Architects tasked with designing performing arts facilities often look for help from professionals specializing in theatre design, such as those at Theatre Consultants Collaborative (TCC). "Architects design the overall look, and we design everything that goes into the space to make it function," says Josh Allen, a principal consultant with TCC.
Allen isn't always near a computer when architects and engineers need his feedback, so he immediately saw the potential of AutoCAD 360."I thought it might help with those quick back-and-forth interactions between our clients and the internal design team," he recalls. "If I'm sitting in an airport when I receive a drawing from a client, I want an easy way to view and mark it up without pulling out my laptop."
"It's so fast to cloud an area, quickly measure, and add mark-ups with AutoCAD 360," he explains. "I can say, 'Move this lighting fixture here and extend that curtain pocket two feet that.' I can note those little details very quickly and then share my thoughts with the client."
When asked about his favourite features, Allen calls out the mark-up, annotation, and measurement tools, noting that they make it faster and easier for him to edit drawings and take measurements. "I love that I just tap two points to take a measurement," he laughs. "And I use the mark-up feature all the time; it's so quick to annotate something!"
The fact that Allen regularly pulls out his iPad to view drawings hasn't been lost on clients. At a recent project meeting in New Orleans, he brought his iPad to show drawings to the project's architects. "There were half a dozen architects standing around a table staring at my iPad," he says. "They were saying, 'We really all need to use AutoCAD 360!'"
"AutoCAD 360 gives me the ability to engage in an instant back-and-forth with project teams. In five minutes, I can mark up a drawing and send it to an architect. And 10 minutes later, I can get a revised drawing back. It's really, really cool to be able to do that wherever I am." Allen concludes, "I use AutoCAD 360 on just about every project that I work on now—it's a big time saver."
Rindt-McDuff Associates, Inc. is an Engineering and Environmental, Consulting company focused on civil engineering, construction management, process/plant engineering, wastewater, environmental and water resources.
"I have had the joy of working in almost every department at my company and used AutoCAD 360 in many ways." says CAD Specialist and Designer Gil Cordle, "I spend most of my time in the office and still find the online and mobile applications very useful." In the course of his work, Cordle uses the AutoCAD 360 web app to share his work with colleagues. "I work at a remote office in north Georgia, and our main office is in Atlanta. The real-time collaboration allows me to meet with project managers over the phone. This cuts down on cost and saves time."
Even when spending most of his time in the office, Cordle still sees the value of having AutoCAD 360 available as a mobile app on his tablet. "I have stopped printing out!" Cordle says "I would rather upload and share on my tablet. If I have a question for my project manager about a design, I just hit the upload button. As I am walking to the project manager's office, I pull up the drawing on my tablet and by the time I get to his office, I have it open and ready to go. Talk about saving time. There is nothing like seeing the look on someone's face when you walk into a meeting with a tablet instead of a set of plans. In time, I think that AutoCAD 360 will play a big role in design meetings."
Electrical engineer Larry Covert spends many hours on the road designing electrical systems for churches, schools, hotels, and other commercial buildings. He was immediately intrigued when he learned about the AutoCAD 360 mobile and cloud application.
"When I realized that AutoCAD 360 would let me travel with design drawings without carrying a CD or flash drive, I thought, 'I've got to try this out!'"
Covert now uploads his AutoCAD LT drawings to his AutoCAD 360 online account and syncs them with his iPad. So whether he's traveling or in the field, Covert can always access drawings.
When he starts a project, Covert typically takes a floor plan provided by the architect to the site and marks it up using AutoCAD 360. "I can insert electrical symbols and write notes easily using AutoCAD 360," says Covert. "Sometimes I even start my electrical drawing in the field. When I get back to the office, I download the drawings from my iPad to AutoCAD LT on my desktop. Then, I do the heavy-duty design work in AutoCAD LT."
When he needs to collaborate with architects, he simply gives them access to drawings via AutoCAD 360. "I've seen architects navigate through my drawings in AutoCAD 360 within minutes after giving them permission to view them." Covert says.
Sometimes Covert doesn't have internet access while on the road. Not a problem. AutoCAD 360 allows users to store drawings locally on the iPad. "I can take drawings into the field on my iPad, make notes, and then sync with the AutoCAD 360 cloud application when I'm back online," he explains.
Covert sums up the reasons why he uses AutoCAD 360 multiple times a day: "First, I always have my drawings, no matter where I am. Second, I can edit drawings with either a computer or an iPad. Third, using AutoCAD 360 in the field is just as easy as working in AutoCAD LT back at my desk. AutoCAD 360 is a great tool for me."
