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Receptions of an effective using of the scanner at designing of industrial targets
In given article receptions of an effective utilisation of the scanner and the corresponding software for increase of an overall performance of designers are considered. Systems of the automated designing (CAD) and engineering document circulation have already proved the solvency as the effective tool of working out of products and support of the design documentation.

At the same time the large quantity of technical materials is stored till now in paper archives and processed by out-of-date methods. Great volume of the useful and necessary information is not used in modern technologies and does not work at the full capacity. Besides, the traditional archive, unlike electronic, demands the big expenses for storage, reproduction and distribution of paper materials.

According to International Data Corporation and magazine Document Management, all over the world is available more than 8 billion technical images from which less than 15% are stored in an electronic format. In spite of the fact that systems of the automated designing exist any more one ten years, more than 65% of technical images are paper drawings.

In economically developed countries a problem rational and an effective utilisation of paper archives have started to solve in the beginning 90. The experience stored for passed years shows that application scanner technologies for transfer of the information from paper carriers in the electronic form and inclusion of the received information in engineering document circulation give the big economic benefit. In Russia and the CIS countries this process while only begins, but necessity of development of manufacture, creation of competitive production and an exit on the world market forces the enterprises to introduce new technologies of work with the engineering documentation.

Presently thanks to prompt development of hardware of computer processing of the information and decrease in their cost all preconditions for introduction of new technologies of work with technical archives are created. Occurrence of large-format scanners and jet plotters, increase of productivity of computers, depreciation of storage of the information on rigid, laser and optical disks give the chance to receive, store and duplicate easily raster copies of drawings, schemes, plans, cards. Now even the ordinary personal computer meets requirements of the majority of specialised software of processing of the scanned images.

It gives the chance to pass all from work with archive of paper materials to use of electronic archives of files of the scanned, raster drawings. Introduction of hybrid technology of editing allows to use the scanned images in CAD and systems of engineering document circulation.

Modern technologies raise information value of paper archive, promote decrease in expenses on storage and service, raise economic benefit of use of the existing documentation at designing and expand possibilities of its use in all adjacent areas – technical support, planning, logistics.

Let's consider the latent cost of a paper.

The scanned paper drawings can be used effectively in the modern automated systems is, undoubtedly, is the most important advantage of new technology. But it is not necessary to forget and other important aspects of a problem. Traditional management methods, processings, storages and supports of paper drawings take away a lot of time and means.

Here supports of paper archive some of the most obvious problems which can be solved, using modern technologies:
- – Labour-consuming and not cheap operation, for time spent for copying of one paper drawing, it is possible to dispatch duplicating of paper drawings on a network many free copies of electronic drawings;
- paper drawings spoil at storage – term of a life of electronic images practically is not limited;
- the paper limits possibilities of data presentation, the schedule and the text – that's all while electronic documents can contain hyperlinks on the materials connected with them, a sound, video, etc.;
- paper drawings take a lot of place, their storage is badly systematised, often it is very difficult to find the necessary information in paper storehouse. Electronic drawings do not demand premises for storage, their search more effectively and faster;
- paper drawings are lost, by an expert estimation, from five to seven percent of technical materials cannot be used – they are lost or dismantled, reserve copying of contained electronic archive and introduction of the automated discipline of access to the information relieve of similar problems;
- it is known that many organisations do not wish to share the intellectual property and to transfer to accessory manufacturers originals the documentation stored in electronic files of CAD, and paper copies many, especially foreign companies, any more do not accept, the raster copy of vector drawing of CAD will allow to solve this problem.

Let's consider an ideal variant:
- scanning of paper documents, reception of raster images;
- a vectoring: transformation of a raster drawing to the vector;
- loading of the received data in the vector editor and work with them

We will consider an ideal variant in practice.

In practice there is no the button allowing automatically vectorize “dirty” images of drawings. For today automatic and semi-automatic vectorings are known.

Let's consider program processing of the scanned images.

The raster given and vector objects. The scanned drawings can be included at once in system of electronic document circulation and to use as the help documentation. However for effective editing of raster images and their high-grade use in CAD the specialised software is necessary. It is caused by basic distinctions between raster files received at scanning and vector drawings which are created and used in the automated systems of plotting and designing.

Systems of the automated designing use vector files; at scanning raster files are created. The raster drawing essentially differs from the vector.

Systems of the automated designing use vector files; at scanning raster files are created. The raster drawing essentially differs from vector At piece drawing in the vector editor in a drawing file the vector primitive thing – the mathematical description of graphic object is created “a piece”. This description contains the information on final points and a thickness of a piece. When the drawing is scanned, it breaks into small small squares – pixels. The scanned piece consists from separate pixels, forming the piece image.

The scanned drawings which are supposed to be used and edited like the vector data, it is necessary or to translate in a vector format, or to use for work such software which are able to work with a raster as with vectors, “hurriedly” making the latent transformation of raster lines to vector graphic primitive things.

In following sections specialised technologies of processing of the raster images received at scanning of technical materials are described some: drawings, plans, schemes, cards, etc.

