View Full Version : Convert pictures to cad format... how?

Benjamin Borowsky
10-15-2003, 12:29 PM
Or, more specifically, what program can be used to do so? Preferably, a freeware one... Thanks in advance.

Just got my Sherline mill CNC'd... Yesterday I cut a letter. My wife, ever enthusiastic, said "And what will you do with a 'B'?"

Ah, she just doesn't get it.

Luckily, she tolerates it.


10-15-2003, 12:55 PM

Pictures of what? In what format?

Benjamin Borowsky
10-15-2003, 01:02 PM
Various line drawings. They're in various formats (tiff, jpg, bmp), and I thought they'd be a nice basis for some engravings.


10-15-2003, 01:13 PM
For line drawings this is entirely doable. I don't know about freeware, when I have time I'll look for you. You need a program that will convert a raster image to vector. I use Corel OCR-Trace. It will accept a TIFF or other format and trace it to a vector format. It doesn't save to CAD format but it can save to HPGL and a variety of other formats that can be imported into a CAD program.

You need the best possible starting images for good results.

10-15-2003, 01:25 PM

I use Trace Art it is the best that i have found, you can download a demo form the website.

have fun

10-15-2003, 01:37 PM

Here are some links to freeware tracers:


Here is one for DOS that looks really interesting:


I have not tried these, let us know what you think.

Benjamin Borowsky
10-15-2003, 03:19 PM
Thanks, guys, I'll try these and let you know how they work out.


Ragarsed Raglan
10-16-2003, 08:09 AM
You might like to try a search on a programme called 'Scan2Cad', it's got a 1 month trial period and was reviewed a few months back in M.E magazine where it got rave billing.

We tried it at work and have been pretty pleased with it for doing electrical drawings.


10-16-2003, 08:46 AM
My version 14 of AUTOCAD has a pcx input subroutine in it's drop down menu.

I had a pcx2dxf program years ago. It had one install, I went in with pctools and changed it to hexFF (255) where it would be now I don't have a clue..

It works great by the way.. I sometimes engrave, sometimes layout right on the steel. I paint the steel white, use the transfer paper I use tattooing with a iron. The Spirit thermal copy paper makes pretty durable blue lines you can then engrave or drill..

Any way I can help, just email me.. I have a box of the transfer paper, it is kinda hard for the normal person to find.. I am running wide open these days, answer email twice a day now.

YOu can do circuit boards the same way, etch them with the blue as the resist.