July 19, 2010
New Scanner for Design Collaboration
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Susan Smith - Managing Editor

by Susan Smith - Managing Editor
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Industry News

New Scanner for Design Collaboration

By Susan Smith

Phil Magenheim, CEO of Contex Americas, spoke to
AECWeekly about the recent announcements from their company, namely the XD2940 Scanner, a 24-inch sheet-feed, wide-format scanner which is intended for office use and is priced at $4,000.

Magenheim: While lately a lot of emphasis on standards is related to printing, there are a lot of people that are using either a CAD or GIS system with raster and legacy data and the scanners that we have. We recently did a survey and found there were many people that were using the scanner to manage legacy data -- whether it's printing or communicating for projects that are also users of products like AutoCAD or ArcInfo as well.

AECWeekly: It does seem that the need for scanning has increased with the government mandate to retrofit older infrastructure.

Magenheim: Yes. We do have a public sector as well. We're also seeing that for AEC services, in many other areas in oil and gas exploration and mining. There's a real combination of people either archiving or taking drawings to use them for current design methods, or simply scanning for printing purposes or project collaboration.

Our newer product, the XD2940 Scanner, is intended more for office use. It's the first scanner of its type at a lower price range ($4,000) and has a 24” input, so really even just as a scanner it allows you to consider scanning and using drawings within the design collaboration or quick prints where people had not done so before. Maybe they were using service bureaus or maybe they weren't justifying as many scanners for an office as they can now.

That scanner can be used with a Jetimage MFP (multifunction printing engineering) device so if you take a Canon printer or HP printer, for less than $9,000, with the printer you can put together a full MFP system.

AECWeekly: What industries are you seeing that in ?

Magenheim: AEC is biggest. Also general office environment are looking at that as well.

We have two other ranges of scanners, our SD which is our middle range, allows you to capture larger drawings, and we still have our high definition, HD range, which is geared at users that have bigger variety of imaging needs, such as people doing conversion of drawings for mapping professionals and other cross industries, or graphics or renderings.

Our sister company, ZCorp, does 3D scanning. We are owned by same holding company but are separate operating companies.

AECWeekly: Can the XD Scanner be put on a desk or tabletop?

Magenheim: Yes, we also make a high stand for it for people using it with a printer. The dimensions are actually 32” x 19” x 6” and weight is 35 ½ lbs. It is Energy Star compliant and comes with Nextimage software. There's also the upgrade to our Touch software which is the walk up scan copy version which allows you to do easy printing of drawings and it does full TWAIN compliancy (TWAIN allows you to import your images into other software applications) as well. It is geared toward technical drawings and is used a lot for maps.

While it's less expensive and smaller, it maintains a lot of the quality features we have on our SD line, so for example, the XD is a 12,000 dpi optical resolution scanner, it does data capture in 48 bits and it uses the standard color space as you'll find in our other scanners, it's easily connectible and it has a USB 2 connection.

Nextimage software is our latest generation of software (developed in-house) to allow users to capture drawings to do a lot of cleanup and includes a lot of productivity tools. It drives all our scanners from the XD line all the way up to our HD line and then we have also upgrade versions that allow you to do extended copying and printing function from there and do color matching and has color separation tables.

Other products sold by Contex Americas include Wiseimage, which we have been selling for several years. Recently we came out with a new version. One of the biggest benefits is it is AutoCAD compliant. Wiseimage allows you to do raster, vector and hybrid editing, and raster-to-vector conversion of scanned raster images. It allows you to edit and clean up the scanned data or allows you to convert or use that scanned data like you would a CAD drawing. We also have whole set of special tools in there for people who are working with maps or contours that allow you to convert the scanned data into maps or do contour extraction very quickly. It has a whole set of color manipulation tools that
allow users to do color analysis and color separation. We have a lot of users in AEC and GIS who use it to manage their raster data and scanned drawings.

We also recently announced a new product called EDA, Electronic Document Archiving, that allows you to create a quick database of your raster data or your scanned drawings and allows you to combine them with your CAD drawings as well, so you can have a pretty quick database that can be used to organize your drawings and share or combine them with other systems you might have.

Top News of the Week

Bentley Systems, Incorporated announced that it has acquired a minority interest in Charlotte, N.C.-based
BLUERIDGE Analytics, Inc., provider of SITEOPS - breakthrough site design optimization technology that utilizes cloud computing to save substantial time and cost while improving land development outcomes. SITEOPS, a patented web-based application, empowers civil engineering professionals, real estate developers, and land planners to quickly perform site configuration simulations, produce preliminary cost estimates, optimize site designs, and reduce overall costs. The conceptual designs are compatible with DGN, DWG, LandXML, and other file formats, so they can be easily exported into software such as Bentley's MicroStation, Power InRoads, and Power GEOPAK for final design
work. Among owner-operators and retailers benefiting from SITEOPS' many capabilities are Lowe's Companies, Inc. and Target.

MagiCAD 2010.5 products include new and improved options that provide you with an enhanced solution for better BIM performance:
  • Ready for Autodesk 2011 products
  • Flexible data sharing for improved design coordination
  • Up to 50% faster performance time
  • More accurate ductwork design
  • Improved handling of building spaces for better visualization
  • … and many other options.

  • BQE Software Inc., announced the release of ArchiOffice 2010. Available immediately, this software is the next generation, utilizing leading edge technologies to deliver over 150 new and enhanced features designed to help architects and engineers better manage their businesses.

    Among the new features are customizable dashboards, put-it-anywhere document management, intelligent folder synching, and enhanced integration with Microsoft Outlook, Entourage, Apple Mail, Address Book and iCal. ArchiOffice 2010 also added the ability for users to customize reports and invoices and drill-down into projects and costs for precise budgeting and invoicing.

    Originally launched in 1998, DrawingSearcher from
    Docupoint pioneered the use of full-text search and automatic DWF publishing in a single, fully integrated, application. DrawingSearcher is installed on a single computer server to provide web browser-based SEARCH for AutoCAD drawing files. Automatically generated preview images make it easy to identify the drawing of interest from the search results pages via DrawingSearcher's SmartZoom feature. DrawingSearcher is designed for use with the free Autodesk Design Review application for viewing, printing and collaboration.

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