File Formats & Quality Drawings
3D files often provide the best quality and understanding for drafters to go off. Notice the apple to the right; you can see all types of information plus detail in the 3D file. Keep in mind how the stem and leaf are in relation to each other we’ll come back to that later. Programs that will provide 3D files are Assembly, AutoCAD Drawing, and eDrawings, among others.
Vector files contain good-quality lines which remain clean and clear when manipulated. The vector lines of this apple will keep their clarity and sharpness when enlarged. While these types of files are not as great as 3D files, they still provide large amounts of detail and information. Some programs that create these images are Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Acrobat, and Encapsulated PostScript, among others.
Note*: Not all Adobe Acrobat (PDF) files can or will be vector, but all vector files can be pdf.
While Raster files are useful, they can often pixelate, becoming fuzzy when resized and providing less detail. Depending on image resolution and quality, lines on these images can become indistinguishable. Let’s go back to the leaf and steam from earlier. Look at the raster image. The stem and leaf of the apple to the right are now blurred to create a shape different from the 3D apple. We can no longer tell what section is a leaf and what is a stem. Most programs that provide raster files are Adobe Photoshop, Bitmap, compressed photo, and MS Word, to name a few.