How to convert PDF Plans to AutoCAD?? - RC Groups
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Oct 29, 2017, 01:29 PM
Registered User
Help!

How to convert PDF Plans to AutoCAD??


New to this forum.

I have purchased a set of PDF plans that I would eventually like to be able to cut my own parts. I am initially planning to build my own CNC router. I am not that acquainted with what format is best for converting to g-code, but for now, I would like to understand how I take the purchased plans in a PDF format and get them to AutoCAD, or if there is a better way that will lead to converting to G-code, I am interested in knowing.

I would appreciate any help getting stated at this.
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Oct 29, 2017, 03:58 PM
Summit Model Aeronautics
Steve85's Avatar
Here's how I do it:

- import the PDF into a drawing program (I use Inkscape because it's free)
- trace the parts I want to cut
- assemble the parts onto a "paper size" the same dimensions as the wood stock I'll be cutting
- save the resulting cutfile layout in SVG file format
- open the SVG file in my Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) program (I use Vectrix Cut2D)

Cut2D is an intuitive CAM program that allows you to easily generate G code for a CNC router, and you can try it for free before you decide to buy it for $150.

Steve
Oct 29, 2017, 09:02 PM
Registered User
Thanks for the response Steve. Not sure what is meant by "assemble the parts onto a "paper size" the same dimension as the wood stack I'll be cutting".

Also, on the PDF plans, it shows the scale. I assume I would have to scale the drawing once it is in the CAD program??

Just learning about all this and apologize for my lack of knowledge. I will look at all the other info you sent. I do appreciate it.
Oct 29, 2017, 09:50 PM
Summit Model Aeronautics
Steve85's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by medemt
Not sure what is meant by "assemble the parts onto a "paper size" the same dimension as the wood stock I'll be cutting".

Also, on the PDF plans, it shows the scale. I assume I would have to scale the drawing once it is in the CAD program??
If your PDF is full-sized, it'll retain its size and scale when you import it into Inkscape. Inkscape will also allow you to scale the drawing up or down if you want to make a larger or smaller version.

What I meant by the first statement is illustrated in the the screenshots below. The first one shows three different wing ribs that were traced over an imported PDF. The second shows them copied, pasted, and replicated onto a new sheet size that represents two 4"x36" balsa sheets, laid out for cutting.

Steve
Oct 30, 2017, 12:01 AM
Registered User
Now that makes sense. I guess I need to get busy trying your method and hopefully I can gain much better understanding. Very appreciative of you taking the time to help me get started.
Oct 30, 2017, 03:51 AM
Registered User
dpot's Avatar
but be carefull when i post my designs in pdf or images of drawings i pull them out of shape to stop copying and i all ways use images of drawing planes for pdf that way it can not be converted back from PDF to dwg so just coping a drawing over the top is not all ways good
Oct 30, 2017, 01:26 PM
Registered User
have a look at

http://www.anydwg.com/

they have lots of dxf / dwg pdf convertors that work very well for me. (not for model plans)

cheers

Dave

Quote:
Originally Posted by medemt
New to this forum.

I have purchased a set of PDF plans that I would eventually like to be able to cut my own parts. I am initially planning to build my own CNC router. I am not that acquainted with what format is best for converting to g-code, but for now, I would like to understand how I take the purchased plans in a PDF format and get them to AutoCAD, or if there is a better way that will lead to converting to G-code, I am interested in knowing.

I would appreciate any help getting stated at this.
Oct 30, 2017, 07:01 PM
-insert witty saying here-
Hemikiller's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve85
Here's how I do it:

- import the PDF into a drawing program (I use Inkscape because it's free)
- trace the parts I want to cut
- assemble the parts onto a "paper size" the same dimensions as the wood stock I'll be cutting
- save the resulting cutfile layout in SVG file format
- open the SVG file in my Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) program (I use Vectrix Cut2D)
That's it, in a nutshell.

No free lunch with converting a PDF to CAD, you have to do the manual tracing
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Oct 30, 2017, 08:39 PM
Registered User
John

Saw your build thread for the Phoenix. I purchased the plans for one today. Looking forward to reading your entire build. If you have any other input on it, feel free to post.
Oct 31, 2017, 05:07 AM
Registered User
I have used print2cad in the past when i was working..

https://www.amazon.com/Print2CAD-201...ologies%2C+LLC

not cheap though however works well and does do pdf to dxf/dwg
Dec 14, 2017, 01:31 PM
Retired CAD guy
birdofplay's Avatar
If the PDF was saved with vector then it should be directly importable
into "better" CAD's.

If not then it's raster and tough or expensive to convert.

Tracing is tedious time consuming and not very accurate as most raster lines
and a mishmash of pixels an YOU are left to interpret them.

Best to get teh Vector version in PDF or just the Verctor in the 1st place.
Dec 15, 2017, 12:18 AM
Registered User
dpot's Avatar
yes you are right there is no easy way you have to put the work in
most of my drawings that i put to PDF i use Images and not dwg so they can not be converted back in to DWG
if you are not that good with cad then i would suggest going to Devcad and have a look there.
Last edited by dpot; Dec 17, 2017 at 12:44 AM.
Dec 15, 2017, 01:53 AM
Urban sloper
GentlemanRider's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by birdofplay
If the PDF was saved with vector then it should be directly importable
into "better" CAD's.

If not then it's raster and tough or expensive to convert.

Tracing is tedious time consuming and not very accurate as most raster lines
and a mishmash of pixels an YOU are left to interpret them.

Best to get teh Vector version in PDF or just the Verctor in the 1st place.
In that sense, InkScape is a 'better' CAD
Dec 20, 2017, 10:48 AM
Oh Yeah!
SteveC68's Avatar
I haven't tried Easel yet, but it's free and it does convert raster images (bmp, jpg, etc).

Check this video.

Using Inventables Easel to import an image, and convert to a product (9 min 44 sec)
Dec 21, 2017, 12:26 AM
Registered User
dpot's Avatar
that looks like a great program will have to have a play
AAAAA it a monthly pay as you go In that sense, InkScape is a 'better' CAD


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