Product End of Life

Effective July 1, 2005 Artwork has stopped development on all ME-10 related translators and viewers. New orders will only be accepted for the current versions and no support contracts will be accepted for new orders and no support contracts will be renewed.

ME-10 to DXF Mass Translation Service

We at Artwork Conversion Software are specialists in batch translations of ME-10 files into other formats, including IGES and AutoCAD. We have been doing such translations since 1989. The largest number of files we have done in a single batch is over 10,000.

HP's ME-10

Hewlett Packard's ME-10 is a powerful two dimensional drafting program. The majority of licenses run on HP workstations - during the 1980's this included both pascal based workstations and HP's popular UNIX based 9000/300 series. Many companies have thousands of files in ME-10 drawing format.

Translation Issues

A designer with several thousand ME-10 drawing files to convert is faced with several hurdles:

1. Backing up the entire drawing database - it is important to preserve the original directory names since some ME-10 drawings refer to subassemblies located in another directory. Backing up on UNIX is straightforward - however on older pascal based machines, this can be very difficult.

2. Converting the ME-10 drawing files to a form called M - MI is an ASCII intermediate file used for translation purposes. If your hardware is old, loading each drawing and saving it as an MI file could take several minutes per drawing. Multiply this by 1000's of files and you can see the man-months add up.

3. Getting a complete and accurate translation - Since ME-10 has some unique features that may not exist on the target CAD system, the translator needs to be fairly sophisticated to rebuild some data items in a useful way. Of particular importance are text fonts; the fonts used by ME-10 do not match any standard AutoCAD fonts, resulting in missing dimensions, and text that does not fit into the boxes intended for it.

4. File, layer, and Component Naming rules - ME-10 and AutoCAD have different restrictions on naming - especially when one moves from a Pascal or UNIX environment to a DOS environment. Unless you have special tools to rename the files and to track the new names, you may have difficulty finding the needed drawings - or may even overwrite drawings.

Artwork's Mass Translation Tools and Equipment

Artwork has developed special tools and techniques to efficiently deal with large numbers of files.


We have a network including an HP 340 workstation equipped with diskette drives and HP's proprietary 1/4 inch cartridge drive so that we can read tapes generated by the ME-10 workstations. We have also developed special software to read older backup tapes from Pascal workstations including hard disk images. We do most of the translation work on powerful HP 700 workstations where we run ME-10 and AutoCAD.

Custom Filters and Tools

We've developed special programs to scan the customer's database, prior to translation and search for illegal files names - the software renames the files and produces a table that shows the old vs. the new name. We can also search for illegal part names or rename those.

We search each ME-10 drawing file for external references and verify that those references exist. If not, our scanning software reports this so we can obtain these files prior to starting any type of translation.

Each customer drawing is loaded into the current version of ME-10, and exported as an MI file. This helps us detect any corrupted data files prior to translation.

We then run our own MI to DXF translator, converting each MI file into an AutoCAD DXF file. The DXF file is loaded into AutoCAD (verifying that it is in fact readable in AutoCAD)and then saved as a dwg file.

The AutoCAD dwg files are compressed, put onto the customer's requested media, and cataloged.

How We Bid Your Job

If you are considering us for a large translation project (anywhere from 100 to 10,000 files) you can use this checklist to determine how we bid the job. If you are considering doing the translation yourself, you should also consider these points to estimate your own costs.
  • Number of files times average file size. ME-10 dwg files expand when converted to MI format - the DXF file format is even larger. For some very large jobs where we need more than 4 Gbytes of disk storage space we add a small surcharge.

  • Getting the files onto our hardware. Some clients provide us clean back up tapes that load without problems. Others require significant time to put onto our hardware, often because the backup method did not preserve the file hierarchy. If we need to massage the data just to get it into our file system, we add a charge for the work.

  • Special Requirements. Occasionally we need to build custom fonts to match those used in the ME-10 dwgs. We already have matching AutoCAD fonts for most of the standard ME-10 fonts. Other customers have special translation options they would like us to implement.

  • Output Media. Some of our clients would like the translated files on special media, such as optical disk. We may need to purchase or rent special hardware or software to do this.

Pricing and Delivery

Our price per file decreases with the number of files. For large jobs in excess of 500 files, we translate 10-20 files prior to running the entire batch, and send these to our customer for first article approval.

At 1000 files our average charge is $4.00 per file. The number may be higher or lower depending on the items mentioned above. We can give you a firm quote after evaluating a portion of your files.

Artwork Conversion Software, Inc. [Company Profile]
417 Ingalls St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Tel (831) 426-6163 Fax (831) 426-2824
email: click here