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Converting CAD Drawing Files Into Graphics-Based Files

03/03/2012 2:27 PM

Hello all. For starters I'm looking for some advice on how to convert standard CAD drawing files into usable graphics-based files.

Okay, here is some background info:

I'm currently using CMS IntelliCAD (an AutoCAD clone) and have designed a new company logo using it. I can only save the logo drawing to a *.dwg or *.dxf formatted file. I want to insert this logo into my company website header next to the company name. I just started developing this website the other day and haven't gotten to far. I'm currently using WordPress (WP). Be gentle, I'm a newbie at website development! Also, I'm not sure if WP supports the import of standard drawing file types that I've previously mentioned. So far, I haven't not found any WordPress FAQ's that cover this issue.

As a backup, I have ordered Adobe Dreamweaver Cs5 for my website design, but have not received it yet via the USPS mail. I do not know it's full capabilities......FYI I have registered to take a Dreamweaver course at the local community college, so that's my first line of defense if the WP platform is inadequate for my needs. Again, I'm not sure if I can import the drawing file into the Dreamweaver platform and convert it into a user friendly file format either.

Overall, I'm looking for advice how to convert drawing files into some sort of graphics-based file format.

1. WordPress Questions:

a. Is it possible to convert the drawing files types into a usable graphics file format that Wordpress can import?

b. If yes, then how is it done in WP? I'll need step-by-step instructions...yeah, hold my hand and show me the way!

c. Furthermore, what format(s) would I have to convert the drawing files into so that WP would recognize it?

2. Dreamweaver Questions:

(same as Questions 1a through 1c above)

3. Other Questions:

1. Are there other software packages out there that can convert the drawing files into acceptable formats that I can insert into the webpage. If there are any free-share platforms (compatible with WP or Dreamweaver) available for e-download that would be super. If not, I don't mind spending amount of $$$$, but not a small fortune. I must stress that I am restarting my consulting engineering firm and there is no cash cow + a limited cash flow involved here. I hate to sound cheapo (and I'll admit that I am, just like everyone else on the planet), but that's the facts Jack....

TIA!!!!!

===signed,

CaptMoosie

(a CE, but not a webjockey)

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#1

Re: CONVERTING CAD DRAWING FILES INTO GRAPHICS-BASED FILES

03/03/2012 2:30 PM

Sooo sorry for the grammatical errors in the Thread opening. I should have proof read it much closer before okaying it.

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#7
In reply to #1

Re: CONVERTING CAD DRAWING FILES INTO GRAPHICS-BASED FILES

03/04/2012 11:54 AM

Hi guy... If U're newbie playing around 2 get your graphic out of CAD application without much of geometrical prescision in mine, just open your graphic as U can see it fully displayed then click => START MENU => PROGRAMS => ACCESORIES => then open SNIPPER application => your screen would become shadowed, then from SNIPPER Menu => pick your snipping tool => Click & hold Ur mouse at one corner of the intended image => drag accross to the opposite corner & release mouse button. Do de usual stuffs, ie => SAVE as JPEG. U can also play with your back ground colour b4 snipping, then matter closed! This is quicker but only for dommies & can only be done with windows vista & windows 7 or later windows.

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#2

Re: CONVERTING CAD DRAWING FILES INTO GRAPHICS-BASED FILES

03/03/2012 2:42 PM

Don't know about the web page requirements but look at CaptureWiz. This lets you window anything on your screen & copy, save or print it. Saves as JPEG, WMF or bitmap.

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#3

Re: CONVERTING CAD DRAWING FILES INTO GRAPHICS-BASED FILES

03/03/2012 2:48 PM

The SaveAs options may give a few possible filetypes; there may be some more filetypes available under the Import/Export menu. (Not sure if IntelliCAD has this.)

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#4

Re: CONVERTING CAD DRAWING FILES INTO GRAPHICS-BASED FILES

03/03/2012 4:22 PM

Best way I've found is to use Print Preview, then some kind of screen capture to save logo as a .bmp or .jpg etc.

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#5

Re: CONVERTING CAD DRAWING FILES INTO GRAPHICS-BASED FILES

03/03/2012 6:26 PM

For any of the web-site software, you'll probably need your graphics in jpg, png, bmp, tif, or maybe wmf format.

AutoCAD has 'JpgOut', 'PngOut', 'BmpOut', 'TifOut', 'WmfOut' commands and can plot to pdf and, I think, jpg. I'm not familiar with IntelliCAD, but maybe it has similar capabilities. If so, you'll get a better quality graphic than screen capturing it.

