11 Replies Latest reply on Jul 1, 2008 4:51 PM by Dan Riffell

    Curve Tracing

    Phani Vadapalli
      I need to trace the shape of this part.My final aim is to get a dxf or dwg file with the sketch.I can also work with a solidworks file.Can anyone please help me in reaching my goal?

      Thanks people
      Phani
        • Curve Tracing
          Troy Peterson
          What version of solidworks are you using?
          • Curve Tracing
            Phani Vadapalli
            SW 2008 SP3.1
              • Curve Tracing
                Troy Peterson
                2008 has a new feature called Auto Trace. You can find information on this in the help file under "Auto" - "Trace"

                You can also try sketch picture. This places the image in the background for you to trace over. You can find information on this in the help file under "Sketch Tools" - "Picture"
              • Curve Tracing
                Phani Vadapalli
                I tried using Auto Trace by going to tools,addins and auto trace but it doesnt show up anywhere.
                  • Curve Tracing
                    Matt Lombard
                    Auto trace is very cleverly hidden. Probably because someone is embarassed. Even if you find it, I doubt it will do you any useful service. After adding it in in the Add-ins window, Auto Trace shows up as a pair of arrows at the top right of the Sketch Picture PropertyManager. It never says "Auto Trace" any where.

                    Anyway, the controls are unlabeled (sliders don't say what going left or right does). It looks like a half finished interface. Very interesting that it made it in at all. The functionality is completely useless, to my eye. I have yet to come across a case where it is worth the effort.

                    A SW employee may show up and tell you to pre-process the image in photoshop first. If you have the time to do that, you have the time to just trace it manually. Even if it works, the Auto Trace result is going to require a lot of manual tweeking.

                    If you get an example that works and gives you something usable, (will probably be a 2 color black and white image), please post it here. I'd be very interested to see it.
                  • Curve Tracing
                    Phani,

                    The autotrace function (part of the sketch picuture wizard) won't work well for line art. If you have any experience with a photoediting programs like PhotoShop or CorrelDraw, then take your artwork into one of them and fill in the inner area of the outline so that you have a completely black silhouette keep it (or make it) as high a resolution as possible. Save it and use it in the AutoTrace wizard. Even if AutoTrace does not get 100% of the geometry, 80 to 90 percent of it will be useable (saving you time) and you can manually tweak the remaining 10 percent. Once you have the sketch geometry, you can tweak and simplify to suit.

                    Of course, if at all possible, you have vector geometry of this profile in dxf, dwg, iges, Adobe Illustrator etc. it would be best to use it instead of converting from bitmap pixels to sketch geometry.

                    Hope this helps
                    • Curve Tracing
                      I've used Algolab's Photo Vector (algolab.com for a free trial copy) to take a scan or photo of a part and converted it to lines and arc's before. For something like this I'd make a very sharp ink tracing and rescan it for maximum contrast. You can forget about closing the resulting DXF output for an extrude or anything, but it will give you a halfway decent sketch to trace over.