FAQ - CAD digitizing

now so easy!

Find answers to frequently asked questions about the JDS CAD digitization.

What does the JDS
CAD digitization accomplish?

The JDS CAD digitization converts paper drawings, maps and/or scanned images into high quality, editable, usable and quantifiable CAD files. The geometry, text and dimensions are accurately reproduced, just as if they were drawn anew by an experienced CAD operator. At times, errors in the original drawings are found and can be corrected, because of the CAD process.

What is the difference between
JDS CAD digitization and other digitzing and vectorisation procedures
offered in the marketplace?

The difference between JDS CAD digitization and other digitzing and vectorisation procedures lies in the quality and the results. The results of JDS CAD digitization include exact geometry, accurate text and dimensioning as well as correct layering. The results of conventional vectorisations routinely require lots of editing in order to obtain useful results. The results of the JDS CAD digitization are useful without the need for editing or corrections, 99% of the time. While others may promise this, we actually achieve these results, in no small part because of our professional, accredited, degreed staff. It is important to emphasise that we employ professional engineers and other experts with design and operational experience.
The quality control is done by registered, professional engineers with many years of experience, who do a final control of all drawings before they are sent to the customer. That is a large aspect of what sets us apart from the rest. We’re not just computer experts, but a team of CAD professionals and engineers. This does not make us infallible but puts us right at the top of the heap in terms of price/performance ratio.

How does it work? What is the
technical process behind the JDS CAD digitization?

The drawings, maps or photographs are first scanned and thus turned into a raster image. This is a tiff, bmp or jpg. So many dots per inch by so many dots per inch, depending upon the resolution. The greater the resolution, the larger the resulting file size because of the number of pixels per unit of area (in²). Then we apply sophisticated software for clean up of the scanned images. We can scan from paper, opaque or transparent, as well as from microfilm aperture card, all resulting in raster images that are electronically saved and can now be shared. The raster images are now interpreted and vectorised with a recognition software program, which recognises text via OCR and vectorizes lines, circles and symbols, assigning x and y co-ordinates, thus creating vectors, with starting and ending points or co-ordinates, which are the fundamental basis of CAD. The electronically vectorised image is then manually edited and corrected by our CAD specialists until a high quality CAD file has been produced, complete with exact geometry, precise dimensions and text as well as layer assignments conforming to customer requirements or standards. It is important to emphasise that we employ professional engineers and other experts with design and operational experience.

Can clients provide specifications for JDS SOMMER GmbH to follow in the
conversion work?

Yes. We routinely work to unique client specifications, internal and external standards. We keep adding to our standards. We also take note of exceptions people have to them. Some folks go by the book, others have more exceptions than rules. We note the differences and keep them so that all future work is done right the first time. This also helps to standardise. You may have generations of drawings with different flavours from different eras. We can standardise and give all your drawings your current flavour. Drafting is an individual art that reflects not just dry technical detail but style and personality and ‘signature’ of the original draftsperson. As you begin a relationship with us, we literally get to know one another. We don’t attempt to impose our way on you, though we can make recommendations if desired. We usually discover what your way is and maintain that procedure for you, wherever that is required. Typical specification or standard details include:

  • Layer structure
  • Scale
  • Text Size
  • Line Weights and Types
  • etc.

What CAD file formats does JDS provide? Can you provide any other
CAD file formats?

The following file formats are available for our conversions:

  • AutoCAD (DWG)
  • Microstation (DGN)
  • Nemetschek (Allplan FT)
  • Autodesk Inventor
  • Pro/Engineer
  • Unigraphics
  • Catia
  • I-DEAS
  • Architectural Desktop
  • ArcGIS
  • Autodesk Map
  • MapInfo
  • 3D Studio Max
  • and any other systems that can accept and import dxf files.

If my CAD system is not mentioned here by name, can I still use the JDS CAD digitization service?

Yes, provided that your CAD system can import dxf files. We have delivered thousands of dxf files. 99% of those imports proceeded smoothly and resulted in high quality final products. Also, if you have a unique program that cannot communicate with any other and you desire to keep it, you can either get us a license or we’ll get it. If there is enough work in it for us, we’ll get your program to serve you. This does happen on occasion. We encounter people who write their own programs or augment others now and then, though usually dxf files work.

What is the cost of JDS CAD digitization?

The cost of JDS CAD digitization is only a fraction of manual conversions, whether you re-draw from scratch or import a tif and trace. For indicative pricing, please refer to our price calculator.
We would be pleased to provide you with a firm quotation. In order to do so, we require your drawings or maps or scanned images. Quantity, size, density and the nature of the specifications can all influence cost.