As examples descriptions of the procedures realised in programs Vectory, Spotlight and RasterDesk are used. These software products have gained the greatest distribution to Russia and the CIS countries as means of correction, editing and a vectoring of the scanned drawing of technical appointment.

Software of correction of raster images

Even the most perfect scanner cannot compensate all lacks of paper originals. The raster file received at scanning should be corrected, using specialised software.

Specificity of processing of the scanned technical materials is connected first of all by that they can be very big size (for modern scanners format А0 – far not a limit). Besides, it is necessary to consider high requirements to accuracy of geometry of objects of the image. It is especially important, if the raster needs to be used for a vectoring. Therefore in programs-proof-readers special procedures and the means which are not applied in usual raster editors are used.

Those who tried to scan drawings, know about the most widespread defects of received raster images: raster dust (noise, a background), small apertures in lines, serrature of edges of raster objects. Similar defects are eliminated by means of procedure which is called as a filtration. Its essence that all image or the chosen area is processed on certain algorithm (filter). The most convenient are filters which options do not demand, they automatically calculate parametres of the work as such automatic filtration can be used in a package mode.

The second group of defects are geometrical distortions of all image: a warp (a paper have inserted into the scanner with a small angular deviation), wrong orientation (“sideways” or “head over heels”), a non-standard format (the drawing scanned with a warp will have the non-standard sizes), etc. Some of these procedures also can be automated, for example, elimination of a warp or reduction of the sizes of the image to the nearest standard format. On an illustration it is below shown, how correction of images in program Spotlight is realised:

The initial raster image The image after procedure of automatic removal of raster dust The image after warp elimination

Means of raster correction can correct global defects of the scanned images but if it is necessary to make changes to the scanned drawing or there is a requirement to use it for calculations it is necessary to resort to other methods – to a vectoring and hybrid editing.

Vectorizer. For work in systems of engineering modelling and the analysis drawings with the highest degree of informativeness are used. The software using to the schedule for calculations, are able to work only with vector images. Therefore, to use for such purposes the scanned images, it is necessary to translate them in a vector format. Here some examples: the enterprise should develop 3D-model of a product under old drawings and execute on this model durability calculation; or at planning of new building it is necessary to use 3D-model of a landscape which needs to be created, using available paper cards. In both cases vector models, and, hence, raster images are required it is necessary to transform to vector drawings.

Process of transformation of the scanned image in drawing of CAD is called as a vectoring. The raster image is possible vectorize, without using software. But much more effective are program methods of processing of a raster: an automatic, package vectoring and trace – semi-automatic, operated the operator, process of a selective vectoring.

Let's consider methods of a program vectoring.

The automatic vectoring. At an automatic vectoring it is necessary to set only parametres and to start procedure. The program itself will define, what raster lines need to be approximated pieces, arches and that is the raster text. Professional packages of an automatic vectoring, for example programs Vectory, Spotlight Pro, RasterDesk Pro, distinguish types of lines dimensional arrows, shadings, texts. They spend correction of the received vector drawing: reduce the ends of vector objects, level them in orthogonal directions etc. Considered packages have the built in modules of recognition of the text, unlike others only localising text lines and giving interactive means of manual replacement.

At high quality of the initial image it is possible to receive very good results of an automatic vectoring. Such method of a vectoring also is used at batch operation of a set of raster files that gives the chance to spend processing of great volume of materials without participation of the operator, for example, to non-working, night time. But, as a rule, the software cannot for hundred percent is correct vectorize the raster image. This procedure is better to use as a component of process of transformation, instead of as the common decision. For reception of the qualitative vector image big enough completion is required.

The interactive vectoring (trace). An interactive vectoring (trace) – one of the most perspective methods of transformation. At trace the operator shows raster lines on the screen, and they will be transformed to vector objects. This method allows to combine intuitive knowledge of the user with the automated process of transformation. Tracers allow the operator to divide objects of the raster image on value and to transform only that is necessary.

Here an example of use of such technology. At processing of the raster image of a topographic map at first it is transformed raster isolines into vector polylines. The operator specifies a point on a raster line, and the program traces this line before the nearest crossing or rupture and creates approximating vector broken line – a polyline. Then process repeats. After that each polyline can appropriate value of height and to receive 3D-model of a surface.

Let's consider hybrid technology.

The hybrid technology combines possibilities of raster and vector editing and gives means of transformation of a raster in a vector and vector objects in a raster. Images with which hybrid editors work, usually consist of a drawing of two kinds: the raster given scanning raster given and vector objects received at scanning.

Symbiosis of the raster given and vector objects has given qualitatively new possibilities of processing of the scanned images. Let we should change radius of a raster circle (the left part of an illustration). We specify its cursor, and it turns to a vector circle, – so means of an interactive vectoring of hybrid editor Spotlight (an average part of an illustration) work.

We change radius of a vector circle (the right part of an illustration). Then a circle it is possible rasterize. The circle radius is changed, the drawing remained completely raster.

