RE: Graphics for hardware instructions

Subject: RE: Graphics for hardware instructions
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 2009 16:46:31 -0500

Gene Kim-Eng
> This how I create most of my line-drawing graphics, but not
> by getting someone
> to create 3D line drawings. I use whatever engineering CAD
> system is in-house
> to manipulate 3D design models and save out hidden-line
> plotter files I can
> import into Illustrator or CorelDraw. If your company
> designs in 3D, the tool
> is already available and the learning curve to do this is not
> nearly as steep as
> it is to actually create the models.

See my reply to Robert L.

> If all your design work is outsourced and your company
> doesn't even have CAD
> installed in-house to view its own design files (ouch), talk
> to your contractors
> and see if they can output to X3D files. X3D is the
> ISO-standard 3D vector file
> format that replaced the old VRML, and there are several open
> source editors you
> can download that will enable you to rotate the 3D model and save out
> hidden-line flat vector image files. You will probably need
> to erase a lot of
> mesh lines to turn them into decent-looking document illustrations.

That might be worth a try.
Can you ADD to those files?

The guys who design our metalwork are often not the eventual
fabricators. They also have nothing to do with all the interesting
visual bits that would normally fill the open holes in a finished
appliance - power supplies and power sockets, fans, switches, LEDs,
LCDs, various interface sockets (USB and proprietary, serial, other).

I'd have to be able to add those to the gaping empty holes in
a supplied X3D file.
> If all your company's designs are all done in 2D only, you
> are SOL unless you
> can either learn to model in 3D or convince your company to
> pay for someone to
> do the work. Good luck on this one if your company has
> already decided not to
> invest in 3D CAD design, because the pro you need to hire for
> this is not an
> illustrator, but a CAD designer.

I'd have to inquire. Don't know off-hand.

Illustrations don't really need to be dimensionally accurate.
They just need to be clean and representative.

- Kevin

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Graphics for hardware instructions: From: McLauchlan, Kevin
Re: Graphics for hardware instructions: From: Gene Kim-Eng

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