1. Large Format Scanning & Raster to Vector Conversion
Today’s economic climate creates a tremendous challenge to engineers, facility managers, architects, and others in design-driven fields that have to manage and organise an increasing volume of large and specialty size documents and at the same time control costs. Not only do you have to archive and store a vast array of documents types, but you are also faced with managing technical documentation and revisions, reproducing old maps and charts, merging paper documents into VirtuCAD systems and integrating other types of essential documentation into one computing environment.
Computers continue to play a pivotal role in all design-driven fields. VirtuCAD systems, databases, spreadsheets, word processors and related applications have all but replaced traditional paper documentation methods. Many companies are turning to scan technology to quickly enter this information into their computer systems so that it can be shared, organized and managed.
Most organizations realize the benefits of imaging instantly, such as:
- Reproduce superior quality drawings from poor quality originals.
- Save time vs. digitized tables, redrawing, copying and printing documents.
- Conversion from raster formats to 100% CAD perfect geometry.
- Enhanced service to clients at a lower cost.
- Increased productivity and control.
- Eliminate misplaced drawings and documentation.
- Shared access to large files and databases.
- Convert any type of file format: CCITT Group IV, TIFF Group IV, JPEG, CALS, RLC, PCX, Intergraph, DWG, DXF
2. VirtuSync Computer-Aided Design (CAD)
VirtuSync follows the under mentioned steps to make drawings. The document conversion is accurately performed using AutoCAD, Microstation, AutoCAD Map, ArcView, MapInfo, ArcInfo, ERDAS, FRMMapper and other CAD and GIS software applications. Below is a brief list of steps performed by VirtuSync.
It starts with a scan:
Scanning is perhaps the most overlooked factor in the conversion process. This is the single most valuable feature in starting the conversion process and is far more valuable than increased resolution. Scanning these archives into compressed roaster format allows them to be enabled for faster revisions and improved distribution, Good separation of text, quality line representation, and smooth roaster geometry are also important aspects that should be considered in more detail when selecting your solution. Conversion to full vector CAD format is the only sensitive to a well-scanned image.
The entry of CAD Drawings:
We are experts in entering all types of facility drawings. Our CAD services team is made up of experts; in fact, the majority of our CAD drawing services team have degrees in facility management, architecture, etc., so they know what they are looking at. We have extensive services experience in drawing the following types of drawings:
- Architectural floor plan CAD drawings
- Space plan CAD drawings
- Furniture CAD drawings
- Reflected ceiling plans/CAD drawings
- Departmental occupancy CAD plans
- MEP CAD drawings
- Evacuation CAD plans
- Data centre CAD drawings
- Note: We do NOT do CAD services for mechanical parts drawings, schematic drawings, isometric drawings, etc. We DO provide extensive services that deal with floor plans and any related drawings.
Standardization of Existing CAD drawings:
Most organizations have existing CAD drawings in some form; however, most are not in good shape. Our CAD services team can help. Our CAD drawing team and standardization services take the existing drawings, updates them, and make them all comply with our organizational standards. You get back drawing files that are consistent and far more usable. Our state-of-the-art tools help expedites the process resulting in lower cost for you. Our patented CAD Drawing audit and Data Audit tools allow us to guarantee and prove results.
Having enforceable, published CAD Standards is an important step to ensuring that all CAD drawings in a library are consistent and reliable. Once standards are established, it is necessary to review and update existing drawings. Although important to facilities management, this process can be tedious, overwhelming, and very time-consuming.
Using the best practices and industry standards, VirtuSync will develop a tailored CAD Standards Manual and define processes that will manage and maintain the accuracy of the space data of your facilities.
VirtuSync has produced umpteen CAD Standards programs designed to give clients consistent, standardized, high-quality drawings. These Standards enable everyone involved in facilities management projects to understand requirements and procedures governing the creation and transfer of CAD drawings.
Once these CAD Standards are established and published, it is necessary to review and update existing CAD drawings. Using automated routines developed and tested over the last decade, VirtuSync will analyse existing drawings against the new standards and produce exception reports used to modify and clean drawings as required.
Layering standards are essential to seamlessly share graphic information data throughout the CAD/GIS industry. Implementation of layers in a file enables better management of visual information.
The most widely used layering standards have been developed by the American Institute of Architects (AIA). VirtuSync automatically uses the AIA layering standards during the conversion of a document unless the client has supplied their own set of layering standards.
