One of our main dilemmas when designing Project Butterfly was should Butterfly include a command line or not.
Creating a Web-based CAD editor was not only an opportunity for new work flows paradigms but an opportunity to change or improve the editor interface as well. User interfaces evolved significantly over the past years. Even though users use today a ribbon interface, contextual menus and even touch screens, the command line hasn’t changed over the last two decades. If you remember, the command line was very popular back in the days of DOS, but nowadays it is very rare for Windows and Mac users to see a command line.
Many users wrote to us that they would like to see an AutoCAD command line in Butterfly. We would like to hear your take – is it impossible to work efficiently without a command line or is it just a matter of time until a newer interface comes along?
A common problem in many businesses is that while programs are very good at designing, developing and creating something, they often forget the final, and a very important step – presentation.
Sure, you can design a great bridge foundation, or you’ve got innovative way to save on a building’s cooling expenses. Your client needs to see that modification, and not only at the end of a project, but all through it so no other problems occur later on.
The client’s decision making process will most likely vary based upon his experience. You don’t want him downloading software he’ll probably never use again, and mess with lengthy registration processes, right? Nobody guarantees you that even then, your client will see your design like you intended.
Butterfly can help!
There are various ways of passing on information to a client in Butterfly. You can walk a client through using co-edit, and you can publish a link to a company’s intranet (example will be given later). My favorite way to present is to use review sessions. I have written about reviews before, but now I’ll just focus on the presentation aspect of reviewing.
Want to know what are reviews? Watch this video:
So do you prepare a drawing for presentation? Simple.
Open the drawing you want to present, turn off any undesired layers, zoom in or out to your desired view, and if you wish – you can change the plot style by going to the view tab on the ribbon, and change it in the View Mode button. Then just start a review session by clicking the “Start a Review” button, and follow the simple steps on the screen.
Note that you didn’t even have to send any files to your client – so there’s no mess with missing xrefs or fonts!
In our last poll we wanted to know your biggest pain points in daily CAD work. I must say I was not surprised at all.
The most common pain point was missing files and file incompatibility issues. The same problem exists in a wide range of businesses and practices, such as film making, graphic design, programming, and more. Even the most common office tasks of forwarding a document or presentation usually run into missing files problem, not to mention version incompatibility.
Project Butterfly offers an alternative to email attachments, using the Share feature.
When you import a design to Butterfly with the accompanying fonts files, reference files and plot styles, they become bundled with your design. In Project Butterfly, sharing a design is the ability to send a secure invitation to one or more people, and they can then access your drawing using a link, and not endless file attachments. The link they receive takes them to Project Butterfly – even if they don’t have a Butterfly account. You can invite anyone!
Because your invitees see the design in Project Butterfly, they will see the design exactly the way you do. All you have to share with them is the master DWG file, and the design resources bundle themselves automatically.
Want your invitees to just view the drawing and not make modifications to it? No problem. Project Butterfly addresses security in a top priority, so we have permission controls built it to all collaborative features. When you share a drawing you can also restrict your invitees from downloading the DWG to their computer.
Put an end to file attachment chaos, start sharing your designs with Project Butterfly. Here’s a video to show you how:
You’ve made a change in the sizes of the windows, or the diameter of an axis. You need to check with your contractors if that’s alright and make changes of their own.
Save as. Send email. Receive an email with an attachment. Download the DWG. Continue from there.
Oh wait. You’ve also changed the original DWG since then. OK, copy paste, copy paste and so on. And that’s in the ideal scenario in which your colleague has the right software, CTB and SHX files and more.
Fast forward a month later, you need to check an older version of the drawing. The file is gone, but you still have it in your email. Where? You can’t find it.
And then there’s Project Butterfly.
In Butterfly you conduct the reviews from your drawing environment, streamlining the process and making it more easy for all reviewers and yourself.
In Butterfly, you don’t have to switch between AutoCAD, Outlook (or gmail) and your windows explorer. You don’t have to worry about sending all the right files, such as SHX and CTB. You don’t have to worry whether your reviewer has got the right CAD software or version. And most importantly – you don’ t have to manage and maintain many files and email messages. It’s all saved and organized automatically.
See this video on how to get started with your review: