3-D PDFs Bring Proposals to Life

By converting models to three-dimensional PDF files, planning service provider and building information modeling (BIM) consultants CG Visions have enabled their clients to collaborate on designs, mark up digital drawings and make notations on design specifications. These professionals can sign off on final designs and even track approvals from their colleagues.

January 31, 2010

 

CG Visions uses Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro Extended to facilitate 3-D design collaboration between design and construction teams.

Engineers, designers and builders can use their own CAD-based programs without worrying about sharing capabilities.

These 3-D models let customers take a virtual tour from room to room to compare features and layouts side by side.

By converting models to three-dimensional PDF files, planning service provider and building information modeling (BIM) consultants CG Visions have enabled their clients to collaborate on designs, mark up digital drawings and make notations on design specifications. These professionals can sign off on final designs and even track approvals from their colleagues.

Cory S. Shively, a partner with CG Visions, notes the benefits of working with PDFs: "You can share a PDF with anyone in the world; you can't name a more prevalent platform. People don't want to have to buy a new software package and get used to a new technology. Using Adobe's Acrobat, which usually comes standard on your PC or Mac, lets homeowners in on the process," he says.

Shively points to the success experienced by a small custom builder he's worked with in the past. "They're moving toward a 14-day build process. What we're running into is there's an engineering firm, a design firm and an architect involved. All of them want to use their own CAD drawings. But if you can utilize a PDF and share it and mark it up, you can dramatically reduce confusion in the chain and cut some of the change orders in the field."

While CG Visions has primarily worked with builders, the technology is just as game-changing on the remodeling side. These 3-D models let customers take a sort of virtual tour from room to room and compare features of different layouts side by side. Ultimately, says Shively, interactive, Web-based sessions with customers can provide virtual, real-time feedback to design staff.

The company says because the homeowners have a vision of the home before construction begins, they are less likely to make changes during the building process, keeping construction and materials costs down and projects on schedule. "It used to be that clients would go out and see their home mid-construction and want to make changes to the layout or materials. These changes increased overall costs and delayed project completion," says Shively. "Since we started using 3-D PDF files, we've helped our clients cut field-change costs by 95 percent and keep to tighter construction schedules."

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