Advantages of 2D to 3D CAD Conversion
In today’s design world, 3D models are the preferred option for easy visualization. So, what do you do with all of your legacy 2D CAD drawings when you move to a 3D design system, such as Revit, Solid Works, Catia, or another 3D program?
The process of converting a 2D drawing into a 3D model can seem complicated, even when using some of the popular 3D modeling tools like AutoCAD, SolidEdge and Microstation. Two of the most important parts of the conversion process are (1) understanding the process itself; and, being well-schooled in the software that you’re using. Remember that the aim of this technology is to simplify the process of creating 3D part models from existing 2D CAD drawings.
Since 2D drafting is still widely in use, it is important to be able to convert both legacy drawings and newly created drawings into 3D models. This conversion from 2D to 3D is important in aiding us to visualize the finished product. Our brains are simply better able to do this type of visualization from a 3D virtual object than they are from a 2D drawing. While 2D drafting tools are able to provide sufficient data about an object, only 3D modeling techniques can help engineers and designers to spot problems and make solutions for these problems before the actual building of the physical object. So, 3D technology can provide companies with competitive advantages
Advantages of 3D Solid Modeling
- Helps prevent costs overruns and design delays
- Shorter design cycles
- Better product design information
Choosing the appropriate CAD tools requires users to consider a lot more than just drawing productivity. 3D solid modeling provides more immediate design integrity by allowing users to view a very realistic image of an object. 3D CAD models they are less prone to errors than 2D CAD drawings.
All of these are compelling reasons for converting from 2D CAD drawings to 3D CAD models.
2D to 3D CAD Conversion – The Importance of Accuracy
When doing 2D to 3D CAD Conversion, the place to start is with an accurate scan of your 2D blueprint or CAD drawing. We recommend using a Contex scanner, and we’re particularly excited about the Contex Ultra series. See some of our previous blog posts for more information about the Contex Ultra Series.
Once you have the scanned raster drawing, you can start the 2D to 3D conversion process. The process of converting a 2D drawing into a 3D model is quite complicated and the method of conversion can be time consuming. While some popular 3D modeling tools like AutoCAD, SolidEdge and Microstation can help simplify the process, it still takes a CAD expert to easily generate both the 2D drafting view and the 3D CAD model that are usually needed for every day project activity – whether the user is a steel fabricator, machine operator or an architect. The 2D drafting view enables the person who does the actual work to build the model or component, while the 3D model enables the designer, key investors and others to visualize the finished product.
CAD, both in 2D and 3D forms, is the standard for drafting, whether architectural drafting and design or for parts fabrication manufacture. CAD experts can use the dimensions from 2D blueprints and drawings, along with special commands and tools to create 3D models. Once the CAD expert has completed a 3D virtual model within CAD software, he can send the files to special 3D printing machines that can create actual models of whatever was modeled.
Some of the benefits of 3D models include:
• Faster product design (approx 45 percent faster)
• Increased speed and accuracy of output
• Test and validate designs to reduce costs from errors
• More effective internal design reviews
• Easily incorporate late design changes
• Automatic Bills of Materials
• Increase customer confidence and loyalty
• More effective communication with suppliers/customers
When you convert 2D to 3D make sure you use an experienced CAD drafting/CAD conversion service, like CAD/CAM Services, Inc. Many of these services can also scan your paper drawing as well, in order to minimize scanning errors so that your 3D CAD models come out exactly the way you want. Most reputable CAD companies will work with you if your 2D to 3D conversion has problems that weren't foreseen at the beginning of the CAD Conversion.