When Kris McDonald, a civil-engineering technician, started using the AutoCAD® 360 mobile and cloud application last year, his job as an engineering technician for Iowa-based Hall Engineering Company got a whole lot easier. McDonald used to haul printed plan sheets into the field when conducting land surveys and site inspections. Now, he simply loads them onto his iPad with the AutoCAD 360 mobile app.
To survey a site for a paving project or storm sewer, McDonald typically starts with an AutoCAD file of a previously completed survey. "I drop the AutoCAD file into AutoCAD 360 and lay an aerial photo behind it so that I can see landmarks in relationship to lines," McDonald says. "When I'm in the field, I can cover a quarter to a full mile at a time. Being able to see everything on the iPad the whole time is very convenient."
Before he started using AutoCAD 360, McDonald had to write notes in a field book each time he discovered new items, such as the foot-high concrete monument he encountered recently. "Now that we use AutoCAD 360, our field books are pretty empty," he says. "We don't note points in them anymore; we simply make edits in AutoCAD 360 on the iPad. It's very easy to take measurements from point to point and jot down notes in the AutoCAD file while we're in the field. And when I get back to the office, everything is synced up and in one place."
AutoCAD 360 is not only making life easier in the field; it's saving McDonald valuable time back in the office as well. For example, he used AutoCAD 360 during a $783,000 storm sewer project for the city of Centerville, Iowa last year, uploading the entire plan set onto his iPad and taking it into the field each day. "I made notes on the plans in AutoCAD 360 on a daily basis" McDonald says "essentially creating the as-builts as the project progressed. It probably saved a week's worth of labour at the end of the project and eliminated the cost of printing plans each time we had a revision."
McDonald isn't shy about his enthusiasm for AutoCAD 360. "Recently, I set up a few of my team members with AutoCAD 360," he says "My plan is to reduce red-pen markups on plans and have everyone make revisions on the files we put on AutoCAD 360. That way, everyone can access plans whether they're at home or in the office."
"I love that AutoCAD 360 lets me upload civil drawings onto my iPad so that I have data with me in the field." McDonald says with a smile "It saves time and reduces headaches."
Gorgeous and graceful, the superyachts painstakingly designed and crafted by New Zealand—based Fitzroy Yachts are renowned for their quality, speed, and size. Ranging from 25 to 49 meters in length, each sailing yacht costs €25 million or more.
The company crafts everything onboard except for the mast and sails, and nearly everything is custom made. "We end up building almost every aspect of the boat from scratch for each client," notes Rodney Martin, managing director at Fitzroy Yachts. Typically, a naval architect responsible for overall speed, structural integrity, and layout will produce about 50 drawings for each custom yacht. Then Fitzroy's design and engineering team takes over, creating upwards of 3,000 drawings—a majority of them in AutoCAD.
Though he's not a designer, Martin must access these drawings when meeting with clients or representing yachts at premier boat shows. For that, he relies on AutoCAD. "I've uploaded to the AutoCAD 360 cloud application drawings for our most recent yachts, including the general arrangement drawings, interior layouts, and sail plans," he explains. "I've also included in my AutoCAD 360 library some of our more detailed drawings for engine rooms, mechanical systems, sail hardware systems, and plumbing systems."
Martin keeps the AutoCAD 360 cloud application synchronized with the AutoCAD 360 mobile application on his iPad, which he takes with him when he travels. For example, Martin recently met with a client in Sardinia, Italy to discuss a new yacht commission. "He was curious to know how his new cockpit compared to his existing one, so I opened layout drawings in AutoCAD 360 on my iPad and took measurements," Martin says.
Not only does AutoCAD 360 give Martin access to the drawings he needs at any time—it also helps him build even closer relationships with clients who expect the best. He explains, "When people see that we have information available to answer their questions, it gives them confidence that we know what we're doing, we're prepared, and we'll communicate with them throughout their project in a meaningful way. With AutoCAD 360, I know that I always have the information I need at my fingertips—it's a great tool."
When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 AD, it buried the ancient city of Pompeii in ash and volcanic mud. For hundreds of years, archaeologists have mined the ruins for insights into the Roman Empire. Now the University of Cincinnati's Pompeii Archaeological Research Project is exploring the ancient city.
