Product Synergy

July 20, 2007

As the President of IDEAL, I want to jump in here and tie in both Phil’s post about WiseImage X8 and Diane’s post about 3D printing services with all of our other great products. .   One of the great things about being the President of a company like IDEAL is that I get to oversee all of our product offerings and watch how they all work together to give our customers what they need to do the jobs they need to do.  So, for instance, our IDEAL / Contex scanner line enables our customers to scan their paper drawings.  WiseImage allows people to bring their scanned drawings into their CAD systems. helps them turn those 2D drawings into 3D CAD drawings, and/or into 3D physical models. gives our customers a secure, permanent place to archive their drawings.  IDEAL Online PlanRoom helps them manage their construction projects.  What great synergy!


Growing Trend Toward 3D Printing Services

July 20, 2007

On July 17, 2007 The Business Edition ( ran an article titled“Rapid Manufacturing Spearheading Growth of the World Rapid Prototyping Equipment Markets.” While this article specifically addressed using rapid prototyping in manufacturing, a quote from Frost & Sullivan’s Senior Research Analyst S.Vidyasankar, resonated with me because it applies equally to 3D printing in the architectural market and proves IDEAL’s concept of as a 3D printing and 2D to 3D conversion service provider to support the growth of 3D printing within the reprographics market in general. The quote I refer to follows (Italics mine):   “There is also an increasing interest and growing trend toward services within the rapid prototyping market,” notes Vidyasankar. “Even though many participants work closely with service bureaus, customers have forced rapid prototyping equipment manufacturers to provide services, thereby creating key opportunities for rapid prototyping vendors to develop their own service departments that meet customer requests for short-run rapid manufacturing and rapid prototyping needs and thereby grow in business.” If I were to paraphrase Vidyasankar’s statement for the reprographics industry, I would say, “There is an increasing interest and growing trend toward the use of 3D CAD and BIM within the architectural and construction markets.  Architects and contractors have traditionally worked closely with reprographers for printing of 2D construction documents, thereby creating key opportunities for reprographers to meet architects and contractors new requests for 2D to 3D conversion and 3D printing, and thereby grow in business.“  I believe that offering 3D services via is a great way for IDEAL to help reprographic shops grow their business.  If you need help with 2D to 3D conversion, 3D file healing or 3D printing, I encourage you to check out  If you have any questions about IDEAL’s 3D services, contact me at or contact Phil Magenheim at

New Software Download – WiseImage X8 for AutoCAD 2008

July 10, 2007

Exciting new trial software download available here at IDEAL – WiseImage X8 with full support for all versions of AutoCAD 2008.

WiseImage lets you incorporate scanned raster data into your CAD environment by adding native CAD-style raster editing and raster to vector (R2V) conversion inside AutoCAD. It’s the fastest and easiest way I know to revise old raster drawings and create new ones in CAD.  I particularly like the fact that I can work with black/white, grayscale and color images.  

Another feature I really like is the completely redesigned scanning module with full direct support of IDEAL / Contex large format scanners.  This is a big plus for us, as resellers of Contex scanners, but, more importantly, it’s a big plus for our customers who use the scanners we sell.  The scanning module makes it really easy for them to scan their drawing and bring it right into WiseImage for CAD-style editing without opening another program.  AutoCAD users find the intuitive CAD-style raster selection, snapping and editing a big plus. 

 Just what do I mean when I talk about CAD-style editing?  The Intelligent Object Selection technology in WiseImage allows the selection of raster data by using AutoCAD-style tools – by picking; inside rectangle or polygon; by crossing rectangle, polygon, polyline, etc. Raster objects (raster lines, arcs and circles) have properties (line type, line width, etc.) and precise geometry, which can be changed in the AutoCAD properties dialog. You can also modify the geometryof raster objects by their “grips”. Object snapping for raster objects is consistent with the AutoCAD snap (that only works with vectors). WiseImage’s tracing capabilities allow you to convert a raster symbol, line, arc, circle or outline to a vector object.  All you need to do is pick a point on the source raster object.  The tracing mode can be set to retain, delete or smooth the original raster object. WiseImage can also recognize raster hatches and trace arbitrary raster curves by AutoCAD polylines. When tracing polylines, the program can automatically define the most probable trace direction.  

There are lots more features in WiseImage X8 for AutoCAD, but the best way for you to see what it can do is to download a free trial version.

If you’re not working with AutoCAD, check out the WiseImage for Windows download or, if you’re working with GIS data, try WiseImage Geo.

You can also sign up for a WiseImage webinar presented by Michael McMillen, one of our IDEAL experts.

Let me know what you think about our WiseImage products.  You can contact me here.

Hello World!

July 3, 2007

Well, here we are!  The blog is finally off the ground!   

We’ll be talking about anything and everything related to large format imaging.  Our discussions will run the gamut from scanning paper drawings and maps to printing 3D images of the same.  And we’ll talk about the options in between – editing, 2D to 3D conversion, sharing scanned drawings over the internet, as well as various products and services that we use, recommend and/or develop.   We’ll offer tips and tricks for large format imaging and,  from time to time, we’ll discuss the state of the industry and the directions in which we see large format heading.     

 IDEAL’s bloggers have over 60 years of combined experience in the large format imaging industry.  Jay Magenheim, IDEAL’s president is our visionary.  Phil Magenheim, Vice President, brings a “nuts & bolts” approach to the problems of large format, while Sean Eikenbery our Director of Software Development translates customers’ needs into working applications.  Kevin Lilly, Tech Support, supplies hardware expertise and Diane Mitol, Director of Marketing, helps package and promote IDEAl’s products and services, and is acting as the hostess of our blog.  Please feel free to read our bios on the “About” Page to find out more about us. 

We invite interested readers who also have blogs to link to our blog and we encourage our readers to email our web hostess with ideas for blog topics or suggestions about how to make our blog better. 

On behalf of IDEAL and our bloggers, and in my capacity as blog hostess, I invite you to stay tuned…