Guest Post by Brian Benton of the ‘CAD-a-Blog’
If you are a design professional (or just a CAD Geek in general) you may already have purchased an Apple iPad (or Android Tablet.) Perhaps you haven’t but you would like one. Here is a method that you can use to get your boss to purchase you one.
Step one is to ask nicely. When you are turned down make an argument as to why you need a tablet to do your job. Go with the obvious “it’s a small investment to increase efficiency which will increase profits.” The key here is to do more than mention it or to merely state that you will be more productive. This is your boss and he/she didn’t become boss by being a pushover. Through some real hard irrefutable data.
A tablet has the typical mobile document editors, email, calendar, etc. But your boss knows that any mobile device can do that. But tablets are unique in that Autodesk has created tablet specific programs for you to use. Add these programs (apps) to the mobile and user friendly format of a tablet and it’s a win-win situation. Here are some of the major (and free) apps from Autodesk.
AutoCAD WS is a mobile CAD program that can read and edit DWG files. Store your DWG files in Autodesk 360 (Autodesk’s free cloud system) and you will have access to your drawings while in the field, at home, at a client’s office, or anywhere you can connect to the internet. Using AutoCAD WS means that you can also collaborate with clients more effectively reduce costs by eliminating misunderstandings or confusion.
Do you ever need to red line drawings? You do? Well Autodesk has the free app called Autodesk Design Review Mobile App. It can read, view, and mark up DWF files. Access those files easily through Autodesk 360 while in the office, in a meeting with a client, while on the job site, or with a colleague. The tablet form factor makes redlining a drawing with others very easy to do. Since you are reviewing the mark up and discussing it at the same time there is less confusion (if any) and no question as to what is needed. Plus there is now a digital copy of the mark ups that are easily reproduced and archived.
What’s that? You don’t use AutoCAD. You use Inventor? Great. There is also the Autodesk Inventor Publisher Mobile Viewer where you can view and interact with animated 3D assembly instructions made with Inventor.
In your designs, do you need to calculate force? How about while you are in the field? Do you use pencil, paper and a calculator to do your design concepts? Autodesk ForceEffect can do all of this for you on your iPad. It allows for freehand sketching of design elements, can include joints, supports, calc loads, compute reactions and more! The files created can be saved and loaded to/from the cloud. It even comes with its own tutorials.
Perhaps you need to go to the field and conduct and conduct an as-built survey of a location. You can use 123D Catch to take pictures of the location and collect real 3D point data in order to recreate a 3D model of the area. 123D Catch can also be used on objects to help in reverse engineering or for reproducing them in a 3D printer.
How much would you, or your boss, have to pay to get any of these services done for a project? A lot less than the cost of a tablet that’s for certain. Did I mention that all of the above apps are free?
Now that you are armed with this useful information it should be no problem to get your boss to purchase you an iPad.
Here is a list of Autodesk’s mobile apps.