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Bluebeam Tip: Translate Your Markups November 13, 2013

Posted by carolhagen in Bluebeam Revu, Construction Industry - Software.
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Bluebeam can translate markups to 50+ languages

An often unnoticed function in Bluebeam Revu is the ability to translate all your markup annotations.  Have a Spanish speaking subcontractor, no problemo, the punch process and design reviews will be a snap!

It’s quite easy to use, just navigate to the Document tab, select Process and choose the Translate Markups.
This dialogue box will appear for you to select the to/from language:
Translate Markups in Bluebeam

With over 50 languages to choose from, you’ll be able collaborate with construction professionals worldwide.

Once your comments are translated, Flatten and Email to get your message across. With the hyperlinks, there’ll be no confusion!

Note: Bluebeam leverages Google Translate to perform the translation so an internet connection is required.  This was added to Bluebeam Revu in the version 9 release.

Mobility in Construction March 15, 2013

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry, Construction Industry - Software, Document Imaging.
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While Construction Specialty Contractors  have an 87% mobility usage at the jobsite, General Contractors are embracing mobile access in the field operations at an astounding rate according to Erin Joyce at ENR’s FutureTech Conference:

Paul Eric Davis shared this from the conference: “What Owners Want from Tech for Lifecycle: collaboration, communication management, rapid response.”

It’s not just project owners that want this but so does the GC, Architect, Subcontractors and Suppliers.  We deliver this innovation to construction.  Join us on March 21st from Noon to 1pm (pacific), 3-4p (Eastern) for our free Webinar:

General Contractors: Best Practices for Streamlining Operations with Bluebeam Revu and see how collaboration is done in real-time.

Sharing BIM with your Construction Team February 19, 2013

Posted by carolhagen in BIM, Construction Industry - Software.
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The pervasiveness of BIM has proved to bring complexity in communications for extended construction team mebers. Especially those with limited expertise in Revit, Navisworks, etc. There are numerous ways to share models with owners, architects and major specialty contractors but what do you do to make it easier for the other subcontractors and suppliers?

BIM in a Browser
One way to allow viewing of your project BIM views is in a browser. The 4Projects project management solution has mastered this approach.

The limitation is that all team members must be using 4Projects. Obviously this works well when you have committed to that solution for all you projects, but 4Projects is not widely used in the United States. This will change overtime, especially with the acquisition by Viewpoint Construction Software. [Disclosure: I am a Viewpoint Business Development Partner]

Render 3D BIM in a PDF
Another solution is to share your model using Bluebeam Revu CAD. This offers advantages in that you can apply markups for a BIM expert to address in the model, or that other collaborators can answer by applying markups of their own. Coordination becomes easy with the ability to copy a specific area with a section box export instead of a full page 3D. Grabbing the view and copy to the clipboard in Revit or select the section in Navisworks.

You can drop 3D models into a PDF to make it quick to reply to RFIs and giving anyone that receives the PDF the ability to navigate through the model. The model tree remains available and the markups are embedded into the 3D model. A Bluebeam markup will actually float thru the model if the viewer decides to change their perspective as a markup indicator (blue sphere). Other’s using Bluebeam can add their own markups, answer questions and interact with the model. The clipping plane in Bluebeam is also handy when you need to view the interior or do a walk thru. A summary of 2D and 3D markups are a great way for sharing these markups with the novice BIM user or less technical subcontractors and construction team members. A picture remains the best way to explain construction issues. Making it simple for others to work with you will keep the project on time and under budget.

Web Collaboration with the BIM Novice
Web collaboration in a Studio session allows all you to invite subcontractors to the preconstruction review. With Bluebeam Studio the 3D markups can be viewed and annotated by your subcontractors without the subcontractor or other construction team members needing to buy a Bluebeam license. Just email an invite and anyone or any team can be working together with up to 100 people marking up the same document simultaneously. With Bluebeam’s markup list you can look at all the activity, view it by author, sort it by trade, etc. And have a full set of documentation distributed to all participants without worrying about missing anything or having someone change another authors work.

As a Bluebeam Partner, I’m here to answer your questions and would be happy to invite you to our next webinar. Let me know by requesting your invitation now.

How do you share your models with the less sophisticated specialty contractor or the novice owner? Keep this discussion going with your workarounds and solutions in the comments.