The raster circle The circle vectorized The radius of circle is changed

If not rasterize vector object the drawing can be kept as a hybrid (raster-vector) file. At following editing the user will replace some more raster objects with the vector. Having passed some stages of editing, the drawing gradually becomes vector. Finally it it is possible to finish and receive purely vector image. Such natural, consecutive process of a vectoring which occurs as though in itself, is possible thanks to hybrid technology.

The hybrid technology became possible as a result of working out of algorithms of local recognition of geometrical primitive things. With their help the program with high speed, without spending the analysis of the big site of the image, identifies a raster line as a piece, an arch or a circle. It gives the chance to realise interactive operations which are spent without notable delays. Similar algorithms are used and at work of means of intellectual raster editing.

In programs Spotlight and Spotlight Pro, perhaps, fullest set intellectual, is realized “objective” means of work with a raster: the choice of a raster similar to a choice of vector objects in CAD, objective operations of transformation of a raster, “clever” means of correction of the form and deleting of raster lines, a binding to characteristic points of raster objects.

In the simplified kind it is possible to illustrate the mechanism of work of intellectual means on an example of performance of operation of a choice and removal of a raster circle. To make such operation, the user specifies the cursor a circle, and she gets out everything in spite of the fact that it is crossed by other raster lines. Thus means of an objective choice not only allocate raster points which make a circle, but also duplicate all its crossings with other objects. Therefore at deleting the circles crossing it a raster line will not be broken off. Thus at work with a raster circle the perfect analogy of a choice and removal of a vector circle by tools CAD is reached.

Process looks as circle carrying over on a separate layer Choice process can be imagined as carrying over of all points of a raster circle on a separate layer with restoration of the stopped objects (an illustration nearby).

On the basis of technology of intellectual recognition of type of raster object the methods of a group choice similar to methods of choice AutoCAD – a choice of the raster objects lying in a framework, crossed by a broken line, etc. Use of means of an objective choice in a combination with operations of carrying over, rotation, scaling are realised, copyings allows to make changes to the raster drawing with ease, before the vector drawing accessible only for editing.

Under the same objective scheme other intellectual operations Spotlight work also. For example, you need to spend a line from the center of a raster arch. You include a corresponding mode of a binding, specify a point on a raster line, the program will virtually transform it to a vector arch and starts to draw a line from the center of this arch. In words all it looks simply enough, but for maintenance of this ease the difficult mathematical apparatus is used. For this reason very few programs possess a totality of intellectual possibilities.

The hybrid technology gives the chance to use the scanned drawings almost at once and to make changes with the minimum expenses of time. Improvement of quality and correction of deformations of a raster, an intellectual choice, replacement of texts, other details of the raster drawing on vector objects are that set of operations, which in overwhelming majority of cases solves the main practical problem – release of the new version of engineering specifications. And the expert of not so high qualification can make these operations even, and the subsequent check of its work is minimum – after all the most part of the scanned drawing remains invariable.

Let's consider the means of hybrid editing introduced in AutoCAD.

Systems of the automated designing on the basis of AutoCAD are the most widespread not only in our country, but also all over the world. Not casually first appendices which allowed to edit and vectorize raster images inside AutoCAD, have been developed for 12th version of this package.

Earlier AutoCAD did not work with a raster, it was required to search for roundabout ways that considerably reduced speed and did not give possibility to the full to combine raster and vector technologies. Additional difficulties created insufficient computing capacities of personal computers.

When in 14th version there were standard load facilities of raster images, there was a possibility completely to realise hybrid technology inside AutoCAD. We will notice that by the time of an exit of 14th version, Pentium became the standard for computers on which it was supposed to work with a drawing that has positively affected speed of raster operations and speed of a vectoring.

Appendix RasterDesk realises all possibilities of hybrid technology inside AutoCAD. The combination of powerful vector editing, means of adaptation, batch operation AutoCAD and means of correction of a raster, an intellectual raster choice, a vectoring and rasterization creates the highly effective environment of processing of the scanned materials. Distinctions between a raster and vectors become almost imperceptible. For example, it is possible to choose a raster circle, having specified to its cursor of the mouse, to add a raster piece, and then to apply to the received raster choice usual commands of vector editing AutoCAD – MOVE, ROTATE, ALIGN.

Integration of means of hybrid editing and the automated designing gives qualitatively new possibilities of application of the scanned documentation. The raster drawing it is possible not only quickly and qualitatively to edit, but also to work with it in the automated systems constructed on the basis of AutoCAD. The main thing is the optimum parity of spent time and the reached result. At all without spending a full vectoring, it is possible to achieve considerable automation of design works.

For example, having mastered AutoCAD and Genius, it is possible to create library of parametrical models of standard knots. In the presence of the large-format scanner and RasterDesk it is possible to apply the following technology allowing sharply to lift labour productivity. The standard problem – manufacturing of the several drawings differing with variants of execution of one or several knots, dares so. At first the technologist draws on kuhlmann one of variants, the drawing is scanned and loaded in RasterDesk. The raster dust Further leaves, lines smooth out, the framework and a stamp are replaced with vector blocks, varied details of the drawing leave. Instead of them parametrical models of standard knots from library Genius are inserted. To change parametres enough, also the new drawing, both following, and the tenth is ready. Speed of manufacturing is limited only to possibilities of plotter.

