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Scan2CAD in Education

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The Gosford Campus of the TAFE NSW Hunter Institute has purchased a 50+ Seat Lab Licence of Scan2CAD raster to vector conversion software. © Paul Ricardo.

A 50+ User Lab Licence of Scan2CAD Pro raster to vector conversion software has been purchased by the TAFE (Technical and Further Education) NSW Hunter Institute, the largest trainer of apprentices and trainees in the Hunter and Central Coast region of Australia. It will allow the TAFE to cost-effectively instruct part-time CAD students in the basics of automatic vectorization of scanned documents.

The Scan2CAD Lab Licence will be used on the Gosford Campus, the NSW Hunter Institute’s southernmost campus. Gosford Campus has been an Australian centre of excellence in CAD training since it introduced its first CAD training courses in response to the demands of local industry for the then “new art” of CADD – Computer Aided Drafting and Design. With CAD now an essential skill in Australian AEC, GIS, civil, electrical and mechanical engineering, mining and other industrial design practices, the demand for training remains as strong as ever today.

At any one time, the TAFE NSW Hunter Institute has over 11,000 apprentices and trainees in training programmes. Since first introducing a CAD training course, Gosford Campus has trained thousands of part-timers new to CAD who are learning a trade, as well as mature students learning to migrate from a manual drawing board to a CAD system. Among the CAD software products covered are AutoCAD, Inventor and Revit, as well as Scan2CAD, of course. While the college is most skilled in mechanical applications, like Mechanical Engineering and Metal Fabrication & Welding, it nevertheless teaches CAD skills at all levels to students in a multitude of design disciplines, from architecture to building, civils, clothing, communications, electrical, electronics, interior design, landscape, marine, mining, surveying, town planning, etc.

“The applications for CAD seem to be limitless” said Paul Ricardo, a teacher of Mechanical Engineering.

One of the component subjects in these courses is the digitizing and scanning and automatic raster to vector conversion of a variety of paper-based technical drawings into CAD-editable DXF files suitable for importing into CAD programs, like AutoCAD.

In meeting the vectorization needs of this course, Gosford Campus staff evaluated a number of raster to vector converters over the years. They found Softcover’s Scan2CAD to be intuitive and easy to use. As a result, Softcover was approached by Paul Ricardo in 2008. “We have used the Scan2CAD demo version for some time just to demonstrate to students the principle of raster to vector conversion”, he said. “Do Softcover supply Scan2CAD Educational Lab Licences?” he asked. “We do!” was the answer. In fact, over the 15 years we have sold Scan2CAD we have supplied a many educational institutions with copies of it a special prices designed to allow affordable group training.

The CAD room at Gosford Campus. © Paul Ricardo.

Paul told us that the Gosford Campus had a need for a cost-effective Scan2CAD Lab Licence which would allow it to be used for just a few weeks each 6 month semester in a subject covering the digitizing and scanning of technical drawings. He said Gosford Campus required a total of 48 Scan2CAD seats for classroom teaching purposes and five to install on teachers’ office PCs, a total of 53 Scan2CAD licences. We were very happy to oblige and to assist in the raster to vector conversion training of a new generation of CAD users. After contacting Softcover to discuss the details and the cost of a Scan2CAD Lab Licence, Gosford TAFE was supplied with a 50+ Lab Licence of Scan2CAD.

“This type of program is not what every student will need to use in industry but I do know of students that have purchased Scan2CAD because they have used it in class” said Paul. Indeed, so do we!

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