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Pictures to DesignCAD

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Old 11-05-2004, 04:45 PM
  #1
ridietz
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Default Pictures to DesignCAD

Anybody tell me how to take a digital picture and use it as background for design work in DesignCAD. This would be a handy tool but I don't want to spend $500 to do it.

Thx.

Dick Dietz, AMA87885
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Old 11-05-2004, 06:14 PM
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BillS
 
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Default RE: Pictures to DesignCAD

The Drawing Room at:
EngSw.com
might give you some ideas.

Thanks.

Bill
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Old 11-05-2004, 07:33 PM
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Default RE: Pictures to DesignCAD

Dear Dick Dietz:

The PIPE here yet AGAIN...and a CONFIRMED DesignCAD NUT since 1992...!

I'll need to ask you some questions before I can really help you...

firstly, do you need to get a scale OR model construction drawing into DesignCAD to trace over it?

secondly, which version of DesignCAD do you have access to (I'm using DC 3000 myself here at home)...

and thirdly, do you have access to a FLATBED type of computer scanner to scan the artwork into your computer? (It DOES easily convert prints from film camera photos in a digital image usable with DesignCAD)...!

Hope to hear from you VERY soon...I've got a scale drawing from Windsock Datafile No.44 on the Bristol Scout series of VERY early WW I British planes in DesignCAD 3000 to trace over, some MORE this weekend, to get EXACTLY what I'll need to start building one in 1/4th scale later next Spring...so I've got DC RIGHT HERE on my PC, and I'd just need some more DETAILED info from you to help you along the way, in getting YOUR project in DC going...!

Yours Sincerely,

The PIPE!
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Old 11-10-2004, 02:23 PM
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Default RE: Pictures to DesignCAD

I have used scanned or downloaded images for tracing purposes several times, with no problems. I have DesignCAD 3DMax 15, the latest downloadable version from IMSI.

I don't know how familiar you are with DesignCAD, so forgive me if I am telling you some things you already know.

Use File/Image/Load Image File. I have inserted JPEG, GIF, TIFF and EPS files successfully. You have the choice of inserting at full size (this is what you want, most likely) - simply doubleclick in the drawing window once the load dialog is complete, OR you can resize the image before pasting by clicking lower left/upper right corners for the pasted image. I don't think this latter function is very useful because it does not permit you to scale in a controlled fashion.

Although DesignCAD does provide an autotrace function for bitmaps, I have done all my tracing by hand because the autotrace is prone to picking up artifacts. You can tune the parameters for the autotrace but I could do a better job in less time by hand. Maybe if I had to do a lot of images it would be worth learning all the ins-and-outs of autotrace but...

You can set the drawing scale to whatever dimension you want after inserting the image. I simply measured the apparent distance (in DesignCAD internal units) from wingtip to wingtip, worked out the scaling factor to my desired span. After selecting the image, apply Edit/Selection Edit/Scale with the same x and y factors applied around the selection center.

I would recommend that you put the image into Layer 0, and LOCK that layer so it won't move. Then, do your tracing in a distinct colour in another layer. I didn't try to get the tracing bang-on, because the scanned images tend to be a bit pixellated and line widths can be a bit deceptive. I treated the tracing simply as a template, and LOCKED it into its own layer. I then began creating an accurate plan using many more layers above that.

USE LAYERS!!!

Good Luck
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Old 11-10-2004, 03:51 PM
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ridietz
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Default RE: Pictures to DesignCAD

Thanks for the insight. I have now successfully inserted .bmp files into layer 0 and am on my way. Glad to here from someone that has been there before.

Dick
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Old 11-10-2004, 03:55 PM
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Default RE: Pictures to DesignCAD

Are we talking 3 view jpgs or actual pictures of real aircraft taken out at some field? If it's pictures then you can't just import them or if you do you need to trace them using a 3D program with the axis' skewed to match the perspective of the picture. By filling in and editing elements to match mutiple views you should be able to place the elements in space where they should be. But I'm only guess ing on this since my 3D CAD skills are about .000001%.

I believe there are photo analysis programs available for doing this but they are very specialized and probably have prices to match.
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Old 11-10-2004, 05:53 PM
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Default RE: Pictures to DesignCAD

Dear Fledermaus:

The PIPE here AGAIN...and don't forget the UNITS command in DesignCAD...IF one is using a scale drawing with the MEASUREMENT units (defined with a measured scale) already on the drawing!

