If you’ve been following us on Twitter and paying attention to our Facebook page, you might have noticed that we have recently moved offices. The AutoCAD WS team has been steadily growing and it was time to find somewhere that would allow us to work more comfortably to provide the functionality you need.
Designing a new workspace is never easy, but the process ran much more smoothly as a result of the tools we were using.
The plans for the office were designed using Revit and AutoCAD. Our team used AutoCAD WS to review the plans online and to share feedback with the architects and consultants.
The drawings were shared among five different groups of users and their additions and markups were captured and uploaded to AutoCAD WS. We used the Meeting Summary functionality in AutoCAD WS to remove the need to taking additional notes in each meeting.
It was very useful being able to update the drawings without have to resend them every time via email. In the final stages there were updates every day and around 10 different people need to be kept in the loop. We managed those vital last changes it without having to save the drawing as a PDF, give it a distinct name and email it to a group of people each time.
Here’s the link to the final plan. Just click on it to open AutoCAD WS in your browser: https://www.autocadws.com/main/publish?link=J_E4xsnj9H7i0bY
Towards the end of the planning stages we were already using the Beta version of the iPhone/iPad app. It really made a difference to meetings.
Once work began turning the plans into reality we were able to use the iPad app to monitor progress on site. The iPad became an essential tool in the construction of the new workspace. Much easier to use and more handy than holding plans flat on a table with a sandwich box and a flask of coffee at each corner.
We had no problems convincing workers to view the drawings using the iPad. They were able to use it intuitively to take measurements and markups the drawings.
Once the AutoCAD WS app was generally available, our carpenter and electrician downloaded it from the iTunes store and we were able to share the drawings with them too.
Thanks to everyone’s hard work we were able to move in on schedule. Have a look at out new offices. You can click on each picture to see a larger version.
What We Learned
In taking our product out into the real world, we encountered some of the same issues that you have been telling us about. That’s why we’ve been working so hard to get the next release ready. For example, we definitely missed out on not being able to view our drawings offline. We discovered that not every construction site has internet access and we had to ask our new neighbors to borrow their wi-fi more than once (thanks again to the guys at SiSense!).
We were able to manage without support for 3D objects but it might have been useful. Also we missed the area dimension tool.
Another thing we learned was how non-Mac users were able to start working with AutoCAD WS on the iPad easily and intuitively. I think in the years ahead it will continue to be an important professional tool both in and out of the office.