Construction Project Team Communications Innovation July 26, 2012

Posted by carolhagen in Construction Industry - Software, Document Imaging, web conferencing.
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After reading “Collaborating in the New AEC World” by Al Douglas it is apparent that whether you are a subcontractor, general contractor, architect, engineer or project owner you must have a single place to effectively communicate in order to reach all project team expectations. Email will not suffice and often project management systems do not deliver on live collaborative sessions that occur during pre-construction and intermittently throughout a project lifecycle.

Construction communication challenges often arise as preferred technologies (BIM, IPD, CAD) often leave non-techie types out of the conversation loop. Everyone in construction operations is visual and depends upon drawings, plans and models to convey ideas. Being proficient in all these technologies can take a lifetime and the project only lasts 12 months. How do you get everyone speaking the same language and invite every team member to engage in the conversation? The solution has to be easy to learn, offer a place where a multitude of document types can be shared and offer a simple way for mark-ups and conversations to be captured. If you want everyone to use it it also has to be affordable and documents should be easily shared without need for special software. Remember the PDF?

The PDF standard hasn’t left the construction industry. Most general contractors still exchange plans in PDF format because everyone can open them. The problem arises as you share plans, typically via email or offer an FTP download. Now there are 100s of copies and everyone is marking-up their own set. Have you ever tried to look a 4 versions at once and compare the differences? It’s challenging and frustrating. It’s even more challenging in the pre-construction process as you need to get all the project subcontractors in one room along with the engineer and architect. Inevitably a few people miss the meeting or must catch-up later. There is a simple solution…

To see the Bluebeam Studio solution in action as part of Bluebeam Revu. Start at minute 5, if you’re not interested in how to set-up and invite others to this on-line web collaboration studio session for construction teams or watch this 14 minute video from the beginning to see all the steps.

Disclosure: I’m convinced that every construction firm should be familiar with this tool and am a Bluebeam Partner myself. If you’re interested, comment or email me and I’ll invite you to a Bluebeam Studio Session – yes you can invite your team too!

Construction Collaboration: PDF Secrets Part 3 – Large Format Drawings and Markups July 28, 2011

Posted by carolhagen in CAD, Construction Industry - Software, Document Imaging.
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Collaboration on large format construction drawings often has the expectation that all the team players have the same tools. Architects and engineers spend countless hours in AutoCad then share their drawings with the General Contractor. Most smaller GCs have a license of AutoCad just to open these files and make a few annotations. But not everyone on the construction team is fluent in AutoCad nor has a licensed copy. To share details and collaborate the next best thing is make a PDF, but depending upon the PDF software, the drawings may not turn out as detailed as the designer created them. This is a sore spot for Architects and Engineers who are detail oriented. The more you zoom in, the more pixelated they may become. This happens because these PDF programs are not designed to generate Vector PDFs. Bluebeam PDF Revu CAD to the rescue! Cad Drawing conversion to PDF Comparison: Bluebeam vs Competition

Large Format drawings may have sweeping arcs that look like straight lines strung together, not in Bluebeam. The Vector graphics are retained even when you decide to reduce the size of the PDF for emailing. You don’t have to tolerate mediocre PDF conversion any longer!

For AutoCad enthusiasts, Bluebeam speaks your language with the same quick keys for inserting line, text boxes, etc you’re learning curve will be a breeze. Markups are also a snap as you can create tool sets during one markup session, save them and use them again later. A square “cloud” can be colored yellow with a 50% opacity and used over and over again, even changing the shape without having to create it from scratch.

For the non AutoCad user, the multi-click navigation to get to add a text box is eliminated, even if you aren’t familiar with Quick key shortcuts. Bluebeam designed PDF Revu with easy navigation tool bars that are customizable so you can have the cloud, Text box, line, arc, or call out handy. Put them where you want them, or surround the workspace if you like with nav buttons on the top, right or bottom.

Next week I’ll showcase the AutoCad export functions which add flexibility and save time in the the PDF creation process. If you want to experience Bluebeam for yourself, here’s the 30 day trial option.

Have questions? I’m here, yes, to answer Bluebeam questions for you in the AEC industry. If you try the 30 day trial Leave me a commment on your experience.