It, of course, private, but an indicative example of use of hybrid technology. Already many Russian enterprises begin a way to the automated designing with use of the scanned paper drawings. As practice shows, it allows to lift sharply labour productivity and to receive a real prize already at the first stage of introduction of computer technology. Such approach gives the chance to use and knowledge of skilled experts, and computer skills of their young colleagues.

Let's consider effectively solved problems.

The combination of hybrid editing and the automated designing gives the fullest decision of a problem of processing of paper drawings. But there is a number of typical problems where introduction of such technology provides the greatest efficiency and fast return of the enclosed means.

The basic condition of such problem is a performance of the work connected with use of a considerable quantity of paper engineering specifications. And works which should be observed in rigid terms and make profit. In this case efficiency of the decision outweighs at once expenses for its introduction.

Here only a few types of such problems:
- maintenance of export deliveries with the electronic documentation, with entering of partial changes, transfer into a foreign language;
- duplicating of great volume of the paper documentation of poor quality (a photocopy, a x-copy) for which direct copying yields unacceptable results;
- repair, reconstruction, a redesign when initial engineering specifications in the paper form;
- the edition of engineering specifications or creation of technical illustrations for release of specialised books, for example, grants on repair and operation of import technics;
- creation of administrative and geoinformation systems on the basis of paper plans, drawings, schemes, cards.

Let's consider the problem decision vectorings.

Let's recollect, when and as there were systems of the automated designing without which, you see, today it is already impossible to present designing process. And after all not so long ago, about thirty years ago very few people could expect the further destiny seeming firm the world kuhlmann. The technology of designing. Now existing by centuries on a paper – the native and uncontested environment even for present generation of actively working designers – quickly also is irrevocably superseded by new technologies of computer designing.

Here the word “revolution” is quite pertinent – “revolution, sudden change of state, an order, relations” – on an explanatory dictionary of Dalja. And, as any revolution, a basic change of the basic way of designing involves a loop of problems. The way back is not present, and consequently it is necessary to think of how to reduce to a minimum of a problem of a transition period from old technology of designing to new through which should take place all who wishes to remain in the market of design works.

Let's consider the basic problems of a transition period:
1. Archives of documents – the invaluable intellectual property which has been saved up during an epoch of designing on a paper, stored on paper carriers and films.
Whether it is possible, and if it is possible how to transform archive of paper documents to electronic archive? How to use created on kuhlmann documents in electronic document circulation?
2. Creation of new documents. Only the small percent of new documents is created today from zero. More often the new document or the new project is created on the basis of already available by modification and updating. What to do, if the initial document is created on kuhlmann, and the designer already works on the computer? Whether use of paper documents in CAD is possible?
Today, as soon as speech comes about use of paper documents in CAD, the first and more often the only thing that comes to mind to the user who for the first time has faced necessity of the decision listed above problems, it – “a vectoring” or “vectorizer”.

Let's consider ways of transition from the paper version of the drawing to electronic (to a file):
1. To put before itself the drawing and… Simply to redraw it in any program CAD. Unfortunately, it turns out not so simply and not so quickly. Usually after several attempts to pass to new by means of the specified way users from it refuse old technologies.
2. To use digitizer. This way slightly faster previous, but is hardly much more effective.
3. To use the scanner. For today it, undoubtedly, an optimum way of transfer of the paper drawing in an electronic kind. That is why upon some aspects of scanning we will dwell.

The first against what it would be desirable to warn, is from attempts to save on the equipment. It is necessary to underline that the quality of the scanned image is better, the it is less than time and forces it is required on its processing. The scanned quality documents can be received only on the professional equipment. It is impossible to save on a scanner format – exact crosslinking images from pieces will be occupied with a lot of time and will lead to irreplaceable losses of accuracy. Only the professional equipment for scanning gives the chance to select optimum modes and to receive the best results.

Not out of place will mention the basic problems which can arise at novice users. In most cases it “friable” the drawing, the lost and bound together lines.

“Friable” the drawing frequently represents result of inept use or abusing of one of the functions which are present at professional large-format scanners, – Adaptive Area Tresholding, function of indemnification of a non-uniform background. AAT serves for automatic removal of raster dust at hardware level at scanning with not so qualitative drawings, however at misuse this useful function can become a source of serious complexities.

The problem of the lost lines arises at attempt to receive as less as possible these more often “flies traces” by means of brightness and-or picture contrast change. Usually such methods are applied at scanning blueprints on so-called household scanners (in which, naturally, function AAT is absent). In what good in most cases it does not result and besides complicates the further work with the drawing scanned thus.

The matter is that at scanning of drawings it is necessary to achieve at all a total absence raster “dust” and first of all – indissolubility and integrity of raster lines. Certainly, such it is possible no means always, however it is necessary to try to follow the given principle as it is pledge of successful work with the scanned document.

Presence “dust” on the scanned image – not such a serious problem as with it it is possible to consult successfully by means of the special software intended for work with the scanned drawing.

