RE: Process diagrams - problems converting 2-D drawings

From: EdGrenda (
Date: Sat Jan 17 1998 - 20:53:40 EET

In a message dated 98-01-16, you write:
Subj: Process diagrams - problems converting 2-D drawings
Date: 98-01-16 00:46:58 EST
From: (Marshall Burns)
To: (Rapid prototyping)

Dear RP Folks,

    A few days ago there was a request for an FDM process diagram and
some replies that indicated there is not a lot available. I took a look
at posting the drawings from my book on our Web site but I had
difficulty getting them to come out looking any good. I think the
problem may be that they were done in an obsolete drawing program
(Professional Draw) and I can only get them out as bitmaps, Windows
metafiles, TIFs, or various other formats I can't use. What I need is a
GIF or JPG. I tried using Microsoft Photo Editor (thank you Bill, free
with Office) to convert them but the results look bad when the scale is
reduced to a suitable size.

    If anyone has any ideas for how to convert these drawings, I will
post them on our Web site. Otherwise, I will eventually redraw them in a
newer drawing program that does browser-friendly output, but getting
around to that will definitely take time.

    By the way, we haven't publicised our Web site yet because it is
still being worked on. You are free to look around in it, but we expect
to have a much better one for you soon.

    Thank you to everyone for your support.

Marshall Burns


Hi Marshall:

The ugliness you are probably seeing in the .jpg and .gif files is probably due to aliasing caused by the compression alogorithm. You can probably select less compression from an options menu for the .jpg conversion (if what you're using follows the predecessor MS Imager SW that I have. You may also be able to that with the .gif conversion, or use an alternate compression scheme.

Different image processing programs use different algorithms. Side by side comparisons of conversions done with MS Imager, Thumbs and PaintShop Pro show considerable differences. PSP does the best job, probably because it compresses least. I can't tell the difference from the originals. Both of the latter are shareware available from various places on the net.

I have MS Word 6.0 drawing files for all the major RP methods that I'd be willing to share by email file attach. They're from various papers we've written and have text balloons, etc. All this stuff can be modified and embellished in Word if deemed desirable, although due to the high level aesthetic sensitivity and taste involved in their creation, probably unnecessary.

These files can also be converted to bit maps and thence to anything else using the following procedure:

1) Group all elements of the drawing together (and select that group), 2) Insert a picture container in MS Word (from the drawing menu), 3) Open MS Paint (or similar DRAWING program; a photo application such as MS Imager probably won't work), 4) Paste to the work area. (It may be necessary to Paste more than once to squeeze the entire drawing out). 5) Save as a bitmap, 6) Open that bitmap in other applications to save it as .jpg, .gif, etc.

I've included this procedure in the posting because I've found it pretty useful, and I've never seen anything else that tells how it can be done.

Hope this helps.

Best regards, Ed (Rembrandt) Grenda AutoFab Systems, Inc. 19 Pondview Road Arlington, MA 02174 USA 781-646-6280 (voice or fax) (email)

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