How to convert a JPG picture into a vector drawing for experimentation

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On Sat, 04 May 2013 09:38:15 +0000, Chris Malcolm wrote:

Thanks.
I would think there must be software that does this; and I was thinking about the problem at night - so the idea hit me to plan by looking at a photograph.
It's daylight now - so I'll do it by eye again.
Still ... it would be very useful to have the software, simply because it must exist, for planning purposes.
For example, every elbow costs in inefficiency, and every foot of pipe costs the builder a dollar. Certainly if they can eliminate a connection or two, it saves them double that.
In fact, were I to start over, I'd make the whole thing gentle flowing curves of bent pipe, instead of these sharp elbows.
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On 5/4/2013 9:27 AM, Danny D wrote:

What you described is done everyday. It isn't free and it does require a lot more than converting a raster image to a vector image which essentially gives you a single shape.

Absolutely. But there is nothing magical that will do it in a few clicks.

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My daughter designed university and industrial laboratory plans in AutoCad. Seems to me a dip into the AutoCad universe might yield some useful pathways.
--
Frank ess



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Very wise!
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Regards,

Eric Stevens
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Oren wrote <<By the time I hit the AutoCAD learning curve, I could just as well use a drafting board, T- squares and some tools to design a pool pump system. I never plan to build a space ship using AutoCAD :)>> Life can be made easier in many ways, by investing in a learning curve. I am thankful that I learned drafting the old way, with drafting boards, T-squares, triangles, protractors, etc., then drafting machines, and finally life became *enormously* easier and neater and more accurate with CAD. Same for many modern instruments and machines. AutoCAD even helps me with photography. Sure, it takes time to learn, and you never stop learning it. But if you do much drafting at all, that learning pays great dividends. I suggest starting with AutoCAD LT. It can do everything that a T-square and triangles and protractor etc. can do, and it is much less expensive and easier to learn. If you use it much at all, it will grow on you. If the pool pump system is the *only* thing that you ever will design, then probably best to stay with the T-square etc. But if you want to go at all beyond that, then go for AutoCAD LT.
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On Sun, 5 May 2013 05:41:47 +0000 (UTC), Dick Alvarez

For simple @D drafting, Visual Cadd is better than Autocad light, or heavy. See http://www.tritools.com/ Visual Cadd will allow you to import JPGs and then draw over the top of them on a different layer.
I speak from many years experience of pencil, ink, paper, film, and CAD systems. But it's not free.

But have a look at Visual Cadd: it's faster and in the long run cheaper.
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Eric Stevens
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On Sun, 05 May 2013 21:31:50 +1200, Eric Stevens wrote:

I had not thought of that method prior, but Inkscape freeware (and I'm sure Trimble SketchUp, Blender, & Draftsight) can import the picture so we can draw over the lines also.
This would create 3D objects in a layer on top of the line drawing.

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Oren wrote <<By the time I hit the AutoCAD learning curve, I could just as well use a drafting board, T- squares and some tools to design a pool pump system. I never plan to build a space ship using AutoCAD :)>> Life can be made easier in many ways, by investing in a learning curve. I am thankful that I learned drafting the old way, with drafting boards, T-squares, triangles, protractors, etc., then drafting machines, and finally life became *enormously* easier and neater and more accurate with CAD. Same for many modern instruments and machines. AutoCAD even helps me with photography. Sure, it takes time to learn, and you never stop learning it. But if you do much drafting at all, that learning pays great dividends. I suggest starting with AutoCAD LT. It can do everything that a T-square and triangles and protractor etc. can do, and it is much less expensive and easier to learn. If you use it much at all, it will grow on you. If the pool pump system is the *only* thing that you ever will design, then probably best to stay with the T-square etc. But if you want to go at all beyond that, then go for AutoCAD LT.
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Detailed stuff like that is best left to a skilled/experienced pipe fitter. Some fart in a design office is sure to cock the job up. Just schematic drawings are normally given and the detail left to the man executing the work. Who will do a much better job.
The photograph you show looks like a proper pigs ear. Who would want to replicate that?
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Don't forget to factor in the cost of all the planning and design you'll be doing to "eliminate a connection or two". Spending a lot of time/money on that sort of design is only economical when the product will be replicated many times.

Where can you buy plastic pipes in all sorts of "flexible curves", and joints at random angles to match?
Isaac
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You use flexible pipes rather than rigid ones that need all those fittings.
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In article

Which cost how much more? And are likely not as durable.
Isaac
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says...

Google "PEX". Lovely stuff to work with--cut it with a knife, connect it with a crimper.
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On 5/5/2013 5:02 PM, isw wrote:

The problem is the OP only stated the main criteria is that software must be free. They didn't state if this is a hobby and they are building one of or a prototype that may be made many times in production. In the first case cost of extra parts and manufacturability aren't even a concern.