I sent you a PM.

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#19
In reply to #5

Re: CONVERTING CAD DRAWING FILES INTO GRAPHICS-BASED FILES

03/05/2012 10:04 AM

Bigg is right. AutoCAD comes with standard drivers that let you plot to jpg or png files. Just hit the plot button and they should show up under the printer/plotter drop down box and you won't have the loss of resolution screen captures will have.

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#31
In reply to #19

Re: CONVERTING CAD DRAWING FILES INTO GRAPHICS-BASED FILES

03/28/2012 2:53 PM

2 GA's...PLOT...not Save AS

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#6

Re: Converting CAD DRawing Files Into Graphics-Based Files

03/04/2012 11:39 AM

Save the drawing as an Solidworks Edrawing (program can be loaded from Solid works (was at no cost awhile back)). Then save the drawing as a jip file. It then can be imported into Word Perfect.

Good Luck

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#8
In reply to #6

Re: Converting CAD DRawing Files Into Graphics-Based Files

03/04/2012 12:04 PM

As it's only for an image on a web page, the quality obtained by screen capture will be adequate, and has the advantage of being quick, easy and wysiwyg.

This shot, for example, was made using [CTRL]-PtrSc, pasting into Paint, cropping and saving as a .bmp:

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#32
In reply to #8

Re: Converting CAD DRawing Files Into Graphics-Based Files

05/03/2012 10:38 AM

OMG... how did that little graphic know what you were going to type. Is AI back in vogue?

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#33
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Re: Converting CAD DRawing Files Into Graphics-Based Files

05/03/2012 10:58 AM
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#13
In reply to #6

Re: Converting CAD DRawing Files Into Graphics-Based Files

03/04/2012 9:09 PM

What's a jip file? Never heard of it. Sounds like spending too much money to get little in return.

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#9

Re: Converting CAD DRawing Files Into Graphics-Based Files

03/04/2012 4:16 PM

Cap'n, Intellicad can do photorealistic rendering from 3D models so you shoul have the option to save a rendering into a variety of different file types. What you need to do is save your logo as a .png file with an alpha channel ( transparent background). Most cad softwares have this option. This way you can place your logo on top of any background color and have the background visible around your logo. The other suggestion are good but your limited to what you can do with the logo. If you take a screen shot of a black logo on a white background, your logo on your website will always have a square or rectangle frame with a white background. It's fine if that what you want but I think the "white" of Wordpress will be visibly different from the "white" in Intellicad.

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#10

Re: Converting CAD DRawing Files Into Graphics-Based Files

03/04/2012 6:42 PM

I really appreciate everyone's suggestions and comments, because there are a whole bunch of great ideas floating out there!

I think one of the biggest obstacles that I'm facing is that my version of CMS IntelliCAD 4 PE is so ancient (2004) and I desperately need to update it. So, some of the suggestions made by others here will not work/supported on my version of that software. Big bummers!

That, and the fact that I sux at AutoCAD and IntelliCAD. I'm an engineer, not a draftsman, who learned drafting the old fashion way back in the 70's! LOL I need to seriously sit down someday and go through all the available tutorials, plus play with the dang thing more then I have so far.

For the conversion of the *.dwg and *.dxf files into graphics formats I found, quite by accident on cnet.com, a program called "Universal Document Converter" by Digital River (Germany). I ended up buying the Pro version because of the free demo limitations. Super program and does a great job converting AutoCAD drawings into *.png, *.pdf, and *.jpg drawing formats. Very accurate and crisp outputs!!!!! It actually can convert all sorts of document formats and well worth the $69 USD I spent on it just to avoid all the other hassles! It'll come in very handy in the future.

Now I've encountered yet another problem! I don't know if it's me the dummy or the IntelliCAD platform. I tried to plot/print my mock-up of the business card (standard 2" by 4" size) and it will not print out at the correct size...always smaller by a significant percentage! What the heck am I doing wrong here??????

I thank everyone for their help!

ps: I found another great program called "XHEADER" from the UK that makes it very easy to construct all sorts of website headers......lots of templates and a very versatile management suite + easy to import pics, logos, and all sort of graphics.