During the dig season, trench supervisors detail the excavation via hand drawings. A typical day may yield one or two such drawings, which are then assembled into a master AutoCAD drawing by CAD experts. Back at the dig, team members are graduate students in the classics, not CAD experts. "For decades, the inability to read AutoCAD files has been a huge problem in archaeology," says John Wallrodt, Senior Research Associate on the project. "AutoCAD 360 has completely democratized how we get our CAD data into the hands of project stakeholders. Even if someone isn't familiar with AutoCAD software, I can teach them to use AutoCAD 360 in ten minutes."
At any time, from anywhere, any team member can log into an AutoCAD 360 account and view all the project's AutoCAD files. "There's often important information in the AutoCAD file, including how walls meet and whether they were constructed at the same time," says Wallrodt. "AutoCAD 360 has completely opened up the students' eyes to the rich information a DWG file can hold."
Throughout the digging season, project team members form theories on what their findings reveal about ancient Romans in Pompeii. "Using AutoCAD 360, team members will look for features and spatial arrangements within a room to determine things like similarities in orientation, wall thickness, and devastation patterns," explains Eric Poehler, the University of Cincinnati professor who manages the project's architectural studies.
Turning insights into papers for academic journals requires a lot of research and documentation. Wallrodt explains, "A single sentence a student writes often needs proof, and they can't go on without it. In the past, students had to contact the CAD manager to get the information, which could take up to a week. AutoCAD 360 gives students direct, immediate access to the information they need."
I'm Jos vd Heijden, an Assistant Project Manager and CAD-Engineer. I work at Inteco Boxtel in Holland.
What Is Inteco?
INTECO BV specializes in the design and execution of integrated climate ceilings and ceiling-induction units for buildings. The designs meet all requirements of the client with respect to aesthetics, acoustics, insulation, lighting, fire, climate, and friendliness. Our strength is controlling the entire process, from initial client contact to completion.
I often have to measure rooms and ceilings that were working on. Traditionally, you print the information you get from the customer and take the drawings with you to the building. Today I have the digital data on my iPad.
Now I can open each drawing and detail from my iPad while I'm in the building, even if I am not online. I can zoom in and out on the drawings and examine the details of how it should look. The advantage is that you have all the drawings and details in one screen and less hassle with paper drawings.
I can add measurements directly into my digital drawing. I can also add text as a comment. Later, at the office, I can adjust the drawing with the comments I added and the measurements.
When I get back online with the iPad, I upload the picture to my PC in the office, and in the timeline in the web version of AutoCAD 360, I know which version I should use with my comments.
Placing text and comments is simple with the text editor. I can also place a comment in a cloud.
What I would like to have added to use with the iPad is placing dimensions from your iPad and the ability to customize any underlined text so you can see more clearly what you have measured. Next time I go out to measure a building I will take my iPad and AutoCAD 360.
When international fast food companies and national retailers need help with a rebranding effort, they often turn to the Chesapeake Design Group (CDG). But while the Baltimore-based firm has just 20 employees, with the help of AutoCAD 360, its business is anything but small.
Jim LaPier, a designer and IT manager at the firm, says AutoCAD 360 helps his team accomplish what a large firm could do but with a much smaller workforce.
"What used to take us days of communication, back and forth, and lag time is now taking us just hours and minutes," he says.
LaPier says that he and his colleagues were inspired to try AutoCAD 360 because they like being at the forefront of technology. In the 1980s, owner Robert Goldman saw AutoCAD and recognized its potential in the commercial architecture environment. Over the years they have stayed a step ahead by creatively utilizing the customizable programming areas of AutoCAD.
CDG brought that technology into the field with laptops, but found the laptops cumbersome to carry around.
"When the iPad came out, it was an obvious choice," LaPier says.
To LaPier and his colleagues, using the iPad in conjunction with AutoCAD 360 was another potential way to use technology to multiply productivity. With AutoCAD 360, they no longer had to rely on .pdf and .tiff files on the iPad&emdash;they could interact directly with a CAD drawing.
LaPier points to several features of AutoCAD 360 that help his firm get the job done.
"With Design Feed, we can take photos, tag them in the AutoCAD drawing, and get them back to the office that much quicker," he says.
LaPier also emphasizes the value of the GPS function, which allows users to attach a specific location to each photograph.
"Being able to actually know where a photograph or a drawing markup is really great," LaPier says. "The draftsman gets the chance to almost be in the field even when they're not there."
At the end of the day, LaPier says that AutoCAD 360 saves time, makes communication easier, and eliminates room for error.
"It's changed the way we've thought about site visits," LaPier says. "We're getting so much more value out of each site visit because the info is more useful and accurate."