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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Learning Autocad: Tracing Paper Drawings Fast

Have you ever wanted to import a paper drawing into AutoCAD? For designers and draftsmen who have a large number of paper drawings, using the following set of techniques can save a great deal of time.

The first step in importing a paper drawing into AutoCAD is to scan the drawing. If your scanner is not big enough to scan a large drawing you may find that there is a local printer who has a table top scanner you can use. The ten to twenty dollars you spend to get a drawing scanned will save you dozens of hours of work. Make sure the drawing file is scanned at 100DPI to 300DPI. For most applications 100DPI is a better choice because the files are smaller.

Once the drawing is scanned, copy the file onto your computer. Launch any version of AutoCAD from version 2000 on. From the Insert menu, choose Image. If you wish, you can look up Raster Image in the AutoCAD Help files to get a list of all the commands you can use to work with scanned images.

Insert the raster image at 0,0,0 and accept the default scale. This will insert a very small version of your scanned image into your drawing. At the Command prompt, type SCALE. Select the image you just inserted. Specify 0,0,0 as the basepoint for the scale operation. This will stop the lower left corner of the drawing from moving.

Type R to indicate that you want to specify a Reference Distance. Then carefully click two points representing a known distance. This could be the endpoints of a dimensioned line or circle. When prompted, specify the true distance between the two points.

This will scale the drawing to its true size. You can now use standard drawing, editing and layering commands to trace the drawing. In most versions of AutoCAD, from the Format menu choose Draw Order to send any object to the front or back. This makes it easy to keep the scanned image behind, or under, all the other objects on your screen.

Most versions of AutoCAD also have a command called WIPEOUT that will let you hide patches of a drawing. Use this if you want to just cover up part of a scanned drawing so you can draw new geometry over it. You can then plot the drawing and you will see the image and your new geometry all plotted on the same page. This is a fast and dirty way to revise a scanned drawing.

Importing scanned images into drawings is useful for inserting logos, photos and rendered images into your drawings as well. Remember that you can always use the scale command to make the image fit the drawing file you are inserting it into.

Take time to experiment with the tools covered in this article. You can find step by step instructions for inserting and scaling images into drawings by visiting Please Login or Register to see the link.. Just search for scanned drawing to see relevant tutorials for all versions.

Nancy Fulton is a writer, trainer and founder of the Complete Support website. You can find more of her tutorials and articles at Please Login or Register to see the link. and Please Login or Register to see the link..

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