It is possible to solve a problem of bound together lines increase of the optical permission of the scanner – quantities of distinguished points on unit of the area, measured in dpi. But it is necessary to remember that the increase dpi leads to increase as size of a file, and time for its processing. Therefore it is necessary to find such mode which will provide an optimum parity of the size of a file and its quality.

And still: one of the taken most roots myths about raster files is a myth that raster images very volume and take unreasonably a lot of place on a hard disk. Modern technologies of compression of the raster data provide reduction of the size of a raster file approximately in 40 times concerning the same file in not compressed condition. For an example we will result the size of the raster file kept in format Tiff Group 4, – 56.9 Kb, and the same file transformed to a vector format, – 50.2 Kb.

Let's consider a few theories.

So, after scanning we receive the so-called raster image, or a set of points.

The raster image happens monochrome (contains points only two colours), halftone (contains 256 tones grey) and colour. It is characterised by the permission – quantity of points on unit of the area of the image. The permission happens optical (quantity of points distinguished by the scanning equipment) and interpolation (increase in quantity of points at unit of the area of the image at hardware level or at the expense of the software).

Programs CAD work with a vector drawing – mathematically the described graphic objects.

Let's consider, how to work with the scanned drawing.

Let's admit, it is necessary to raise quality of the scanned drawing and to make to it changes. How it to make? We will consider various variants of the decision.
1. After scanning we have received the raster drawing – means, for its updating it is possible to use the raster editor. However a problem that the technology of editing of a raster drawing in the standard raster editor radically differs from editing of a vector drawing in the editor vector. It is possible to choose and remove easily “dust” but how to change radius of a raster circle? A chain of editing of the scanned document in the raster editor the following:

2. The user, got used to work, say, in AutoCAD, any more you will not force to edit the drawing in the raster editor. The unique way which to it sees, is a full transformation of a raster drawing in vector and the further editing of the received vector drawing in the vector editor.
Vectoring – transfer of a raster drawing in a drawing vector by means of the special software. It is the oldest and, hence, the most known mode of work with the scanned drawings. By means of a vectoring it is possible to present modification of the drawing in the form of such scheme:
And though the given chain can be passed much faster than if it was necessary to redraw simply the document, it is obvious that it not the most optimum way. First, it is impossible vectorize the scanned documents of bad quality – before a vectoring it is necessary to spend time for improvement of quality of the image. Secondly, the vector document received after a vectoring demands obligatory geometrical correction (association of fragments, correction of crossings, the sizes, updating of texts etc.) . Besides, the drawing received as a result of a vectoring, represents absolutely new document which should be subjected to the same procedure of check on conformity to a paper colleague and, perhaps, to the statement, on what the extra time will be spent. It follows from this that the global vectoring can and should be applied only there where without vector representation of a detail not to manage: for example, at use of the drawing executed on a paper for creation of 3D-model of the product, the operating program for the machine tool with CNC or if it is required considerable (more than 70-80%) processing of the scanned material.

3. It is possible to unite possibilities of the raster editor, the vector editor and vectorization, that is to work with the scanned drawing in such hybrid editor where there are tools for work with a raster drawing, possibilities of a vectoring, creation of a vector drawing and its editing. The chain is thus reduced to the following:

Modern hybrid editors have as much as possible approached technology of editing of the raster data to technology of editing of vectors, namely:
- the hybrid editor is able to distinguish raster objects – lines, arches, circles, polylines, shadings and even the whole raster symbols, such as the process equipment, elements of electric basic schemes, windows, ladders on floor plans, etc.;
- both vector, and raster primitive things have properties (a thickness, line type etc.), geometrical characteristics, even “handles” with which help it is possible to change these objects;
- to choose the raster and vector data it is possible methods which are familiar to all users of vector editor AutoCAD: the instructions, a framework, to secants range, a polyline, etc.;

The raster circle chosen by one pressing of the button of the mouse
- To chosen given (both vector, and raster) it is possible to apply the same commands of editing (to transfer, copy, scale, mirror to display, level etc.).

At such way of editing the user works only with those elements of the drawing which need to be changed, leaving in inviolability all the rest. Unlike a vectoring absolutely new document here is not created, and it means, it is necessary what to check only the changed and new fragments of the drawing, considerably saving time.

Hence, hybrid editing in many cases is the best, most effective decision at work with the scanned engineering specifications.

On the diagramme approximate time expenses for performance of updating of the scanned document at redrawing are presented, to an automatic vectoring and hybrid technology.

Let's consider, with what to begin.

Practice testifies that the considerable part of the documents stored in domestic archives, has bad quality, and all other documents – very bad. And consequently, whatever mode of work with the scanned document you have chosen, practically always the first stage of work is improvement of quality of the raster image.

Tools allow to make following actions for improvement of quality with the initial image:
- to filter images: to eliminate raster “dust” to fill in “holes” to do raster lines by more smooth, thicken or thinned them etc.;
- to eliminate linear and nonlinear distortions by means of the special operation named calibration;
- to eliminate the warp which has arisen at scanning.

The majority of the operations intended for improvement of quality of the scanned image, it is possible to spend in a package mode or in an autocorrection mode (the chosen operations are fulfilled by pressing of one button).