Drawings layers are organized into major categories or groups. The major groups are further subdivided into minor groups. Each group represents a layer in the converted file. Each layer is labelled using a consistent, easy-to-remember abbreviation. The major groups defined by the AIA include:
Ambiguities, Data Conflicts:
Ambiguities can exist on almost any sheet and there must be conversion “thumb rules” in place to resolve them. These rules also ensure communication consistency between VirtuSync and our esteemed clients. Some common ambiguities and “thumb rules” include; non-dimensioned original drawings, unclear data on the original documents and data conflicts.
Unclear Entities on Original Documents:
When data on the original documents is unclear or difficult to interpret, the Engineer creates a “Doubt” layer in the CAD file. For each unclear entity that appears in the converted CAD file, the Engineer inserts a “red box”. The red box is an identifier that displays the unclear data. Our clients can then quickly zoom into the unclear area and make any necessary modifications. The “Doubt” layer also goes through four Stages of Quality Check and will remain after Stage 4 only in cases where the data was too unclear on the original sheets to convert.
Since VirtuSync operators manually redraw each entity shown on the original document, occasionally, a document shown on the original document will conflict with the measurement scaled by our operator. In such cases, the actual dimension shown on the document is used as the default. Therefore, we can ensure that all of our conversions are dimensionally correct.
Tools of Vectorization:
Overlay tracing: This is often referred to as heads-up digitizing. A scanned image is loaded into the CAD system as a backdrop and the image is “traced” over with CAD entities. This is very similar to the idea of digitizing but a digitizer table is not needed.
Overlay tracing is quicker than a complete redraw but is still labour-intensive, tedious, and time-consuming. It is a good option when working with poor-quality drawings. Raster snapping and heads-up digitizing improve throughput and accuracy over traditional hand-digitizing methods, which are still widely used.
Batch conversion: Batch tools work with a set of predefined rules to recognize unique settings such as text classification, width separation, and geometrics. This works best when drawing quality is very good, drawings are consistent, and the desired result is basic primitives. Results of batch systems will often require clean-up to ensure the converted drawing meets the needs of the user.
Selective or interactive conversion: This is the most promising of CAD conversion techniques. It combines the intuitive knowledge of the user with an interactive line-following or selective conversion process. These tools allow an operator to isolate selected geometry and text, and then work within the limiting factors of the technology.
As an example, a topographical map is converted by selecting a raster contour then the software vector traces it to an intersecting or gap position. This process is repeated for the entire trace. Then the elevation is assigned to make it a 3-D model for the GIS system to take over.
Hybrid process: A fully hybrid approach is one where scanned archives and CAD systems are maintained for a drawing. The term hybrid in the case means a combination of both rasters (scanned) and vector (CAD) drawings. Hybrid editing means using both raster data and vector data simultaneously. Changes can be made within either environment.
Information can be exchanged back and forth between two distinctive formats, thus offering the most efficient method for modifying the old within the new.
Calibration between the raster database and vector drawing model is typically provided with a reference or resource file. This file contains scaling and coordinate transforms to provide a real-world coordinate system on an otherwise unintelligent raster database.
Deteriorated drawings can be scanned, cleaned up, and stored in raster. Modifications can be made to the drawings in raster, or areas of the drawings can be converted into CAD vectors, as it becomes necessary. This combination of raster and vector can also be plotted and stored.
Working in a hybrid environment allows the use of the scanned drawings immediately. Decisions to modify, plot or vectorize can be made as needed. Investing time and money to convert existing drawings can be done in a “just in time” basis.
With reduced labour costs and improved usage of Cad, the benefits of revising drawings electronically are clear. What may not be clear is the trade-off of investing in the upfront conversion to full CAD vs. taking advantage of lower-cost hybrid and raster CAD systems.
VirtuSync has a 100% guarantee policy. Our goal is to have every customer as a reference. We endeavour to provide a quality and service level which delights our customers.
VirtuSync assures the highest degree of quality and accuracy for each converted CAD file. Converted files are checked and rechecked to make sure that all CAD standards were followed, and that the document was converted accurately.
VirtuSync executes four levels of quality control (Quality Check) for each converted CAD file. If errors are detected at any stage, the file is returned to the original Engineer for corrections. Once corrections have been made, the file re-enters the Stage 1 to Stage 4 Quality Check process again. Upon successful passing each Stage of Quality Check, the converted CAD file is supplied to the client. The information below outlines the VirtuSync Quality Check procedure:
Stage 1: The Engineer converts and checks the CAD file to make sure that all instructions and standards were followed. When the Engineer is confident that the file is complete, it is then passed to Stage 2.