How long do the conversions take?
What is your capacity?

Usually we need 2-3 business days to deliver a high quality CAD file. But if you’re in a rush, you may avail yourself of our 24h service, however, this costs both ourselves and the client a bit more. With the benefit of some planning, we have the capacity to handle several hundred drawings per week for you. We can ramp up but, understandably, it helps to have notice and plan for large increases in production.

How can I quickly get a firm quote, free of charge, without any obligation on my part?

Send us copies of your drawings by mail. If you already have scanned images, provide them to us via e-mail or send us the CD or upload them via the upload function right on our homepage. Within a few business hours from receipt of your drawings, we will send a free quotation, no obligation on your part to proceed, with firm pricing, guaranteed for 6 weeks.

How do I order?

Just sign our quote and send it back, as your order, or send us a purchase order acknowledging our quote and sales conditions.

What happens to my originals if I decide not to order?

We will mail back your paper drawings and delete any computer files having to do with them.

What quality must my originals be in order to enable high quality CAD conversions?

All information that you can visually recognise, we can reproduce precisely in CAD. What is important is that dimension text be legible so that an exact representation of this can be produced in CAD format. We will not guess on your behalf and may point out items in the scans provided by you that are simply illegible. Such items will be up to you to correct. If neither of us knows what the illegible information should be, you may be a candidate for field verification, which we can help you with. Just contact us in that event please.

How do the CAD files you produce
get delivered to me?

On CD, DVD, external hard drive, via E-mail, ftp or if required, by pick-up or drop-off.

Are there quantity discounts?

Yes, we would be pleased to provide an individual quotation for the JDS CAD digitization of multiple drawings/maps. Just remember though, we need to see the originals or good copies.

I have already had bad experiences with automatic vectorisations. I’m not sure if or why your results are any better.

Why don’t you just try it? Send us one drawing or map. We will digitise this for very little money indeed and send it back to you in CAD format. You can also browse this site for testimonials and samples or ask for further references. But your best bet is to simply give us a shot. Make it a tough one.

Due to a system crash, through damage by water or because a server was stolen we have lost a large number of CAD files. The plans are however still in our archives on paper or on microfilm. Can JDS SOMMER GmbH reproduce the CAD files?

Yes, we have reproduced CAD files in many such occurences of damage.

We are a large pharmaceutical enterprise with many technical departments. Each department has its own CAD standards. For the further use of the plans in a Facility management system we need the plans revised in accordance to uniform guidelines and all of them in AutoCad (or MicroStation) format.

JDS provides the solution by accomplishing the following work procedures:

  1. Revision of all existing CAD files in accordance with the new uniform structure (level, cells, etc.).
  2. All the revised CAD files are being converted to the target format AutoCAD (or MicroStation, or…).
  3. REach rooms outline is drawn as a polygon.
  4. The data related to each polygon is being linked to the FM data base.

Can JDS derive high-quality CAD files also from PLT or PDF files?

Yes, as long as the information is well readable in the existing drawings, then we are in a position to convert these into CAD files of very high quality.

We are an insurance company and need the paper plans of our administration buildings as CAD files, instead of until now on paper. At the same time the representation in CAD files shall be prepared for a later use as a base for producing fire protection plans.

The paper plans are scanned and converted into high-quality CAD files. In the process the representation of walls, windows, doors and other elements is standardized.

Our engineering office uses MicroStation, but our customer needs the files in AutoCAD. Can you, after we have reworked the DGN files, convert them into AutoCAD?

Yes, JDS can convert many CAD formats such as DGN, DWG, DXF, Allpan, CATIA, Pro/E and so on into one another. This process allows also for updating the CAD files from older versions into the actual release.

More FAQ:

FAQ – GIS digitizing
FAQ – FM survey & drawings
FAQ – SCAN services
FAQ – OCR services

Test us!

See the quality of our service for yourself in advance: We create a test scan / CAD file.
FREE of charge & without any obligation!

Send us a section of your plan for a test digitization by mail, email or use our fast and convenient uploader!!


“The results of the JDS CAD digitization really convinced us!

We would already have saved a lot of time and money had we known of JDS SOMMER GmbH earlier. We can recommend JDS CAD digitization to all CAD users who desire nearly completely exact and complete conversions of existing plans and details into CAD files for very favourable prices!”

- Engineering Bureau Martin Stephan

Free Consultation!

Call us at
+49 (0)69 / 905 469-0 or send us an email with your inquiry.

We advise you gladly and will make an individual offer free of charge taking the amount of your templates under consideration.

Read in references about projects realized in practice and how companies like yours gained significant competitive edge at low cost and in a short time by using our services.