CAD in your search engine to see more options.

As to being "Simple" that is always a relative term eh? But if you are a retired draftsman you probably already have the time and the visualization skills needed to get back to work. Just a few new tools to learn.

-G


"Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art."
Leonardo da Vinci
Re: Convert 2D drawings to 3d for fabrication [message #22574 is a reply to message #22562 ] Thu, 13 January 2011 17:40 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Gene Roban  is currently offline Gene Roban
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HI-
I apologize, I was not at all clear about my issues.

I'm one of those antique draftsmen - My drawings are ink on Linen , pencil on vellum. I've traced a few of them using Adobe Illustrator in order to send them to friends as PDF or ai files.

I think I'm looking for software that can import those pdf/ai files and allow me to trace over them using the new 3D software to generate the correct filetypes for 3D printing/stereolithography

I looked at Alibre, but it doesn't seem to allow the user to import pdf or ai files.

I hope this is more clear than my first message.

Gene

Re: Convert 2D drawings to 3d for fabrication [message #22575 is a reply to message #22559 ] Thu, 13 January 2011 17:48 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Youknowwho4eva  is currently offline Youknowwho4eva
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I'm not sure if sketchup has pdf import. I'm fairly sure blender does, but if you're a manual draftsman blender will be a daunting learning experience. The software I use (KeyCreator) allows PDF import, and is very easy to use. It is a little pricey though. I know they have a light version, but if my memory serves me correctly, it's not a solids program. AutoCAD should be able to import PDF's as well, and their light version I'm fairly sure has solids.


I learned a long time ago the wisest thing I can do is be on my own side, be an advocate for myself and others like me. -Maya Angelou
michael@shapeways.com Community Advocate
Re: Convert 2D drawings to 3d for fabrication [message #22594 is a reply to message #22574 ] Fri, 14 January 2011 00:57 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar GlenG  is currently offline GlenG
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Gene,
You might want to try saving your "scans" as jpeg/jpg files. Many CAD programs will allow you to import this kind of bit mapped image. Although I don't see how this is going to save you from having to reconstruct everything as a 3d solid. Computers are still kind of dumb when it comes to translating 2d information into 3d. Not all 3d imagery is the same. It is one thing to draw a shape that appears three dimensional on a screen or in print. But in order to do 3d multi axis fabrication all parameters of a shape must be provided. The software needs to understand that what you are showing it (or drawing) is truly a solid object and not just a representation. The good news is that solid modelers more or less do this automatically. If you draw a valve cover with pockets and bolt holes it understands what you mean. However, if you show it a picture (an image file) of the same valve cover it might just as well be a picture of a tree or a dog. This is what I mean when I said computers are still kind of dumb. In the long run it will probably be easier to just start from scratch.

So Gene, what kind of things are you trying to create here? Engines, aircraft, bridges?
-G


"Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art."
Leonardo da Vinci
Re: Convert 2D drawings to 3d for fabrication [message #22595 is a reply to message #22594 ] Fri, 14 January 2011 02:01 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Gene Roban  is currently offline Gene Roban
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Glen,
Thanks for your friendly response.

I've attached a drawing of my first Shapeways project. I think the results will tell me a lot about the process.

I'm shocked to learn that software can't digest 3 orthograpic views to create a mathematical model. It sounds like I'm in a pickle unless I can hire someone to take on that task. I can't afford to experiment around with very expensive software that may not even work.

If you happen to know of a person or firm that takes on small jobs like this, I'd appreciate any help you may be able to offer.

Best wishes,
Gene


Re: Convert 2D drawings to 3d for fabrication [message #22596 is a reply to message #22594 ] Fri, 14 January 2011 02:04 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Gene Roban  is currently offline Gene Roban
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Glen,

I sent the wrong filetype - here's a pdf

Gene

Re: Convert 2D drawings to 3d for fabrication [message #22598 is a reply to message #22596 ] Fri, 14 January 2011 04:21 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar stonysmith  is currently offline stonysmith
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If you could upload this file in vector form (AI or DXF) it might be a bit easier to convert to 3d.