At work with the raster image of very bad quality (when, let us assume, the line consists of set of the small fragments perceived by the program as elements of raster noise), there is a possibility not to delete and to transfer all small-sized raster particles on a separate layer and then to return wrongly remote elements in the basic drawing.

The real restoration of the scanned images is possible also – it is necessary to approach only creatively to business and to devote to it to a few time (believe, it much faster, than tiresome redrawing anew).

Let's consider, how correctly to put and solve a problem.

Let in your company often call and clients, the interested programs for work with the scanned documents come. And practically always the reference purpose is formulated as follows: “We need to vectorize the documents obtained by scanning”. On it you usually responsible: “The vectoring is only one of possible stages of the decision of your problems. And what problems at you?” from the further conversation, as a rule, it is found out that a real problem is at all the vectoring...

Let's consider real problems which are necessary for solving at work with the scanned documents, and approximate variants of their decision.

1. A problem. Transformation of archive of the documents stored on firm carriers (a paper, a film), in electronic archive. Use of documents stored on a paper in electronic document circulation.
The decision. For this purpose it is enough to raise quality of raster images. In electronic archive the document is stored in a kind of a raster file. It is possible to search, look through, unpack it (the unpacked raster file practically does not concede on quality to the vector drawing deduced on the same device), to use as a help material etc.

2. A problem. Entering into program CAD of necessary changes in the drawing existing on a paper (document actualisation). Creation of the new project (the new drawing) in CAD if as an underlying cause the project (document) existing on a paper is used.
The decision. The optimum decision is application of the hybrid technology, allowing to edit the scanned document practically the same as if you edited the vector document in program CAD.
Decision examples:
- Necessary changes are made to the raster drawing of a detail without transformation of this detail to a vector format, changes are brought the same as at editing of the vector drawing in the vector editor;
- The project of re-planning of a premise is executed by means of means of hybrid editing: the chosen raster object (the machine tool, a workplace, a text inscription, etc.) was developed, moved or left according to requirements of a new lay-out of a premise (in work hybrid libraries where the base of elements of the drawing gradually collected were created and used).

3. A problem. Use of drawings existing on a paper for creation of 3D-model and the operating program for the machine tool with CNC.
The decision. There are two ways of the decision. If the scanned document is executed precisely and has high quality, it is expedient vectorize this document and, having modified results of a vectoring, to use them as an initial material for model construction. If the scanned document has bad quality and low accuracy it is better to take advantage at first of possibility of elimination of distortions of a raster, and then, having on the screen the specified raster original, to redraw it for what it is necessary to take advantage of a binding to characteristic points of raster objects.
Decision example
On the logo of the company developed by the designer it was required to create the operating program for the machine tool of a laser engraving. After slight increase of quality of the raster image the raster logo has been translated in a vector format according to which the operating program for the machine tool with CNC was formed. So, by means of modern technologies for few minutes the problem earlier occupying not less of hour has been solved.

4. A problem. Preparation of the data for creation geoinformation systems: a preprocessing of the scanned maps and sharts (cards, plans and schemes). Maps and sharts numbering.
The decision. The decision of this problem necessarily begins with calibration (elimination of linear and nonlinear distortions) maps and sharts. At work with colour and halftone materials probably their colour stratification on monochrome thematic layers on the basis of an accessory to certain colour or “grey” to a range (for realisation of the subsequent stages of creation of a vector card or raster editing). For numbering (transformation of objects on a raster card in a set of vector objects) trace is usually used. Are possible “crosslinking” combination, mutual alignment of raster images, work with cards of different scales etc.

We conceal in the image, obviously, it is possible to result set of various examples, but to realise that fact that there are new modern effective technologies of work with the scanned documents in CAD much more essentially.

Thus, all design documents which we process by means of the scanner, it is possible to subdivide into two types – text and drawing. We will consider features of work with each of them.

Let's consider text documents.

Before to wave away from a problem of text documents, look, how many cases in your design bureau they occupy, how many service records and orders are fallen down on your table.

If at the disposal of the designer there is a computer, it is inexcusable to force to rummage the expert set of cases in search of the normative and technical document (GOST standards, etc.) or help materials like an album with listed products of foreign manufacturers, the list of purchased products... It is easy to count up that for transferring to the computer of such quantity of documents by means of the text editor one year is required not. Besides, the probability of errors and consequently the reprint of many standard documents is forbidden is great. An another matter – input of these documents in the computer by means of the scanner. Time it occupies a little – certainly, in the presence of the qualitative equipment, the software and well thought over technology of scanning of documents such and in such quantity.

Processing of such raster is reduced to dust removal, to elimination of warps and to an image scrap that it is possible to execute, for example, in TruInfo Explorer or in TruInfo Viewer (on the average on one page will leave no more than minute). It is possible to unite the scanned pages in collections in certain directions, and for search of the necessary document – to organise a database. We store raster documents or on a server, or written down on CD-ROM. The collections of documents created for the concrete designer, certainly, are stored on its computer. For viewing of one- and multipage raster files it is possible to use standard means Windows, for example program Imaging.

