I would like freeware to convert a JPG photo into whatever format I
need so that I can "arrange" pumps and pipes around in the drawing
to determine an efficient setup (few elbows, no pipes running over pumps,
Have you ever done that process of arranging blocks in a photo?
Here's how I tried it (but maybe there is a better way)?
I started with this crude photo of the current pump setup:
Here's a quick 1-step conversion to a pencil drawing with The GIMP:
Filters->Edge Detect->Difference of Gaussians
Here's a quick conversion of the photo to vector format in Inkscape:
Path->Trace Bitmap->(o)Edge detection->Update->OK
Inkscape saves a vector diagram, but I can't upload that SVG file; so I'll
instead save as a PNG and upload that (but assume all lines are now
vectors in the Inkscape SVG or DXF file):
This takes seconds to do; so my question starts from here:
Given this conversion of the photo to either a pencil drawing or to
a vector diagram - what freeware would you use to experimentally arrange
pumps and plumbing to get an optimal fit?
- As few elbows as possible
- No pipes running over objects
- Easy access to pump baskets & motors
Here's an example of the Hearst Castle from a Google screenshot:
I took a landscaping class at the local recreation department,
where we did the planning reviews with large paper blueprints.
In that case, it was all drawn by hand after taking tedious
measurements, transferring to block paper, & then to blueprints.
But, the vector blueprint above only took a split second to create
from a screenshot of Google maps - saving umpteen hours of drawing
were I to draw on graph paper to scale ... so I was just wondering
what is out there currently that other people use for blueprints.
No big deal ... just curious (mostly for landscaping purposes).
picture into a vector drawing for experimentation:
Perhaps you can help me. I am looking for some software, free or
inexpensive, to enable me to visualize landscape design around my
home. However I would like the software to be able to show me what
everything will look like after it dies a few months after I plant it.
That way I can visualize what I'll end up with.
Aah but you considerably limited your options when you asked for
Freeware. There are commercially available tools at reasonable prices,
some of which can do quite a good job. Where time is money, Freeware
doesn't seem to cut it.
Agree, what the OP wants is done everyday but not with free software.
Not sure why "free" is cited so often as the main requirement for
software when someones intellectual abilities that were used to create
software allow you to save time and money.
Obviously because the function isn't worth the money asked by
"professional" software companies. There is an amazing amount of
freeware out there that is quite good. A perfect example is
"Sketchup". It's hard to beat for a 3-D modeling program for
woodworkers or homeowners and there are "professional" packages
available for those who need more function.
Free means, among other things, that someone wrote the software to be
They distribute this way on purpose. They *want* you to use their freeware.
Just like you help me, for free, and just like I write up details to
help others, for free. Just like I post pictures, for free. And, I write
up the summary, for free.
There's nothing wrong with that.
In fact, there's almost nothing you need for casual home use that isn't
already available, for free. Just ask the folks on alt.comp.freeware for
The OP is asking for quite a lot. He's basically asking for 3D-modeling
software that is capable of recognizing exactly what the photograph shows,
and drafting it so as to create an editable 3D scene. Wouldn't that be nice
if it existed!
Somebody mentioned Google SketchUp. That's about as close as the OP will
come to free 3D software. It's actually pretty good but, like all 3D
programs, requires that you enter the elements in by hand (or by brain,
mouse, and keyboard). However, once in, it's easy enough to push and pull
stuff around and get what you need. I've tried SketchUp, but since I
already use 3DSMax for work, it's not something I want to invest the time
to learn. A designer at one of our suppliers uses SketchUp as her 3D
program; she's learned it well enough to make some pretty nice 3D
Looks like Trimble SketchUp is the suggested raster-to-2D vector program
for small one-time home projects such as that which I contemplate.
Googling for a Linux version, I find the closest 1:1 replacement appears
to be the open-source Blender
I'll test this sequence out:
a. Snap a photograph (or screenshot from Google Maps Satellite View)
b. Convert to 2D vector diagram (with Inkscape or equivalent)
c. Read into 2D/3D CAD software (need to test with Blender)
I'll see what I can do to write up a tutorial for small homeowner
projects; and report back when/if successful.
Some people cant take a shit without a computer these days.
A pencil (with eraser) and some paper are all that is needed.
Use the eraser when a change is needed! I've done quite a lot of
plumbing. I just measure the overall length, plan where I need a
fitting, and buy what I wrote. I add 10% to the length of pipes, and
buy at least one extra elbow, tee, 45, etc.
Using copper pipe, or CPVC, I always dry fit the thing together first
until it fit and looked right, (a little duct tape helps dry fit). When
all looks good, I solder or glue. Whatever fittings are left can be
returned to the store.
On Sunday, May 5, 2013 5:25:28 AM UTC-6, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Holy Shit...A really honest down-to-earth solution that makes sense, is
practical and workable. Too bad there weren't more posters like this guy.
Computer program indeed!!...who needs a computer program to "envision" a
problem that doesn't even really exist.
The "down to earth" solution might be nifty for a small one of situation
but if you were doing it more than that it is amazing how much time and
money you can save using available computerized methods. And once you
have a library of shapes it doesn't even make sense to do it in a one of
I did much the same with my garage but that was 20 years ago. I'd
never attempt such a thing without a 3-D modeling program, now. I
don't even write anything down, anymore. I could never read what I
wrote anyway. ;-)
I don't know if any of them are free, but IIRC there are several pipe
planner software systems that do this kind of thing, including
automating some of the routing for you. It might be easier to start
from that end, and then find out which of them will allow the import
of some kind of image and work backwards from there.
No, can't give you any details, I just saw some of them being
demonstrated many years ago.
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