UNDERSTANDING

File Formats & Quality

for Optimal Patent Drawings

UNDERSTANDING

File Types & Formats

for Optimal Patent Drawings

3 Main File Formats

3D Files

Vector Files

Raster Files

3D Files

Vector Files

Raster Files

It’s important to know your file extensions, formats and the quality they produce when requesting formal patent drawings. Different file formats not only affect the visual quality but also the ease with which they can be modified or used. Let’s review the three main types of files – 3D, Vector, and Raster – and understand their impact on your patent illustrations.

For a complete overview of extensions, formats and the quality, refer to the File Formats & Quality infographic at the bottom of the page for various file extensions.

3D Files

3D files are often considered the gold standard in patent drawing quality. They offer a comprehensive view, allowing drafters to visualize every angle and detail of an invention. Take, for instance, the 3D representation of an apple. You can discern intricate details, including the relationship between the stem and leaf. Such clarity is crucial in patent drawings, where every detail can be critical.

Common software and their extensions for creating 3D files includes:

.eprt .easm .edrw

eDrawings

.3dm

Rhino 3D model

.sldprt

SolidWorks Part

.stp .step

S.T.E.P.

.sldasm

Assembly

.dwg

AutoCAD Drawing

.dxf

AutoCAD Exchange

Vector Files

While not as detailed as 3D files, vector files are renowned for their crisp and clear lines. These files are important when you need to enlarge drawings without losing quality. Consider the vector image of an apple; its lines remain sharp and defined even when zoomed in or manipulated.

 * It’s important to note that not all PDF files are vector-based, but all vector files can be converted into PDF format.

Common software and their extensions for creating Vector files includes:

.pdf

Adobe Acrobat

.ai

Adobe Illustrator

.dwg

AutoCAD Drawing File

.dxf

AutoCAD Interchange File

.eps

Encapsulated PostScript

Raster Files

Raster files are widely used, but they come with limitations, particularly in terms of scalability and clarity. When resized, these images can pixelate and become fuzzy, leading to a loss of detail. Look at the raster apple 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.

Common software and their extensions for creating Raster files includes:

.psd

Adobe Photoshop

.bmp

Bitmap

.jpeg

Compressed Photo

.gif

Graphics Interchange

.doc

MS Word

.png

Portable Network Graphics

.tiff

Tagged Image File Format

At NVG-Inc, we’re equipped to handle all file types, but understanding the strengths and limitations of each can significantly enhance the outcome of your patent drawings. Remember, the goal is to convey your invention with utmost clarity and precision, and the right file format is a key step in achieving that.

Submitted Image Quality
for Patent Drawings
MATTERS

The caliber of the image you provide for your patent drawings can significantly impact the entire process. Opting for high-quality images streamlines the process and accurately captures the essence of your invention. 

Submitted Image Quality
for Patent Drawings
MATTERS

The caliber of the image you provide for your patent drawings can significantly impact the entire process. Opting for high-quality images streamlines the process and accurately captures the essence of your invention. 

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Quality Patent Drawings for 60+ Years

Northern Virginia Graphics, Inc.
13996 Parkeast Circle, Suite 103
Chantilly, VA 20151