At first sight, process of scanning of such documents is fast enough and simple. Here only these documents are executed on a paper of different quality and have remained not in protogenic cleanliness so to count on use of modes of scanning offered by the program it is not necessary. Good speed of processing will be received only by that operator, which in a condition “approximately” to define the necessary mode.

Other type of text documents are documents of internal using (orders, orders, service records) which value is defined not only the maintenance, but also signatures or commissions. Certainly, paper originals are stored, filed, but quickly to find and see the necessary document it is possible only in the event that it preliminary “have pushed” in computer base by means of the scanner. Organisation possibility in TruInfo Explorer the mechanism of scanning without participation of the operator is very convenient: to insert the service record into the scanner enough and to press one button.

Let's consider drawings (graphic documents).

The initial data: technology difficult, factory huge, archive huge.

The problem of the designer: the equipment, the tool, measuring instruments, standards etc., which else is not present in this archive. All, certainly, very urgently. And under standards operating today. There is in archive a similar product-prototype, it to correct, wipe, but copier in due time gave a warp, and GOST standards any more those, and in general instead of a tracing-paper there was a blue. Nevertheless use in computer technology of old drawings available on a paper quite really. Here some variants.

There is a shabby tracing-paper. Changes are not required. It fastens on a sheet of paper and, is passed through the scanner, goes on plotter. Operation differs From simple copying by possibility of removal of the dust, unnecessary marks etc. If instead of a tracing-paper there is a blue – actions are similar, only graphic dust will be primary more and the scanning mode needs to be selected more accurately. By the way, for work with drawings it is possible to recommend program IMAGEnation Large Document Application as in it it is convenient to select a scanning mode, to clean dust and to level the image.

The following situation – drawing rerelease – meets to designers more often, than it is possible to assume. It inevitably face at contacts to foreign partners. In comparison with the drawings executed on the computer, old drawings look too “clumsily” and to understand the text of specifications to the foreigner it is simple not under force – besides that illegibly, so also in Russian. In this case the chain of processing becomes longer – between the scanner and plotter there is a software, allowing to correct distortions, to change drawing registration, to insert the text of specifications. Probably, it is required to restore some fragments of the image.

For these purposes it is possible to use the software package from
- AutoCAD;
- RasterDesk (the raster editor intended for work in the environment of AutoCAD, enters into the series of software Raster Arts developed by company Consistent Software, allows to filter, correct linear and nonlinear distortions of the scanned images to edit and vectorize the raster drawing, rasterize vectors, etc.);
- MechaniCS (appendix AutoCAD for registration of the design documentation on Common system for design documentation).

To AutoCAD – program MechaniCS – relieves small and easy enough appendix of necessity to make thrifty use at scanning to “ugly” to the sizes, designations of roughnesses and admissions: them to replace with new vector elements of registration much easier. Fragments of old raster designations can be deleted or at a stage of clearing of the scanned document from dust, or at its subsequent editing. It considerably will reduce the size of a raster file and will facilitate its further use.

After processing of a raster by such combination of software products the drawing looks almost as vector. In drawing the scanned document in which by means of MechaniCS some elements of registration of the drawing are put down is presented. For comparison on the drawing similar raster fragments are left. Sometimes it is useful to transform the added vectors into a raster: it will help to be convinced that all lines have a necessary thickness.

If the original is executed by a pencil at line scanning can become thickness because of the insufficiently precisely chosen border black and white, therefore it is expedient to take advantage of the filter thinning lines. If on the drawing there are the distortions caused by discrepancy of the original, an error of copying or something similar, them simply enough to correct by means of calibration. All these operations are carried out by tools RasterDesk. In participation of the designer no necessity is present – work can execute and the operator. The example of such restoration is presented in drawing.

The following area of possible application of the scanner – creation of assembly drawings by addition in the existing drawing of the knots represented on other drawings, and also creation of a series of the same drawings or variants of configurations. Certainly, in this case not to do without the program of editing of a raster. The combination of several raster fragments does not cause special difficulties, but to carry out it it is necessary to the designer. Certainly, preliminary processing of a raster can make and the operator, but all the rest – business of the designer. Prior to the beginning of preliminary processing it is necessary to define, what elements of the drawing should have the best quality of the image, than it is possible to neglect and that will be simply removed from a raster. In such cases usually it is necessary to refuse automatic removal of dust and to carry out clearing in an interactive mode.

The important way of increase in productivity of the designer – use so-called spalax. On the basis of available drawings the scanner allows to use similar preparations not only on a drawing board, but also on the computer. Moreover, the concept of spalax as drawing with not put down sizes passes in the category of drawing preparations for essential manual operational development. Hardly all designers of your enterprise work on computers, however it does not mean that their work cannot become more effective at the expense of use of means.

The loading of the raster images which have become real, since AutoCAD R14, considerably expands possibilities of use of the scanned drawings. In this case means not stroke the raster image introduced in the vector drawing though sometimes and it makes sense, and that it is possible to insert elements of libraries of the vector blocks accumulated in the course of work by each designer into the raster drawing. Also, at work with program Genius with component Vario there is a possibility of use of an insert in the scanned drawing of elements of library of standard details Genius and libraries of the parametrical templates created on the basis of used in design organisation Standard Enterprise. It is necessary to notice that the electronic copy of these Standards Enterprise described above considerably simplifies a choice of parametrical templates at an insert in the drawing.

