iPad Apps for AEC: Part 2
by Lachmi Khemlani
Our two-part review of iPad applications for A/E/C users continues here with Autodesk's Design Review app, Abvent's iVisit 3D, and Architactile's Inception. Part One gives an overview of AEC-targeted apps for iPad, along with a discussion of Graphisoft's BIM Explorer (BIMx) app.—Editor
Autodesk Cloud and Design Review App
In October 2011, Autodesk formally unveiled its cloud strategy after numerous references to the infinite computing power of the cloud at events such as Autodesk University and the Revit Technology Conference.
You can now connect to designs in the Autodesk cloud with the iPad.
Essentially, what Autodesk now provides is free cloud storage for drawings, models, and other documents for its users — storage that can be used to access these files from any platform and which can also be used for sharing and collaboration. All users can have 1GB of cloud storage space, while Subscription customers receive 3GB of cloud storage per seat on Subscription.
To access the Autodesk cloud, you simply need an Autodesk ID. Once you are logged in to your cloud storage space, you can upload files to it and share them with others. I uploaded some sample DWF files from my computer to it, which I could then access with the Design Review app on my iPad.
When the Design Review app on the iPad is launched, you can open up a sample DWF document or recent documents that you may have accessed, both of which are stored locally so that they can be viewed even when the iPad is offline. There is also the option to sign into the Autodesk cloud, if the iPad is connected to the Internet, and access the documents that you have uploaded.
Once you have selected a document to view, there is a simple set of controls that can be used to navigate the document. The arrows at the top move through different sheets of the DWF file. Recall that these can be 3D models, 2D drawings, or any other document, such as an image, a Word document, an Excel file, and so on.
The sample DWF file I used had seven sheets, including the 3D model, a 3D sectional perspective, two floor plans, and three rendered views saved as image files.
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Users with a login at Autodesk.com can log in to the Autodesk Cloud service on a computer with a desktop operating system, as well as through the Design Review iPad app. From a computer, DWF files can be uploaded and then shared with others or viewed on an iPad.
Extra Large Image
Once logged in with a Cloud account from the Autodesk Design Review app for the iPad, a list of available files is offered.
Click on thumbnail images
to view full-size pictures.