CAD Drawing Viewer

This client needed to allow visitors to select and view CAD drawings of components before downloading them. The CAD drawing file types cannot easily be displayed within the structure of standard HTML pages without plug-ins, and in any case would be too large to display quickly enough.

The solution was to convert the CAD drawings into viewable .gif format images to display on the web site. The client provided over 9,000 CAD drawing files on a CD and we wrote a Desktop Visual Basic program to batch process the CAD files using Microsoft Visio as the conversion engine.

Once the conversion was successfully performed the small footprint .gif images were copied to the images directory of the web site.

Data was supplied by the client in the form of a Microsoft Access database. There was a categorized record for each CAD drawing. The CAD part number corresponded to the name of both the .gif image and the name of the original CAD drawing.

The application allows visitors to drill down to a list of links to selected components. When the visitor clicks on the link, the .gif image of the item is displayed in the right hand frame. The actual CAD drawing can then be downloaded by clicking the appropriate button.