In a following drawing the raster drawing of the device at which rerelease out-of-date details have been replaced on new with use of elements of library Genius-Vario is shown. After an insert of new vector details the old raster got out tools RasterDesk and left from the document. Thus, instead of plotting configuration of the developed drawing can make of available elements the most part of work of the designer.

Standard problem – manufacturing of the several drawings differing with variants of execution of one or several knots. In drawing the scanned drawing of broach into which the variant of a parametrical template of the tooth executed in Genius-Vario (it later has been inserted is shown allocated by colour). It is Enough to change template parametres – and the new drawing is ready. In such a way on the basis of one drawing-prototype it has been received one and a half ten drawings different broach.

Possibility of use of ready elements allows some designers to pass from a drawing board to the computer without the big losses of time for acquisition of skills of computer plotting. If to add to it possibility of use of raster components – including images of a detail with which it is necessary to impose with equipment, – that effect will be even more notable. It is necessary to notice that it is not so obligatory to instal the program of processing of a raster on each workplace, compelling all designers to study new technology. Preliminary processing of a raster file and definitive operational development of the hybrid drawing the operator which computer is supplied by all assortment of used software products first can carry out. The operator who has been not burdened with design thought, understands possibilities of various software is much better and will execute these operations where faster and more effectively. Certainly, it is a question not of the operator-typist or the young man who has read computer magazines, instead of about the highly skilled expert perfectly knowing both program, and the hardware, understanding process of designing and able to develop technology of process of creation of the drawing. Only from such expert the well-founded initiative of use of new technical possibilities can proceed.

Let's concern uses of a raster in the course of an information transfer. If it is necessary to communicate with the remote partner by means of phone or a fax it is difficult enough to solve the questions, concerning maintenances of the concrete drawing. To send by E-mail the drawing supplied with necessary comments much easier. Or a fax with a drawing fragment. But in any case the electronic copy of this drawing is required to you. While such dialogue meets seldom.

In another way decisions of questions collective discussion of design decisions is. Having at the order a projector connected to the computer, you without effort will acquaint a large attendance with the drawing or the poster. It is possible to use this means not only in the course of training of designers to work with new software products but also when it is necessary to perform work of the operator and to correct the drawing of the designer working on kuhlmann, at its presence and under its instructions (the designer sees the drawing in the real size).

Let's notice what to give the drawing to the customer it is recommended in difficult to editable format (for example, PDF) or in a raster kind which is considered a drawing copy.

Let's consider technology “the printer/copier” which basis is preparation of a dummy and its subsequent duplicating.

On duplicating various documents of formats from A4 to A0 can arrive:
- Text documents (the accompanying documentation, specifications), preliminary prepared on the computer by means of office applications;
- Graphic documents (drawings, schemes), created in specialised packages CAD;
- Documents from archive – as in the pure state, and finished manually;
- Graphic documents (drawings, schemes), executed manually on kuhlmann.

The documents of formats A4-A3 prepared on the computer I am unpacked on laser and jet printers, and formats A2-A0 – on jet plotters. Then the dummy is duplicated on analogue photocopiers (see the scheme drawing).

In the local computer network it is possible to organise the centralised press of dummies. Printers can be used in quality Multiple Original Printers – printers for the repeated press, at once receiving the necessary quantity of originals-copies.

On the other hand, in practice the share of computer working out of documents increases and is reduced “manual” plotting. The decision on gradual transition from technology becomes natural reaction to continuous growth of volumes of the electronic documentation “the printer/ copier” to technology of electronic technical document circulation and full refusal from “manual” documentation preparations.

First of all it is required to organise the centralised productive press of large-format documents that allows to receive the necessary quantity of prints, considerably to unload the analogue engineering photocopiers which have developed the resource and in due course to refuse their use.

Presence of the scanner and the corresponding software allows to realise technology of electronic document circulation (see the scheme drawing).

Thus, we have considered receptions of an effective utilisation of the scanner at designing of industrial targets.

1. Bulychyov D., Rangaeva E. Vectorization – myths, a reality, alternatives or How to work with the scanned drawings//CAD and a drawing, #4, 2001 [ id=7134&iid=291]
2. Lebedev I. The use of scanned drawings in CAD//CADmaster, #1 (1), 2000 [ 8294928/cm_01_chertezh_CAD.pdf]
3. Nagradov A. Scanner in design office of the industrial enterprise//CAD and a drawing, #6 (6), 2000 []
4. Polyakov E.. Technology of design documentation//CADmaster, #1 (11), 2002 []
5. Rangaeva E. Scan and vectorize? Thoughts apropos…//CADmaster, #5 (15), 2002 []
6. Klebnikova V. Old drawings and new technologies//CADmaster, #3 (28), 2005 []

The author: Челябэнергопроект
Date: 07/22/2009

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