Stage 2: The Stage 2 CAD manager plots a converted file and compares it to the original document for errors or omissions. The file is also reviewed for compliance with all special instructions, layering schemes and standards. Errors and omissions are noted and the CAD manager works with the Engineer to assure that all errors and omissions are corrected as necessary. When the file is 100% accurate, the file passes to Stage 3.
Stage 3: The stage 3 CAD manager reviews the corrected document for 100% accuracy. All instructions and standards are checked again.
Stage 4: The Stage 4 CAD manager visually compares and approves that the electronic file matches the original document. The file is then distributed.
The final set of files can also be indexed for quick references. For example, VirtuSync can create a Microsoft Excel file to include each sheet's names and titles. The sheet name corresponds to the filename written onto the CD-ROM or internet transfer.
VirtuSync creates a package to be returned to the client. The package includes all documents requested by the client including final electronic files on media, original hard copies (if requested), invoice, etc. Upon request by the client, the paper documents can be returned or destroyed. Electronic files can be destroyed or archived by VirtuSync, for future needs of the client.
VirtuSync maintains electronic tape/CD backups of converted files over the most recent 5 years. A backup is created monthly and includes:
- Project profile standards.
- TIF/JPG images of original sheets submitted by clients to be converted.
- Final files.
- Any updated file
- Project data can be retrieved and accessed by the customer at any time.
Africa’s premier CAD & GIS services company. Paper to CAD drafting services. Outsource drafting work to Africa, CAD Drafting, Drafting Africa, outsource drafting.
3. 3-D Modelling:
A simple 2D image doesn’t attract much attention, but the third dimension tends to impress people. That is why they are used so successfully and effectively in advertising and entertainment to attract viewers. 3D advertisements are more memorable than ordinary flat ones. Highly realistic 3D images are an art form.
Using a proprietary process, our creative team can add depth with realistic roundness on an otherwise flat 2D image. These images can be used for stereo viewing in various forms: anaglyphs, slides, polarized stereo presentations, view-masters, etc.
We provide modelling services for customers moving from the 2D to the 3D world. We can assist you in re-creating a hi-quality, detailed, true three-dimensional model of your mechanical part from your old 2D drawing. We provide 2D CAD drafting for all aspects of M&E building services including electrical, mechanical and public health, dealing with all phases of the project from tender submission, comment, and construction through to as-fitted/record status. We provide MicroStation conversions to and from AutoCAD for all types of layout, outline and building service drawings. We also convert paper or velum drawings, complete with imperial to metric conversions to bring your drawings up to date with your specified CAD application and CAD standards.
We are capable of converting your existing paper copies into electronic CAD files. The paper copy drawings are 100% manually drafted into CAD to match the original sheets exactly. All CAD files are drafted at full-scale, dimensionally accurate and 100%-line connections with AIA layering (AIA Standards – American Institute of Architects) or a layering system of your choice.
- Vector Conversion Map Digitising:
Information contained in analogue maps has limited use in today’s business environment. With the increasing use of the Internet in ordinary commerce, everything has to be in a digital format. Our growing company uses a variety of advance technologies to convert paper-based maps, aerial and satellite photography, tax and property records, population statistics and other “geo-linked” data into a vector drawing system or other widely used CAD formats. Conversion of paper maps into digital data is done either through the use of flatbed digitizing boards or by using a scanned image (raster data) of the source as an overlay image on our CAD System.
4. Digital Image Processing:
Digital image processing of Satellite data has huge potential in studying land use and land cover classification for various applications. With the availability of high-resolution data, the study of urban development, agriculture, geology, and other sectors have grown tremendously over the years.
It involves image pre-processing, image restoration, image corrections and applying various classification algorithms. Image processing follows standard methodology with required accuracy levels depending upon various factors; such as type of sensors configurations, ground truth data, etc.
5. Digital Image Photogrammetry:
Photogrammetry is the art, science, and technology of obtaining reliable information about physical objects and the environment through the process of recording, measuring and interpreting photographic images and patterns of electromagnetic radiant energy and other phenomena.
With the introduction of computer-based, softcopy photogrammetric mapping and GIS systems that operate in a desktop computing environment prove to be a more economical solution for many mapping and GIS database construction tasks. It also presents visual reference of the earth’s surface, providing a clear image base for design engineering, asset management, planning, and change detection, among others.
Utilising photogrammetric processes, we can extract vector data such as contours, street centrelines, hydrography, utilities, vegetation, building footprints, etc. This data can be populated with attribute information on each feature, thus creating an intelligent database related to a particular geographic area.