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TUrboCAD-LTE vs TurboCAD vs Draftsight

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I currently have TurboCAD_LTE v 2015 and am thinking of getting either Draftsight (pay version) or TurboCAD (non-LTE).  ON e thing I am looking for is the ability to import PDFs into the CAD program to help getting started in drawing plans for the Virginia 1776.


Although I had drafting class 40+ years ago, I know next to nothing about CAD.


Any suggestions , comments, or pros and cons of these CAD programs?


Thanks for the information nad feedback



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TurboCad 2017 Pro allows pdf files to be inserted as underlay objects, more or less as raster images.  The resolution is not the greatest but it does allow it.  You can also load your pdf in Acrobat, take a screen capture and convert in Paint to a jpg.  The resolution is a little better that way.


Actually, you may want to search the web with "pdf to jpg" and you will find several apps that convert pdf's to jpg's.  I am under the impression that Acrobat Pro has a utility for converting to jpg's.  I have no need for such, but they are there for your consideration.



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There is a pdf to cad program (pdf2cad).  I used the free trial about 2 -3 years ago and did not need to buy the full version.  I assume it's still out there.



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In AutoCAD you can input PDF files, just go to insert - external reference - use pull down menu for pdf file. Once input you can scale and rotate it to be lines up with the xyz axis. For scaling insert a line scale it than measure a pdf line with a none dimension and incease or decrease dwg to scale. Best lock pdf layer so you won't change anything  add your new overlay drawing on top. The pdf is a raster file and lines are not to smooth or clean but you can create your own drawing.


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  • 1 month later...

Hi Nathan.  I used TurboCAD 2016 Pro to develop the plans for my HMCSS Victoria build (ongoing).  TC 2016 allowed me to import either a PDF (PDF/Underlay manger) or raster image files (BMP, JPG etc), which if put on their own layer, aligned and scaled then locked, allow you to trace what you need - note they are separate tools in TC.  The TC 2018 blurb states that the image manager has been improved in 2018 but my reading to date suggests that this is only to allow  multiple image file import rather than interaction between the image and drawing layers (that is selection of parts of the image to convert/use in the CAD drawing).  I would really like to know more about the TC 2018 image manager if anyone has any experience with it?


In my drawings I have imported some large photographs and lithographs, and have had up to as many as 10 underlying images - visibility turned on and off as required - as background reference images (once scaled).  However, I have experienced some issues with the images disappearing occasionally (the image holder remains) requiring reloading of the image.  That said, I think that this is a problem of my own making by deleting or moving the parent file (as they are linked) by default.  This could be overcome by embedding the image (an option in TC Image manger) but your drawing/TC file will become very large -  or do not rename. move or delete your parent image files :).


I have drawn up my plans with the wrong techniques with literally thousands of elements/entities as I am a self-taught absolute amateur - this resulted in me drawing every item individually (including each treenail head) instead of using blocks and symbols etc - lesson learned for next time :( .  So the files could have been much smaller allowing some image embedding if required.  Overall I have found that the image import, alignment and scaling for using as a background to trace in TC, is a relatively straight forward process once you get to grips with it.





Edited by BANYAN

If at first you do not suceed, try, and then try again!
Current build: HMCSS Victoria (Scratch)

Next build: HMAS Vampire (3D printed resin, scratch 1:350)

Built:          Battle Station (Scratch) and HM Bark Endeavour 1768 (kit 1:64)

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