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#11
In reply to #10

Re: Converting CAD DRawing Files Into Graphics-Based Files

03/04/2012 7:33 PM

Re: your card printout - check to see if there are any borders set in the "print setup" or whatever is the equivalent. If the page is 2 x 4, but there are 0.25 borders all round, the image will shrink to 1.5 x 3.5

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#12

Re: Converting CAD DRawing Files Into Graphics-Based Files

03/04/2012 7:56 PM

you will find most of what you need on this thread.

basically, use the printscreen button on your keyboard, and the crop the image in mspaint.exe, and save as bmp,jpg, etc.

the adobe products will have all the capabilities from there, but you have to learn quite a bit.

it never hurts to pose such questions on youtube, and can learn quite quickly watching a few training videos there.

cheers

Chris

ps.. you have my email...

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#14

Re: Converting CAD DRawing Files Into Graphics-Based Files

03/05/2012 1:15 AM

Hi Cap'n, I dunno a thing about DreamWeaver, but if you're looking for a good, FREE CAD package try DraftSight. It's as good as ACAD if not even better. It also has plenty of other file possibilities, so I'd say try it.

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#15

Re: Converting CAD DRawing Files Into Graphics-Based Files

03/05/2012 8:50 AM

I use Inkscape to import .dwg files, then save as .svg png plt etc.....

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#17
In reply to #15

Re: Converting CAD DRawing Files Into Graphics-Based Files

03/05/2012 9:18 AM

Letsee, I've downloaded both Inkscape & Draftsight software yesterday and today, respectively. I have had the chance to explore either yet.....time will tell if I keep 'em.

Thanks guys for the suggestions!

One thing that has irked me about the IntelliCAD4 PE software since I have owned it is it's a bigger pain in the arse than AutoCAD (any release)....both are not user friendly IMO, but that's me.

Since I don't use Autodesk's Land Development plugin nor REVIT plugin YET, maybe this Draftsight platform is what I need.......I don't need to waste hours on top of hours learning a new platform!

Still having trouble plotting/printing out my God's Scale (1:1) business card in IntelliCAD. This is getting aggravating!!!!! ACKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!! Maybe a problem between Model Space and Paper Space????? WTF????

Printer is a Kodak ESP9.....I see nothing wrong with it's setup. Every other software I use plots/prints to 100% scale...perfectly. It's the %&*$$##$% CAD program!

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#18
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Re: Converting CAD DRawing Files Into Graphics-Based Files

03/05/2012 10:02 AM

I would have thought that this didn't need to be said.. and certainly nobody else seems to be saying it.. but Autocad type softwares are bad at doing graphics. It is not their raison d'etre.

I have done artworks in Autocad back in the day... and was good at it...for silk screen stuff.. but it sucks bad.

Use Corel, Visio, Illustrator, and Photoshop etc.. and combine them. every software has some things it does better than any others. you have to know the softwares to maximize the effects you are looking for. I think I can say that Cad pkgs are simply the wrong choice. If you have parts of your graphic that you want to look 3d mechanical, then of course, choose a 3d mech package(solidworks, inventor, etc)

these days it would simply not occur to me.. (in fact I have an aversion to) to use a 2d cad package for graphics. (unless stranded on a desert island with only cad available)

Intellicad was a reasonable package for 2d drafting... and was purchased by Solidworks, and integrated into their product lineup.

and another thing that doesn't need to be said, is to work out the basics of your graphics on paper first. you will save much time that way. know what you want. If you are doing a website, make thumbnail sketches of each page.. it makes a huge difference to the final product, and saves so much time... do not gloss over this aspect of design work. Professionals do this, why not you?

chris

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#20
In reply to #18

Re: Converting CAD DRawing Files Into Graphics-Based Files

03/05/2012 10:51 AM

Chris, you're absolutely correct that I should not be using a CAD program to design my graphics.

I did purchase on Ebay yesterday "Photoshop" and "Paint Shop Photo Pro X3" graphics programs, but they won't be here until the end of the week....then I have to learn them! Heck, they were cheap......so I want to compare them

I have also downloaded "GIMP" yesterday since it's close to "Adobe Fireworks", but I haven't played with it yet.

I also have a CD of MyOffice Suite Gold Edition 2011 that has the following graphics programs:

  • paint.net: Adobe Photoshop - alternative
  • NVU: Dreamweaver - alternative
  • INKSCAPE: Corel Draw/Illustrator - alternative
  • Scribus: Microsoft Publisher - alternative
  • Impress: Microsoft Powerpoint - alternative
  • Draw: Microsoft VISIO - alternative.

