PDF to CAD Conversion: Driving Force of Innovation to Mechanical Designing


Gone are the days when design engineers could simply pass over their CAD drafting; while the manufacturing teams will simply follow detailed instructions as mentioned in manufacturing drawings. It’s been a practice of a majority of manufacturing companies to hire CAD engineers near their location [for convenience] for developing relevant fabrication drafts, part and assembly, BOMs etc. and gets documented on papers or saved as PDF. These PDFs can be replicated several times according to the shop floor’s needs but can never be altered – something that is inevitable for design innovation.

However, such a strategy of outsourcing CAD drafting once and generating PDF will not sustain today. The market is looking for innovative products. No two furniture pieces manufactured will be the same. No two sheet metal door frames will be identical in geometry. Their manufacturing drafts and drawings need revisions and a simple PDF is incapacitated during such times. Converting PDF to editable .dwg format is the key to succeed and embrace innovation for manufacturing organizations as well as mechanical or industrial design agencies.

Challenges in PDFs formats of manufacturing/fabrication drawings

When parts or components drawings or assembly drawings are made, manufacturing information like BOMs, weld symbols and instruction, texts, footnotes, angles, weld angles etc. But when the fundamental designs change; the fabrication methods for metal sheet changes and the instruction and processes that a fabricator follows also see the relevant alteration.

When such is the case, PDF paper-based documents are not suitable to make the necessary edits by the design engineers and CAD drafters. PDFs cannot be altered. The design intelligence within the PDF file has to be sketched all over from scratch in AutoCAD/AutoCAD LT or other CAD platform and only then the changes can be made. Also, when a PDF file is imported to a CAD interface, designs are often distorted and loss of data is experienced.

Furthermore, even a 3D drawing in raster cannot be changed in views to have clarity of the design of complex multi-component assembly or how each part meshes with adjoining part. The drawing with a PDF file is static and in order to view the sectional part for inner features, there has to be a separate drawing development.

Significance of adopting PDF to CAD Conversion

As said earlier, the need for innovation is driving the manufacturing industry. In fact, altering the existing designs for ergonomics, optimization, and economics is the key to innovation. These alterations cannot be done in PDF. These PDF files have to be converted to CAD .DWG or .DXF files and alter the technical details within.  

However, this isn’t the only reason to opt for transforming PDF to CAD drawings.

Enlisted is some more depicting significance at during products design, development, and manufacturing:

  • Utilizing CAD during product designing facilitates quick design changes and approvals
  • CAD drawings can easily be transformed into 3D models which can be rotated in all the three axes
  • Developing cross-sectional drawings in CAD is easy
  • Saving a CAD file for a longer period is simpler without distortion
  • Converting PDF to CAD will create digital designs which open new avenues for Industry 4.0
  • CAD models will facilitate quick and easy leveraging of AR/VR technologies and AI for designs
  • Generative designs in CAD will ensure no mistakes as in PDF
  • For multi-component assembly when parts are designed in different CAD platforms, combining becomes easy

Thus when the manufacturer receives an order for customized sheet metal door order or a furniture piece to be manufactured, the shop floor engineer does not necessarily make changes himself. The CAD file of the component is retrieved and the in-house CAD drafter or the outsourced CAD drafting company can easily edit it.

Offshore PDF to CAD conversion services

It is thus, apparent that with CAD files of manufacturing drawings and fabrication drafts, do form the base to introduce innovation by altering designs. In fact, CAD conversion services will be applicable not only for PDF to CAD but also includes, conversion of hand drawing sketches on paper, raster to vector, 2D to 3D CAD conversion, image to CAD conversion and much more.

Thus, when there is a pile of mechanical or industrial drawings that need innovation, getting a help from the offshore solutions CAD conversion services provider is an economical option. Outsourcing companies charge at very low and since you are going to pay on the hourly basis, they prove to be an efficient option.

Why PDF to CAD: Future Prospects 

Also, when innovation in designing is the key to success, the manufacturing companies across the US, UK, and Australia have realized the importance of outsourcing services from companies in India. The outlook is simple. While the third-party CAD drafters convert their drawings, the engineering expertise of the in-house design engineers can be employed in design innovation as per their customer’s needs because the local customers are known better by the native people.

All in all, if you are a manufacturing company grappling with innovation, it is your time to have PDF to CAD conversion since that is the key to success in a market that prevails today across the manufacturing industry.

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