Construction Collaboration: PDF Secrets Part 2 – On-line Meeting for PDF Changes Now or Later July 6, 2011

Posted by carolhagen in communication, Construction Industry - Software, Document Imaging, project management software, records retention, Sharepoint, web conferencing.
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Construction Collaboration often involves sharing documents during an on-line web meeting. While many solutions allow for these sessions to be recorded, there are few that let you leave it open for up to 2 weeks, append to the meeting later, or provide a way to capture the log of the discussion, particularly when changes are made to a “working” PDF. The problem is the method to make these annotations because the web based sessions are typically screen captures of the presenter’s desktop. There is a better way to work on PDFs with individuals or teams which can track, log and hyperlink to the PDF area details. Automatically documenting and capturing the recorded modifications on the PDF for construction project teams with Bluebeam® Studio Server™. You have to see it to believe it.

Let’s take a look at a Bluebeam Studio Session. In this example there are questions concerning the placement of lighting. Note that the chat session captures all annotations and jumps to the view of that persons workspace when they added that annotation.

Bluebeam® Studio Server™ allows you to connect, create and collaborate with anyone, anywhere, at any time. Simply upload your PDFs to Studio and invite attendees from across the globe to view and comment on your PDFs. Chat and add markups to the same PDF together in real-time or separately on your own. Markups and chats are tracked in a Record that links back to the PDF to easily review session activity. You can even create a report of your Studio session to archive or share with your team. With Bluebeam construction collaboration delivers complete version control and report access that you can upload to Sharepoint or ingest into your Enterprise Content Management System automatically using a monitored folder.

Whether you need clarifications from the architect, engineer, General contractor, owner or principal, subcontractor or supplier you can capture the suggestions from each participant, whether you’re all on-line simultaneously, or invitees join later with new ideas or alternatives. If revisions occur later, you can receive email notification that more revisions have been added to the session. Bluebeam has more PDF collaboration power for the AEC industry. In Part 3 we’ll discuss AutoCad and Revit.

If you missed part 1, you may want to read the previous post PDF Secrets: Estimating takeoff from PDF. If you can’t wait for the rest of this series, You probably want to watch this video:
Bluebeam PDF Revu 9 – The Acrobat Alternative Or just Take Revu 9, Bluebeam Studio or Q for a spin with a 30 Free A Trial

Disclosure: Bluebeam software impressed me so much that I recently became an authorized reseller.

Construction Collaboration: PDF Secrets Part 1 – Estimating Takeoff June 17, 2011

Posted by carolhagen in BIM, CAD, Construction Industry - Software, Document Imaging, estimating.
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Estimating Takeoff with BlueBeam PDF Area VolumeConstruction collaboration with PDFs has been utilized poorly. Even with the Microsoft Office 2010 release that gives you the ability to convert documents to PDF built-in, it’s lacking when it comes to collaboration for the AEC Industry. To help change that I’ll share some best practices and features that contractors, architects and estimators perhaps weren’t aware of. What PDFs do best is share documents in a format that everyone can access. Print to PDF gets the document out of that technical construction software package (AutoCAD, Revit, etc) and serves it up for every construction team member, without needing the same software. This will be a series of posts that will discuss construction collaboration using PDFs for Estimating Takeoffs, Converting Large Format and 3D Drawings, AutoCAD and Revit Integration, Drawing comparisons, Hyperlink referencing, Tablet PCs, and Sharepoint.

To be clear, not all these secrets are available in Standard PDF programs but are specifically designed for the AEC industry by Bluebeam, a PDF software firm which impressed me so much that I recently became an authorized reseller.

I understand that each person learns differently so you may want to download this tutorial Bluebeam Revu measurements takeoff or Watch this video (13 minutes) to see how the measurement tool in Bluebeam will give contractors the ability to perform takeoffs from PDF. This includes: Calibrate the drawing or set the scale, use measurement annotations for area, length, volume and counts, and perform further calculation with your takeoff data. The video shows the takeoff details and how to group items into sections (this could be CSI codes, tasks or areas). There’s also the ability to price and export the details to a spreadsheet. Realize this is just one secret to Bluebeam Revu and is built-in to every version Standard, CAD and eXtreme. You may also want to view a few more sample takeoffs like the one at the top.

If you can’t wait to see all the “Secrets” for the AEC Industry, you may want to watch this overview video “Which Revu is Right for You?” to to see how Bluebeam can make your team collaboration and productivity improve with large format drawings, Revit, AutoCAD, Bentley Systems BIM and more.

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