Help! Shop trying to bring cad/cam inhouse - Page 4
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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by goooose View Post
    What cad or cam system will allow import of a pdf?
    I don't think any CAD stuff takes in PDFs directly (Fusion and NX won't), which is why I outlined the convert from PDF to DWG/DXF step. There are dozens of tools that allow you to do this, ranging from free online converters to a full blown seat of AutoCAD that can do a lot of automated cleanup.

    Mind you, I'm presuming that the part drawings are complex enough that the automated workflow saves time; at a certain point, CAD sketching stuff from scratch is going to be easier than this rigamarole, but this entire shit show of a debate has been happening with a lot of missing holes in the OP's original question.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mud View Post
    I'm curious too. Mine will load just about every solid file format, and the usual 2D files, and will even allow me to import a jpg to use as a background to trace over, but not a pdf, and T've never seen or heard of a converter. Having one would REALLY be handy, where can I get one?
    No affiliation but it did make a DXF from a solidworks PDF:
    PDF to DXF - Convert your PDF to DXF for Free Online

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    Quote Originally Posted by mawgs View Post
    I was recently hired by a CNC shop to bring Cad/Cam in house. For my background I'm an mechanical engineering student with 3d modeling/printing experience. So far the shop has tried bobcad but no other program. The owner of the company wants to use the software for 2.5 and 3 axis A-00 brother machines. We have several brother 321n machines and a few of the speedios. The owner wants the cad/cam software to take a pdf and vectorize it straight into a geometry and then into the post with very little hand writing of code. Is this feasible? So far i've used bobcad to write one program and it was a hassle. I'm used to fusion 360 and autodesk products which might be why bobcad is giving me such a hard time. Any advice for a noobie like me is much appreciated.
    Mawgs, a few questions.....

    Presumably the PDF's are coming from customers, huh? Could those customers give you CAD files instead of PDF's?

    You want to bring CAD/CAM in-house, you have a bunch of machines, who is doing your CAD/CAM now? Is it possible to get some guidance from whoever is doing it now?

    You mention 3D modeling experience, are you competent to do CAM in Fusion if you have CAD files to start with? What version of BOBCAD do you have? Myself, I think BOBCAD is easier for simple parts than Fusion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hazzert View Post
    No affiliation but it did make a DXF from a solidworks PDF:
    PDF to DXF - Convert your PDF to DXF for Free Online
    Just tried this. Ya it made a dxf but nothing usable in my case.

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    Quote Originally Posted by goooose View Post
    Just tried this. Ya it made a dxf but nothing usable in my case.
    Basically my results as well. I could model the damn thing before I finished uploading the PDF in some cases, nevermind cleaning it up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mud View Post
    How do you import vector geometry from a PDF of a drawing?
    pdf2ps will convert a pdf back to a postscript file. That's a vector format. Illustrator, Indesign, Coreldraw and some others can read/write postscript.

    However, a pdf is sort of an enhanced Encapsulated Postscript format, where raster bitmaps can be "encapsulated" within the vector format. If that's what the pdf has, then you're plumb outta luck.

    It seems to me there were some cad programs that could import postscript files. But they were not very popular and probably not very good.

    I have played with a few raster-to-vector utilities that didn't work too bad ... Corel had one, and maybe Adobe ? There's at least one open sores utility of that type also.

    But like I said before, in most hands this is designed for printing or artwork, not mechanical engineering. Hence the comments about how awful pdf geometry is. Well, it isn't really awful. It's just not intended for this purpose.

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    Wow, so much debate here which may or may not apply to the OP, mawgs.

    @mawgs
    Forgive me if I missed any of your posts in the middle of the flurry of responses.
    Sounds like your shop is smallish and your typical customers are similarly sized. IMO if you can get and actual 2d files such as dxf or iges and program from that I would do it, assuming the parts are simple. So many opinions here that all 2.5D parts can/should be programmed in 2D are situational opinions at best. If your parts start to get complicated then you will benefit from using 3D models. Previous posts mentions a number of different options which sound like good fits for you but it would help to have a bit more info on your type of work. Can you post some pics of your typical parts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug View Post
    Mawgs, a few questions.....

    Presumably the PDF's are coming from customers, huh? Could those customers give you CAD files instead of PDF's?

    You want to bring CAD/CAM in-house, you have a bunch of machines, who is doing your CAD/CAM now? Is it possible to get some guidance from whoever is doing it now?

    You mention 3D modeling experience, are you competent to do CAM in Fusion if you have CAD files to start with? What version of BOBCAD do you have? Myself, I think BOBCAD is easier for simple parts than Fusion.
    Best post in this thread yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hazzert View Post
    No affiliation but it did make a DXF from a solidworks PDF:
    PDF to DXF - Convert your PDF to DXF for Free Online
    Tried it this morning with 2 PDFs I've created and sent to vendors in the past . It did convert, but the scales were wayyy off and very different between the two, and the arcs and circles were all represented as lots of short line segments. Would require lots of redrawing to be useful, I think it would be better to start from scratch.

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    Converting PDF's to vector as your main source of programming simply isn't the right way to go about this.
    As someone mentioned above, see if your customer can supply actual cad files along with the pdf.
    Use the pdf as the print for the shop floor operators to use and the cad file for programming.

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