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Why Convert Paper Drawings to CAD?
While CAD systems have become commonplace in most architectural and engineering offices, the integration of manually created drawings with the CAD system is still a topic that many professionals disagree on. Three solutions to this problem exist today.
- CAD Conversion
- Scanning and Editing a Raster Image
- Manually Maintaining Drawings on Paper
CAD conversion offers significant advantages, such as cost savings, increased drawing value, and improved overall drawing management efficiency.
Add Value to Drawings
Once the drawing is in CAD format, the uses for it increase dramatically. For instance, intelligent CAD files can be used with cost estimating software, facilities management applications such as area calculation and inventory tracking as well as engineering design and analysis software or numerically controlled machining in manufacturing.
Intelligent CAD drawings can also significantly reduce the time required to extract data from the drawings and enter it into databases which are used for such things as maintenance and material control, project management, quality assurance attributes with symbols from a vectorized drawing.
The Hidden Costs of Paper
Manual methods of handling, storing, and maintaining paper drawings are difficult, time-consuming, and costly since most information is still in paper form. The following are some of the most obvious problems with maintaining paper archives:
- Paper drawings, mylar, blueprints, and other media are susceptible to aging and damage over time.
- Manual-based revisions are costly, particularly with drawings requiring frequent updates.
- Paper is slow to distribute. It takes longer to copy and distribute a single piece of paper than it takes to distribute or reproduce several documents electronically.
- You may be fully modernized, with a full suite of CAD software, but what about your contractors, subcontractors, and business partners? Many transactions between companies are inefficiently conducted with manual archives even when the originals may have been CAD files.
- Paper is cumbersome. It is often hard to find specific information in specific documents. Electronic searching is more efficient and faster.
- Paper is restricted in format. It is limited to graphics and text, while electronic documents can contain hyperlinks, audio, and video.
- Paper is static. It can be out of date even before it is distributed because of lengthy release cycles. The added concern of who has the most recent revision exacerbates this problem.
- Facilities costs for the storage and maintenance of paper archives can be substantial. Justifying a document management system can be based on significant reductions in facility costs alone.
- Paper gets lost. It is estimated that five to seven percent of technical assets are lost or misfiled using manual procedures for handling paper drawings.