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On Mon, 06 May 2013 07:48:16 -0400, George wrote:

My mistake.
It's a one-time pool plumbing repair by a homeowner who is clearly inexperienced with pool plumbing yet who is very experienced with freeware.
There is no absolute need for the software; and it would only be used once (or perhaps a few times in a lifetime of typical home repair projects).
The reason for alt.comp.freeware should be obvious as that's where 99% of the software comes from on my machine (all legitimate).
The reason for alt.home.repair should also be obvious as they have the expertise to advise on plumbing particulars, tools, methods, techniques, ideas, etc.
And, the reason for rec.photo.digital is, perhaps less obvious, since that's mostly professionals; however some must be cognizant of the freeware extant that converts JPEG photos to 2D (and 3D) CAD drawings.
In fact, we've come up with multiple solutions, as we usually do, which will do the job for the typical homeowner: a) Inkscape (I used this to convert JPEG to vector DXF pencil drawing) http://inkscape.org/download/ b) Trimble SketchUp (needs to run under Wine for Linux) http://www.sketchup.com/intl/en/download/index.html c) Sourceforge Blender http://www.blender.org/download d) Dassault Draftsight http://www.3ds.com/products/draftsight/download-draftsight/ e) Flexihose ? ?
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I vaguely remember attending an ''example' class of an ANSYS software product that does this. It looked a lot like ProE competitor with rotatable drawings and presentations. The presentations looked like 3D renditions showing 'floating' pipes, ducting, and such. Even wiring. This software was for large architectural buildings, like high rise [I think]
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Just remember I saw where a laser scanner was sit inside a room and software then produced blueprints. But don't remember the company name, perhaps try real estate users.
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Hi Danny,
I prefer your first image. Looks familiar, probably because I am also a compulsive reconditioner :-)
You mucking around with a pool pump, greywater filter, or does it all fit inside a boat?
First off, I do this sort of thing about twice a week. Real world job, as in, more likely to get paid if I don't stuff up.
Problem with some of your preferred methods are potential lack of real dimensions. This needs CAD, not artwork/presentation tools. CAD works with real dimensions - anything from microns to parsecs.
1. If you have CAD skills but lack high-end software, get the free copy of Dassault Systemes Draftsight. Yeah you have to register to activate it, but you can unsubscribe from the follow-up email news if you find them irritating.
2. Paste your image into Draftsight as an attached image. Use "relative" or none" reference rather than "full".
3. Make sure a key horizontal and/or vertical line is actually horizontal/ vertical. If not, you can rotate the image by small increments. In contrasting colours, trace over all the important lines with lines, arcs or circles with polylines that can be smoothed, and the vertices moved to get an acceptable "fit". Check some known dimensions, eg the width/diameter of a pipe? Looks like there is some 25mm / 1" dia stuff there. Rescale the image and superimposed lines so that the drawn dimension and the real dimension match. Bit of mucking around will be needed to create elevation view from plan view. I assume that like me you aren't skilled in 3D modelling, otherwise you wouldn't be asking the question :-)
Software exists that can convert rasters to vectors, but I think it would make a mess of your project.
Alternative solution? Use flexihose. Maybe use it anyway ...
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On Sat, 04 May 2013 19:07:33 -0500, troppo wrote:

Excellent post! Thank you very much!
BTW, my pumps, which are 8 feet below the pool, leak at the inlets, and always have (about 500 gallons every few days) ... and they were put in fitting-to-fitting so tightly that a damn professional must have done it 'cuz they didn't waste an inch on extra piping!
I had to cut the fittings off just to unscrew them from the pumps (to fix the leak); so, while the plumbing is off, I'm relocating the pumps back a few feet in order to gain room, piping, & removable couplings!

True. I should have placed a ruler in the picture for dimensions! They're all two inch pipes - but that isn't accurate for an OD.

Aha! Nice idea! I like that it works on Linux also! http://www.3ds.com/products/draftsight/download-draftsight/

So the four JPEG-to-CAD freeware programs suggested are: 1. Trimble SketchUp (not on Linux though) http://www.sketchup.com/intl/en/download/index.html 2. Blender (open source) http://www.blender.org/download 3. Draftsight (free with a few minor strings) http://www.3ds.com/products/draftsight/download-draftsight/ 4. Flexihose
Unfortunately, I couldn't find the site for flexihose. Is this it? http://www.feihu-hose.com/download/download.php?lang=en&class11&class2T
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&clas

Hi Danny,
The sort of flexi-hose I was referring to looks like this:
http://www.reece.com.au/plumbing/products/pipe_%26 _fittings/dura_flex_hoses
What is shown is domestic plumbing stuff, eg 1/2 inch 12mm, great for avoiding all that pipe-bending. Should be available in larger diameters, but a lot more expensive no doubt.
Your link: http://www.contractorsdirect.com/General-Tools/Water-Pump- Accessories/Wacker-Hose-Accessories-Pumps Would work, but your rig isn't easily accessible? My suggestion would be to move the facility to a nearby shed or purpose- built pump housing. The installer was probably acting on the perceived customer requirement that this stuff must be hidden from view, so went overboard with making sure it wouldn't leak. Bad mistake. Anything like this, be it air-conditioning, pool filtering, drainage, needs to be accessible and protected from the elements. Sooner or later the mechanism will deteriorate and need maintenance. Also, pool pumps may be whisper-quiet in the shop, but don't stay that way forever after :-)
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