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New Technology Allows Access to Construction Drawings More Easily

11/8/2012 | Construction Blog

The construction world continues to be changed – like the rest of the business world – by technology. With the advent of smart phones, people became more flexible and productive. As smart phones become even smarter, the growing opportunities for increased efficiency and productivity seem to be presently focused on integration. A new application for smart phones seems to fit that description perfectly.

Almost everyone who is involved in construction knows what CAD is and how it has impacted the construction design and management process. One hurdle has always been taking that technology to the field. While having the construction drawings on your computer made it easier to store, change, and manipulate them, it wasn’t always easy to carry those into the field. Often times, design professionals and others were required to carry old-fashioned prints and drawings that could be somewhat unwieldy. New smart phone software may help avoid that problem though.


The new software, now owned by Autodesk, allows for the viewing and editing of proprietary DWG files developed in CAD using a browser based editor. Using AutoCAD WS, any change you make to your drawings using your smart phone automatically synchronizes with the drawings in your computer at your desk as soon as you go on the internet using your smart phone. As a result, you can now carry your drawings in your pocket and make agreed upon changes in the field.

This comes with both benefits and possible drawbacks. If the entire construction team, from design professional down to supplier and subcontractor has access to the program, they can easily reference drawings and plans from a smart phone they are likely already carrying in their pocket. Conversely, too many people having access to the drawings could cause unnecessary confusion or design flaws when changes are made from multiple sources without design professional approval. If the technology is smart enough to avoid possible pitfalls like this, it will likely only be a matter of time before this technology gains widespread acceptance and begins showing up in contract documents as a requirement to get the work.