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Thread: Future of CAD and engineering

  1. #1
    I could stop if I wanted to Liamnacuac's Avatar
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    Default Future of CAD and engineering

    I have a three year life cycle that I base my hardware purchases on, and last year was the start of one of the major cycles. I basically have converted all engineers and drafters to Laptops for mobility. Now, Almost all have smartphones and some have tablets, but the tablets are personal mostly for looking up e-mail and reading books or articles when convinient, they are still too slow, underpowered, and clumsy to do big-boy work on. But it is obvious that at some point in time, these tablets will replace the laptops as the primary computer-phones being powerful, but just too small. I have poked at tablets a little, and obviously have a bias against them at the moment. Since I know they are what we will use, I'm watching constantly, and now I thought I'd ask if anyone here is actually using them for production work, and what kind? I can see architects using cameras and photoshop to give on the spot ideas some rendering, and I can see project managers using them for punchlists, etc. I don't see any engineering apps(?) that are practical, and I found it to be a bit complicated for the average user to access our networks via VPN, and way too slow to work that way anyway.
    So, has anyone setup their own secure cloud and run apps (no names are necessary, either users or programs) for buisness class work? Or even justified using your tablet as your engineering computer?

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    Certifiable AUGI Addict Wanderer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Future of CAD and engineering

    Quote Originally Posted by Liamnacuac View Post
    I have a three year life cycle that I base my hardware purchases on, and last year was the start of one of the major cycles. I basically have converted all engineers and drafters to Laptops for mobility. Now, Almost all have smartphones and some have tablets, but the tablets are personal mostly for looking up e-mail and reading books or articles when convinient, they are still too slow, underpowered, and clumsy to do big-boy work on. But it is obvious that at some point in time, these tablets will replace the laptops as the primary computer-phones being powerful, but just too small. I have poked at tablets a little, and obviously have a bias against them at the moment. Since I know they are what we will use, I'm watching constantly, and now I thought I'd ask if anyone here is actually using them for production work, and what kind? I can see architects using cameras and photoshop to give on the spot ideas some rendering, and I can see project managers using them for punchlists, etc. I don't see any engineering apps(?) that are practical, and I found it to be a bit complicated for the average user to access our networks via VPN, and way too slow to work that way anyway.
    So, has anyone setup their own secure cloud and run apps (no names are necessary, either users or programs) for buisness class work? Or even justified using your tablet as your engineering computer?
    I don't see myself going to a tablet anytime soon for my primary work, but, I do like it for meetings. I haven't carried a pen or a separate camera in years. Taking notes and emailing with photos is an essential part of my day.

    HOWEVER, I am looking into tablets for our mechanics. That's a long-term, ongoing discussion with the IT department. They'd be the ones connecting us into the network, but, it's a bit of a moot point at this time, as the hospital was set up with wifi all over... except in our equipment rooms. There is a little bleed-through from other floors, but, that's unreliable. Our mechanics also work plenty out in the hospital at large, but, we want them to be able to work the same all over.

    We're intending to use IBM Maximo on the tablets, how we'll tie in the CAD access is a decision still pending due to funding pursuit. Wheeee.

    I have had a couple of the guys test out the IT department's windows-based tablet to get feedback on coverage and possible usage. I never realized that shutting down equipment from the computer was a better process for some machines, than shutting down manually. Of course, in the current setup, that computer is two buildings and 11 floors away from the equipment. They managed it once over the wifi bleedthrough, but, it wasn't reliable enough to do every time.

    I talked to a guy from the University of Kentucky who said that his PM's regularly do modifications to plans on walk-throughs using iPads and AutoCAD WS.
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    Certifiable AUGI Addict cadtag's Avatar
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    Default Re: Future of CAD and engineering

    Tablets make sense in the AEC world as ancillary devices. Since they lack both storage and secure connectivity they are inherently limited in what they can be used for and where they can be used. not to mention tiny ****** screens with imprecise fat fingered input and ****** virtual keyboards.

    Will they replace desktop workstations for content creation in the engineering and architectural design universe? no way in hades. Will they be useful ior construction inspection, walk throughs, comparing design/shop drawings with field condition? absolutely.

    'secure private cloud'. It's called a local area network. 'cloud' is just a marketing buzzword for resources on a remote server.
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    I could stop if I wanted to Norton_cad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Future of CAD and engineering

    At work some pm's use there personal touch screens to access drawings, saved as pdf's. Acad ws is to slow, and because the files are typically colour layered, is impossible to read clearly on a tablet. A dwf viewer, and markup that works on apple & android, would be better. We download the drawing data befor viewing, and a cloud viewer that was secure, won't be viable, until the bandwidth or NBN is finally complete (2014 we are promised by goverment).

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    Default Re: Future of CAD and engineering

    I few year ago my company (finally) got me a laptop. I insisted on the biggest, highest-powered one I could get. Having a laptop is very convenient to take home with me so I can surf the web or check email at home. It's also allowed me to travel for the company to other sites and take my tools with me. However, when I do CAD work, I still sit down at a desk with a monitor in front of me (either the laptop's monitor or a 'traditional' flat-screen) and a mouse under my right hand. At this point, I don't see tablet-type devices being useful to me for more than an e-reader.
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