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Artwork Scanning / Reverse Engineering

Northeast Plotting Inc. is a proud leader in PCB Design, Plotting , and Fabrication. Serving New Hampshire since 1984.

Artwork Scanning

NPI offers a complete scanning service to convert film art works, paper art works or a raw board into standard CAD data including full intelligence for netlist and assembly programs. Image sizes up to 18 X 20 are standard. The price for scanning is based on size, quantity, quality of art work, and required turnaround time.

What is Scanning

Scanning is the solution when CAD/CAM data has been lost or never existed, or when existing photo tools are unusable for fabrication. Scanning creates digital representations of hard copy photo tools for further processing of all CAD/CAM outputs. Once in CAD format the file can be edited to fix problems or produce new photo tools.

When to use Scanning

  • Scanning is used to improve the quality of questionable photo tools.

  • To create CAD data files for importation to CAM stations for panelization and design rule checks.

  • To improve board quality and better yields due to correction of photo tool imperfections.

  • To create NC drill and rout data for the printed wiring board manufactures.


The quality of the photo tool has an effect on the cost of scanning. In general the better the photo tool the less the cost. The major concern is whether the photo tool was generated by a standard CAD program or laid out by hand. Standard pad, trace sizes and features arranged on a grid, greatly increase the efficiency of scanning. Silver Halide (black) film, diazo (brown) film, paper and even raw boards may be scanned to produce accurate CAM data. Clean film without scratches require less modification than old, dirty and scratched films. Whether the film is a positive or negative is not a concern for scanning. Due to the many attributes of art masters, a more accurate final quote may be given after these art masters are reviewed.

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