Now all I have to do is learn and play around with them. I know next to nothing about graphic programs, so this will be steep learning curve!

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#21
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Re: Converting CAD DRawing Files Into Graphics-Based Files

03/05/2012 12:05 PM

you know I only need one more ga to make 200...

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#24
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Re: Converting CAD DRawing Files Into Graphics-Based Files

03/05/2012 12:51 PM

there ya go!

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#26
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Re: Converting CAD DRawing Files Into Graphics-Based Files

03/05/2012 2:04 PM

Woohoo!!!

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#34
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Re: Converting CAD DRawing Files Into Graphics-Based Files

01/29/2014 1:57 AM

yeah, I think that conversion can be done through Xpand3D. Check out this thread, may be it helps to you Guys..

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#25
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Re: Converting CAD DRawing Files Into Graphics-Based Files

03/05/2012 1:35 PM

Hey Chris, ya got it from me...the magic 200 GA!!! Thanks for the help!

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#27
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Re: Converting CAD DRawing Files Into Graphics-Based Files

03/05/2012 2:05 PM

the purpose of CR4 is validated again!

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#16

Re: Converting CAD DRawing Files Into Graphics-Based Files

03/05/2012 9:17 AM

Convert to a pdf file. Use pdf Creator; Free. Cut and paste drawings. Depending on what version of Acrobat a user has, it will even allow you to read dimensions.

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#22

Re: Converting CAD Drawing Files Into Graphics-Based Files

03/05/2012 12:30 PM

There is the other issue of people who use CAD programs for work that requires a CAD program (original design drawings for many engineering projects, for instance) and then have the need to port the drawing into a format suitable for DTP, such as user manuals, service manuals, and other technical documents. The line has become blurred, though, because some graphics and illustration programs also contain CAD-like capabilities. As pointed out by others here, most CAD packages have the option for outputting graphic files specifically for this purpose. A screen cap. might be OK in some instances, but depending on the detail and size of the drawing, exporting to a vector-based format, such as WMF or Postscript, is the only way to get the resolution needed for a readable graphic.

As a general rule, if you can create using vector-based elements you won't lose resolution when resizing the graphic to fit within a given page size. It may still become too small to read, but it won't be directly because of a predefined number of pixels that have been substituted for lines and curves. For instance, 4-point type can be read on pages output by even cheap ink jet printers because modern fonts are vector-based. Much earlier, it wasn't uncommon for fonts to be bit-mapped versions, with one for the CRT and one for the printer. Once DTP became popular as a desktop app. Postscript fonts were so much better than graphic-based fonts, that bit-mapped fonts went by the wayside. Things also changed, in part, due to the advent of digital cameras and the perceived need by manufacturers of users to print their own photographs. I think this drove resolution requirements into the equation of affordable printers to be able to print photos. While any graphic can be resized beyond the capabilities of the printer, the practical limitation with vector-based graphics, is usually the reader's eyes.

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#28
In reply to #22

Re: Converting CAD Drawing Files Into Graphics-Based Files

03/05/2012 2:19 PM

There used to be a really good product called Cad Publisher at: http://www.jwgraphics.com.au

but don't bother, it ain't there, and now has some scammy ad deal going on.

it would take a cad file, and massage it based on input options, and give a very nice antialiased version of a cad file that would look awesome when scaled down and published in another format for print typically.

Chris

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#30
In reply to #28

Re: Converting CAD Drawing Files Into Graphics-Based Files

03/05/2012 3:59 PM

Yes. And some CAD packages have offered tracing add-ons for when you only have a bit-map graphic to start with and need a scalable graphic to preserve resolution. But of the one I got bundled with Turbocad many years ago, and another one that was part of a DTP package, neither did well with CAD drawings. Given that most CAD drawings are done with precision set to 4-6 places, the drawing produced would never be the samem quality of the original CAD file. Turning a picture graphic into a vector-based graphic (a rose, for instance) didn't show the flaws as bad... at least in some instances.

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#23

Re: Converting CAD DRawing Files Into Graphics-Based Files

03/05/2012 12:48 PM

Snagit screen capture? I can't imagine that there isn't a feature available that would let you save your file to another format.

File; save as? DXF?

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#29

Re: Converting CAD Drawing Files Into Graphics-Based Files

03/05/2012 3:39 PM

I highlight the part of the cad drawing that I want to use. right click, copy. Open my word processor and right click then paste. Edit using crop tool. Then grab a corner and stretch or shrink as needed.

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