AutoCAD WS for Facilities Management – Part 1: Collaboration in the Cloud
I was one of those CAD geeks who did the loop around my small office when AutoCAD WS was released. It is a sophisticated mobility tool that Autodesk was savvy enough to release for free. Now available on the App Store for Apple devices and native Macs as well as the Android Market for Android devices, it gives a massive scope to CAD users and facilities managers alike.
AutoCAD WS and Facility Management
So here’s an FM scenario that is all too familiar. The facility management company is based in London. The facility being managed is in Abu Dhabi. Communication is hindered by the time difference, and paper drawings or emailed drawings just don’t cut it.
The solution is AutoCAD WS on a mobile device. An iPad, a Dell Streak or Motorola Xoom, perhaps, allowing the man on the Abu Dhabi facility site to implement immediate changes to the AutoCAD drawing. The process would be as follows:
The drawing originator in London uses the AutoCAD WS plug-in for full AutoCAD to upload the FM drawing to the AutoCAD WS “cloud” from their PC or Mac.
The originator will be prompted that saved changes will be updated online.
The drawing originator then shares the drawing by sending an AutoCAD WS email to the facility manager in Abu Dhabi, with the appropriate permissions.
Upon receipt of that email, the facility manager clicks on the link in the email and open ups the drawing in AutoCAD WS on their mobile tablet. The device shown is a Motorola Xoom with Android running AutoCAD WS.
We can use mobile devices to enhance our productivity by bringing drawings in to the real world. It is environmentally sustainable (no paper – more rain forests), and it speeds up the communication process. As soon as the drawing originator uploads that drawing to AutoCAD WS, the facility manager can work on it. They can make changes on their mobile device that the originator will see on the main drawing and make sure the original drawing is fully up to date.
More importantly, the timeline is 24 hours. Everyone has access to the drawing in the cloud 24/7 providing they have AutoCAD WS permissions. They can view and edit the “cloud” drawing anytime using their mobile device or using their PC or Mac.
Mobility is here. Period.
Author: Shaun Bryant