When I first came across this post, I could tell that the author, Alex Lyapin, had put a great deal of effort into it. It was only after I had it translated from the original Russian that I realized just how useful it could be to other AutoCAD WS users. So I wrote to Alex and asked for his permission to translate and reprint his article for this blog.
Alex is a structural engineer from Kharkov in Ukraine. He works for a company that designs high-rise buildings and he specializes in reinforced concrete. Alex told me, “I have always been interested in any kind of innovations in the sphere of structural design. That is why I decided to use Autocad WS to simplify communications between client and engineer.”
This is the translation of Alex’s post.
Collaboration in AutoCAD WS
I have started using a very handy tool for collaborative viewing and editing of drawings from the developers of AutoCAD. In this post I will write about real-time interaction between the designer and the customer, and how the customer can leave comments for the engineer without installing any special software his computer. I wrote previously about Project Butterfly. Now that Project Butterfly has been released as AutoCAD WS (www.autocadws.com), there have been a lot of interesting tweaks and features that will be of interest to professional users of AutoCAD.
I’ll talk about how to consult with the “designer-client” in real time. All you need is for the engineer and the customer to be connected to the internet which shouldn’t be too difficult
Upload and Open
The engineer needs to go to his profile on the website, upload the file and open it for editing
Select the Share tab and click on the Share button. It opens a dialog box where you enter the email addresses of your colleagues or clients to share the file with them.
Don’t be in a rush to press the green Share button on the bottom right of the dialog box. First you want to set the permissions for the drawing you are sharing. There are two types of permission to consider:
- EDIT – This allows the people you share the file with to make changes – adjust the size, remove lines, etc. I usually allow the people I share files with to edit them.
- DOWNLOAD – This allows the people you’re sharing with to download and save this file onto their own computers and work on it offline.
Once you have selected the appropriate permissions click the Apply and Close button. Now, when you click Share, the service automatically sends an invitation to the addresses you chose, to view (and edit) the drawing.
Your colleague or client will receive an email invitation with a link to the drawing inside:
Clicking the link will open the AutoCAD WS app in his browser, where he will sees the open file. He will also see two cursors, one for him and one for you, displayed in different colors with a name identifying each one. Now the engineer and the customer can make and see changes simultaneously in real time.
Now, you can use phone, Skype or chat to discuss the project at the same time that you are both looking at it in your browser, creating the effect of discussion in the office or in person.
Now the fun part! After you have finished working together on the drawing and closed the browser you will receive an email with a link to a Meeting Summary. Clicking that link at any time will take you back to the application and show you each step and every change that you performed. This is great if you forget one of the points you discussed (of even if you weren’t paying attention!).
On the bottom right you can see two notes: the number of changes in green and a description of each change in red.
Thanks again, Alex. Great post. If you want to write something, in any language, and be featured as a guest poster on this blog, drop us a line at email@example.com.