Converting raster images to vector format is a little like magic – it all happens in a single click! Of course, users need to know the right spell to cast (well, the right vectorization type setting to apply). Scan2CAD comes with a range of vectorization type settings – pre-programmed sets of variables that control how the raster-to-vector conversion is carried out. They help the software decide whether to look out for arcs or Bezier curves; to trace the image edges closely or smooth them over. It’s these settings that make it easy for a wide range of users to vectorize their images in Scan2CAD. You can choose which setting to use depending on the type of image and output you’re aiming for. Use this handy guide to figure out which vectorization setting you should use.
Mechanical drawings are drawings that are made with precision instruments. Engineers and technicians prepare these designs with strict technical requirements in mind; every drawing accurately captures the specifications of each part: dimensions, quantities of material, angle tolerances, installation instructions, and so on. As such, mechanical drawings consist of straight, orthogonal lines and geometric shapes. The elements in mechanical drawings have perfectly uniform measurements such as 90-degree angles and curves with a uniform radius. Contrast this with organic, freehand shapes. The Scan2CAD mechanical vectorization setting looks out for straight lines, right angles and arcs.
Electrical schematic diagrams are made up of straight lines joined together at right angles. The electrical vectorization setting differs from the mechanical one in its treatment of overlapping lines. The intersections in electrical diagrams denote where the wires form an electrical connection. If there’s a connection, electricity passes through both wires and they aren’t insulated from each other. Contrast this with site plans, in which intersecting lines are simply two separate lines crossing over or overlapping with each other.
Contour maps are designed to capture information about the Earth’s elevation, such as the steepness of slopes and the positions of hills in a landscape. Since the Earth isn’t made of straight lines, contour maps aren’t too. In other contexts, contour maps represent the boundary of a shape. When this setting is chosen, Scan2CAD converts the shape into Bezier curves or splines. Scan2CAD can also retain the different colours of the contour map, so you can always differentiate green grass from blue rivers!
Architectural floor plans are scale diagrams of a building. Since they reflect the shape and dimensions of buildings, they tend to be made up of horizontal and vertical lines. Scan2CAD needs to keep these lines as straight as possible. The architectural vectorization setting applies processes like corner sharpening (to create 90-degree angles), gap jumping (to fill in gaps and create unbroken straight lines) and corner snapping (to make two vectors meet nicely at a corner).
Site plans differ from architectural floor plans in that they illustrate the actual landscape of the parcel of land. This includes the contours and the topography of the land, as well as important landscape elements (such as a large oak tree, sewer lines, trails and so on). When treating site plans, Scan2CAD is careful not to create orthogonal lines.
A vector drawing prepared for CNC profiling has to meet the requirements of the CNC process. For example, the shapes in the drawing must be uniform and “machinable”, so that a machine can characterize it using formulas. The vector shapes in the drawing define the actual cut paths that the machine will follow – so you have to be careful not to create unwanted lines in the drawing. Scan2CAD optimizes for these requirements by reducing the number of lines and node points where possible.
As its name suggests, the outline setting outlines solid areas of black or colour. It’s the go-to setting if you’re looking to trace the edges of your drawing.
As photographs can be so varied, it’s difficult to have a predefined set of parameters that can be applied generally. Therefore, Scan2CAD allows you to define the conversion settings every time you vectorize an image. You can choose which elements are identified, such as circles, regular polygons, beziers, and more. There’s a preview window too so that you can experiment with a variety of settings until you get your desired output. The picture/photo setting can be surprisingly powerful. You can use it to create clean outlines of very detailed elements — just by defining “non solid” in the conversion settings window.
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