I used JUST this idea on the structural drawing from Windsock Datafile No.44, for my upcoming Bristol Scout C project...the units ARE right ON that drawing, and I simply drew a line that was the EXACT length of the entire scale...which in this case (it IS a British "feet-and-inches" WW I aircraft from 1915) is five feet, or 60 inches long...and I made that line 60 units long (1 unit per inch) in the DesignCAD 3000 drawing environment, so my CAD drawing ends up being the exact size of the ORIGINAL plane...I just have to remember to PLOT it at 0.250 of its original size, to get it to 1/4th Giant Scale size-to make RC MODEL construction drawings from!!!

I just don't know WHAT we'd be doing without the niceties of CAD software...the Bristol Scout C, Fokker M.5K/MG Eindecker, Sopwith Dolphin, Ansaldo SVA 5, RAF S.E.5a, and the JUNKERS D I (my FAVORITE WW I plane!!) are ALL on DesignCAD on my home PC in various stages of drawing completion (the Junkers IS the closest one to completion...VERY close!!!)...and with Windsock Datafiles on the Avro 504 (see at http://www.biplanes.de/show_old_rhinebeck_02.shtml for MY subject aircraft for that one...they ARE my photos to begin with), Pfalz D XII, Phönix D I, Junkers J I, Hannover CL III, Halberstadt D II, and Siemens-Schuckert D III/D IV already IN my library...with the RAF F.E.8, AND Bréguet-Quatorze to be purchased for THIS Christmas...and I'll very likely end up having a miniature OLD RHINEBECK of my very own as the years roll on......!

But the Bristol Scout C STARTS the whole collection...GOT to get back to that drawing again...

Yours Sincerely,

The PIPE!
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Old 10-20-2007, 08:11 AM
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Default RE: Pictures to DesignCAD

could use some help with turbocad. Never used it before,and would like to do the following if possible. i have 8.5x11 aircraft drawings, cale sand dimensions are shown on the drawing. could use help with the following:

can i convert all dimensions shown from mm to inches.

how do you find the scale used if only dimensions are shown, but no scale bar.
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Old 10-20-2007, 12:41 PM
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Default RE: Pictures to DesignCAD

cuoremia, you can't just move an image like that into CAD directly and have it come out bang on to scale. The CAD program doesn't care that it's a 3view drawing with dimensions. It just sees a bunch of color bits that come in as an image.

Assuming you're using a later version of TurboCAD and not the earlier ones before Ver7 that didn't like images very much you can import the image as an element using the "insert object" or "insert Image" and then use the "insert from file". This function seems to take a bit of fiddling depending on the versions. For myself I've had my best luck saving my scanned image in Paintshop Pro and import the PP file directly. I went through a lot of images of just the Windows Icon before I got this method to work. So you'll likely need to play with your own setup and try some options as well.

Anyhow, once you have the scanned image file plunked down you can do one of two things. There's raster to vector (as in image to CAD) converters that look for sharp differences in the image (lines) and try to convert the black or colored lines of the image to CAD lines. But frankly unless your image uses very fine and narrow lines this usually ends up being a disaster with so many odd line elements and other junk that you'll spend far more time cleaning up the converted drawing than you will if you just trace over the key elements yourself.

Remember tracing paper? That's sort of what you'll do here. I like to pick a new color for my CAD lines for tracing so they stand out from the image lines. Something like bright blue or red. Now trace with lines and curves and circles over your 3 view using the zoom in on the mouse wheel to set the vertices down in the middle of the suddenly very thick image lines. Generally you can make a working trace using this technique in an hour or two and then get rid of the image and just work with the CAD lines from that point on.

Once you've gotten a rough working trace into your system play with it a little to rotate by a few 1/10ths of a degree to line up the traced lines to a true horizontal and vertical set of datum lines you set down using the Ortho function before you start doing the structure details. Also at the same time you can then blow up the trace (which will likely be quite small up to now) to whatever size you require from Pnut scale to full size. Use the Dimension tool to mark the span or other known length and then use the Scale factor to enlarge or reduce the overall drawing size until the dimension you laid down matches what you want. Because you can scale in small decimal fractions of a % you can soon get it "close enough" by working with hundredths or thousandths of a % in the scale factor.
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Old 10-20-2007, 07:24 PM
  #10
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Default RE: Pictures to DesignCAD

Thanks, for taking the time,to answer what must be a pretty dumb question,but I've just bought turbocad,and am not familiar with it. I printed out your instructions, and will follow them,when my turbocad arrives.

I knew you can't import an image, and have it come out bang on scale, I appreciate your time to share your expertise with me.

Mike
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Old 10-20-2007, 08:53 PM
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No problem. And having traced over images like this for 4 or 5 projects now I can tell you that it's not all that bad. And remember that you don't need the whole thing. Just get the meat and potatoes and add the asparagus later on yourself.... Top, side and front view. Any fuselage sections. Landing gear and canopy/windscreen details and the like that you must have to make the model. From there it's all model based design work and you can toss the image.
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