LAS VEGAS, NV (Autodesk University 2014) — Contex has maintained its position as the most respected name in large-format scanners for CAD use with a combination of state-of-the-art hardware. If you think your scanner is better, check under the hood. Contex licenses its hardware to other manufacturers (like HP). Its software is not bad, either. Michael McMillen, western region channel manager for Contex, shows me the company’s top-of-the-line HD Ultra with Nextimage and Wiseimage software at Autodesk University. This software applications can:
- Reprocess an image without having to find and feed it the drawing. It works off the original image it has stored. Smart.
- Sense markups on a drawing and stores them on different layers so the drawing can be shown with and without markups.
- Condense a 15MB image to a 1MB file with no apparent loss of fidelity.
- Be trained to recognize title block information and store it as metadata text.
Contex is one of those companies that is reluctant to list its prices, only saying its scanners are available from $4,000 to $27,000. A quick look on the web found a nicely configured (42-inch wide, 17-inch touchscreen) HD Ultra for a little over $13K. The Nextimage software costs an extra $650 (list).