10 Replies Latest reply on Oct 31, 2017 10:35 AM by Jim Steinmeyer

    How do I import and change a pdf drawing?

    Esther Lee

      I am trying to make edits to a drawing that is only available as a pdf file. I have tried using Trace Settings to sketch over the pdf, but the drawing is too complicated and the changing the settings does not the tracing very much. Is there any way to import the pdf, or as a .jpeg, and be able to edit the drawing on it?

       

      Thanks in advance.

        • Re: How do I import and change a pdf drawing?
          Glenn Schroeder

          Hello Esther,

           

          Welcome to the forum.  If you have the full Adobe package you can use the "Edit Text" function (if it will recognize the dimensions as text) to override the values, but other than that I got nothing, short of starting all over and recreating the model and drawing.  Hopefully someone else will have a better idea.

            • Re: How do I import and change a pdf drawing?
              Dan Pihlaja

              I am in full agreement with Glenn on this one.  Been there, done that.   Not many options here.

              • Re: How do I import and change a pdf drawing?
                Jim Steinmeyer

                We had someone here ( had being the key word) that would bring in  2D drawings and then to save time would mirror the drawing sketches and place them on our sheet template to create an opposite hand drawings when needed. About once a month I get asked to edit one of the drawings he created in that manner and I get to say not so kind words in his honor.

                Unless you are in a desperate time crunch your co-workers and those who come after you will greatly appreciate the time and effort you expend doing things the correct way and redoing this part from the start.

                 

                Just my 2 cents worth.

                  • Re: How do I import and change a pdf drawing?
                    Esther Lee

                    Jim, I am using this pdf drawing as a base to make some rough sketches for an idea I have. I do not plan on using it officially, in which case I would follow your advice and spend time redoing it from the start. Since I'm not, can you tell me what you mean by "opposite hand drawings?" How does that relate to my problem?

                      • Re: How do I import and change a pdf drawing?
                        Jim Steinmeyer

                        Ester,

                        An opposite hand drawing refers to a mirrored drawing. We make feeders with a discharge door on the left side of the machine. Sometimes we have a customer who wants the discharge door on the right side of the machine. Our former employee would use AutoCAD to mirror the entire drawing then replace the dimensions and title block creating a usable drawing,but the whole procedure needed to be redone any time there were revisions. He saved time for the initial drawing but created extra work each time the drawing was touched following that.

                        The way that relates to your problem is that I have been there- done that. While it seems like copying a drawing or pdf can save you time initially you will find that by the time you get done cleaning up the drawing to make it usable you could have actually modeled the item from the ground up and saved yourself time in the long run.

                        In my experience, bring in a drawing and then adding your own twist to it can easily inhibit your own design as you find yourself boxed in trying to use the predetermined lines when something could be done easier, cleaner and cheaper if you just looked at the pdf and started with your own sketches. As you said, you aren't looking to use this converted drawing for an official drawing so you may be able to get by with it but from my experience I have been hindered more than helped by doing something like this. Just attempting to offer a little advice from my experience. We get quite a few newer people here that are looking for quick fixes and sometimes they can benefit from our mistakes.

                  • Re: How do I import and change a pdf drawing?
                    Andreas Rhomberg

                    Sometimes I need to create a Part that may be Customer supplied but only have a 2d Pdf. will try to model this way for reference only.

                    I have had good success with this Pdf converter Able2Extract PDF Converter & Creator: PDF to Excel, Word, PowerPoint & more if the Pdf is of good quality.

                    • Re: How do I import and change a pdf drawing?
                      Chris Dordoni

                      Inkscape (free) will open a PDF. As long as the information is in vector format, its possible to save a DXF from Inkscape.

                       

                      SolidWorks really slows down with imported DXF or DWG files with thousand of entities. Its best to eliminate as many of the entities as possible BEFORE importing into SolidWorks. If thousands of entities are needed, its best to break into several files and create multiple sketches.  I've found limiting selections to fewer than 3000 entities in sketches allows a fairly reasonable response time for moving, deleting ... etc.

                       

                      If the drawing is embedded in the PDF as an image autotracing a centerline is possible; unfortunately, not many common applications are great with centerline tracing.

                      • Re: How do I import and change a pdf drawing?
                        Rob Edwards

                        Another Program that can open pdf's is MOI.  I'm not sure what it cost's as I was given a license from a company we work with, but the ability to open a pdf and save as dxf to bring into SW has been useful.

                        edit: Search Moi3D, looks like there is a 30 day free trial

                        • Re: How do I import and change a pdf drawing?
                          Bjorn Hulman

                          Hi Esther,

                           

                          If you have access to Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw you can open a pdf in there. If they're vector based then you can export them as DXF and import in SW. Obviously you won't get any 3D geometry. just lines.