Also.. remove the bounding lines, and the PC lines. Also convert all lines from dashed to solid.


Patience, Persistance, Politeness - the 3Ps will help us get us to Perfect Printed Products
Re: Convert 2D drawings to 3d for fabrication [message #22676 is a reply to message #22595 ] Sat, 15 January 2011 22:54 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar GlenG  is currently offline GlenG
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Gene,
Here is another something to check out:
http://www.archipelis.com/userManual.php

I have not used this software, I have no idea how well it performs but it offers a free demo and the full price is under $50. Archipelis claims to allow 3d models to be made from photos.






[Updated on: Sun, 16 January 2011 20:39 UTC]


"Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art."
Leonardo da Vinci
Re: Convert 2D drawings to 3d for fabrication [message #22689 is a reply to message #22595 ] Sun, 16 January 2011 20:07 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar GlenG  is currently offline GlenG
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Hi Gene,
to try this freeware to convert Raster images (BMP,TIF,GIF,JPG, PNG) into Vector images (DXF, SHP, MIF, WMF) go to: (http://www.wintopo.com/wintopo-free.htm

This will allow 3d software to recognize the lines of your scanned drawings as true lines and not just a jumble of pixels representing a line. This could be the first step in creating a 3d model from your drawings. Good luck and NEVER give up.

-G

P.S. Thank Mike "Youknowwho4eva" for the link.

[Updated on: Sun, 16 January 2011 20:43 UTC]


"Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art."
Leonardo da Vinci
Re: Convert 2D drawings to 3d for fabrication [message #22691 is a reply to message #22689 ] Sun, 16 January 2011 21:34 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar Gene Roban  is currently offline Gene Roban
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Thanks, Glen - I'll give it a try immediately. I like WinTopo's attitude- they plug harder for their charities than they do for their software. Not much of that around these days.

Gene
Re: Convert 2D drawings to 3d for fabrication [message #22693 is a reply to message #22691 ] Sun, 16 January 2011 22:22 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar GlenG  is currently offline GlenG
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I'm a MacOS guy so WinTopo is out for me. I downloaded the Archipelis demo but I found it to be a confusing mess.
If you can make WInTopo work then Alibre could be a good tool for constructing your solid model. I recommend at least playing with the demo.

As someone else suggested, you should eliminate any reference lines (section lines, dimensional lines etc.) also eliminate any text from the drawing. In short, include nothing other than solid lines that describe the actual model you are trying to create. It would be great if all arcs & intersecting lines join cleanly but this might not be a problem for the conversion.

Good luck with this, I'm a train buff myself, n-gauge. I live in Pittsburgh and am completely captivated by our bridges. I would love to model and print these in metal sometime. This is relatively easy work in 3d CAD.............. all straight lines and sections!

-G


"Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art."
Leonardo da Vinci
Re: Convert 2D drawings to 3d for fabrication [message #22723 is a reply to message #22693 ] Tue, 18 January 2011 03:00 UTC Go to previous messageGo to next message
avatar GlenG  is currently offline GlenG
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Somebody else mentioned a free CAD program called "Draftsight". It is only a 2d program but it allows you to create 3d visualizations. Meaning, it will appear as 3d, but it can't create 3d solid model files. The program is created by the makers of the ultra hi end program, SolidWorks. I played with this program today and it would be a great starting point for learning CAD. Amazingly great deal @ : $0.00


"Where the spirit does not work with the hand, there is no art."
Leonardo da Vinci
Re: Convert 2D drawings to 3d for fabrication [message #22760 is a reply to message #22693 ] Tue, 18 January 2011 16:17 UTC Go to previous message
avatar Gene Roban  is currently offline Gene Roban
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Glen,

Pittsburgh is place for bridge lovers, alright - I was fascinated myself when I saw the riverfront area for the first time. I've been seeing beautiful scale brides fabricated using photoetched brass and they come out beautiful looking, but the process is much more expensive than 3D printing. Have you seen the photoetched models?

Gene

 
   
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