I regularly do just what you are asking for. I use Adobe Streamline 4.0 to
acquire the image from a scanner. Then Streamline converts the bitmap
(raster) image to vector art, which can be exported as a DXF file. I import
the DXF into my modeling program (SDRC's I-DEAS), create solid models from
the imported data and export the models as IGES, STL, native files or
whatever is needed downstream.
This activity is most common when I need to include a customer's logo or
logotype into a plastic part I am designing and prototyping.
Hope this helps.
For more information about the rp-ml, see http://ltk.hut.fi/rp-ml/
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