Term "Paper to CAD" within the AEC industry means the process of converting a paper drawing into CAD format. There are some very similar terms: CAD conversion, PDF to DWG, raster to vector, vectorization, paper-to-cad, and some more. "CAD" stands for Computer Aided Design. However, in the context of paper to CAD conversion the term "CAD" implies professional drafting software file formats. As for the term "paper", it refers to a single paper drawing or a set of architectural, civil, electrical, HVAC, structural or other drawings.
Three ways of paper to CAD conversion can be used: automatic, semi-automatic, and manual. The first one is performed by scanning a paper drawing and converting it into a CAD format using raster to CAD conversion software. This approach has some drawbacks as long as not every raster to CAD conversion application can recognize text, patterns and dimension lines. As a result the CAD file can contain a mess of lines and dots instead of circles, lines, arcs and text as text separated into several layers. The second way adds manual error correction to automatic conversion. The third approach involves complete redrawing of the original drawing in a CAD application.
There are several reasons why paper to CAD conversion is needed. First, electronic drawings can be easily edited in professional software. Secondly, such drawings can be stored and searched on a local or network disk so those specialists who need a CAD document can access it much faster as comparing to working with paper drawings. In addition to this, CAD documents do not require special room for storage, they can be easily backed up, they are unlikely to be damaged in emergency, and they are not aging with time.
To sum up, conversion from paper to CAD can be useful to those CAD companies which have a large archive of paper drawings and want to convert them into electronic format. It is recommended to use the services of CAD services providers - companies which specialize in paper to CAD conversion. Using their services a company can have its paper drawings converted at the shortest possible time and save money on purchasing CAD applications and training its specialists.
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