The CAD App

August 09, 2010

These days it seems there is an app for everything—including accessing oversized CAD (computer-aided design) drawings on iPhones.

This feature is one the AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) industry might find very beneficial, as the app could possibly eliminate the need to carry around large drawings in the field. The app may also reduce the amount of times a superintendent or project manager needs to go back and forth from the jobsite to the trailer to look at drawings on a computer.

As one example, Informative Graphics Corp., www.infograph.com, Scottsdale, Ariz., released its Net-It Enterprise 7.0 automated document-publishing platform that converts oversized CAD drawings, images, and office documents to Microsoft Deep Zoom images, enabling high-resolution viewing of images.

According to Informative Graphics, Net-It Enterprise and Deep Zoom is the first combination to make large CAD drawings from a variety of systems accessible in the field without carrying around blueprints. The benefit of this technology is the high-resolution quality of the images.

For the construction industry, this means accessing drawings or documents on Apple’s iPhone or other mobile devices out at the jobsite. The images can be accessed through Silverlight, Seadragon AJAX, and the Seadragon iPhone App.

Some of the CAD files that can be converted include AutoCAD from Autodesk, www.autodesk.com, San Rafael, Calif.; MicroStation from Bentley Systems, www.bentley.com, Exton, Pa.; and SolidWorks, www.solidworks.com, Concord, Mass.

With Net-It Enterprise, drawings and documents are automatically detected, processed, and added to RSS-ready Deep Zoom collections, which means the project collections will always be current.

The Microsoft Seadragon iPhone App is free and Net-It Enterprise is scalable server software that can process many different types of file formats and create Deep Zoom output. In addition, it can burn in annotations, stamps, watermarks, and can be integrated to any collaboration portal or data-management solution.

While this is just one example of an app to access large CAD drawings on iPhones, it seems there is an app for just about everything these days.