Let’s say I am working closely with a member of my field crew or construction manager. They have my paper drawings, I could send them out with dwfs, but its really just becoming annoying trying to understand what they are talking about on the phone when you aren’t looking at the same thing… “Are you on page three? The bottom left? Which manhole? Well, look at the table….”
Then to compile all of their stuff once they get back in the office. All they really want to do is sit down, have a cup of coffee and have ONE MOMENT OF PEACE, but here you are up in their face.
What if you could try something different? When I first heard about AutoCAD WS, I will fully admit to having no idea what I would do with it. Then Arnab talked me into uploading some drawings for him and we played around. Suddenly, LIGHTBULBS people. LIGHTBULBS.
So here is a model I have in Civil 3D of a small commerical site. The trick is to save it with PROXYGRAPHICS set to 1. This may make your file size larger. What this setting does is it stores some object information in the dwg file itself so that anyone you pass the dwg to can use it without the object enablers**. AutoCAD WS works in 2D only and doesn’t understand Civil 3D objects with all of their information. That’s OK. For our field communication example, we don’t need to it.
I go to www.autocadws.com and create an account on my computer. I upload my file. Note I can also upload DXF, PNG, GIF, CTB, STB, SHX, TTF and JPG.
Once in WS, I can see the drawing. I click Share to send it to my colleague. They get an email notification.
If they are working on an iPhone or iPad, send them to www.autocadws.com/mobile to download the app. Once they have it, they just click on the link and are taken in to the drawing right away.
Once they are in the drawing, I get a note saying they have entered the drawing! I can chat with them! I see them moving around and doing things- like adding dimensions and notes for me.
Or maybe the existing trees that I had on the plan had been removed. They can quickly delete them right then and there.
When we are done, I can download the drawing to continue what I need to do in Civil 3D.
The Civil 3D objects have remained intact through the process and I also have my colleague’s comments and edits!
Other ideas for using AutoCAD WS in the Civil Engineering World:
- Running a meeting over the web with a review agency during conceptual design
- Showing a client a site layout and getting their feedback in real time
- Working with the Landscape Architect or Electric Utility designer – sharing drawings, giving each other feedback, making notes…
- Your ideas? Try it!
**This may not work for every single Civil 3D object. Try it with your model and see what comes through. Typically, feature lines will not come through.