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Thread: Tablets & CAD for field surveys

  1. #11
    All AUGI, all the time pauljordan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tablets & CAD for field surveys

    Sorry about pullin up an old thread but, the times, they are a changing.

    I'm using a Samsung 4 Tab 8 and a new Leica Disto E7100i laser distance measuring device that'll measure down to 1/32" of an inch. It doesn't have an inclinometer so if you're shakey, it might be a 1/4" off the actual length.

    I've been beating the bushes looking for a program that will work with it and allow me to do the as-builting drawings I'm creating my clients but, to no avail. Leica does have 2 programs, one that will run on your tablet where you basically draw a line to the north, measure it with the disto, and it'll blueray to the program, then you drag it right onto the line you just drew. It looks like it'll store multiple readings but, I haven't figured out how to take a bunch of shots around a room, then go back to the software and pull each one out and put them on the lines.

    One thing I really don't like about it is that when you draw a line, it has no value to it, just a direction.. Then when you add the length to it, it doesn't scale the line at all. Basically you have to stay on your toes to make sure you have all the doors and windows measured and drawn up on the program.

    There are a few other programs for it but, they all seem to only be for the IPad. Do these companies think the IPad is the only device people use?

    I can even run the Leica software on my Samsung Galaxy 2 phone and do the same thing.

    WARNING: Check the specs on the Disto. Some of the older ones used Bluetooth 2.8 and they won't work with the current standard of 4.0.. Believe me, I tried everything..

    Cadtag, the drawing features of these tablet programs (to include A360) normally use a grid system or manual input. Granted, when I create a file of a drawing with my Leica, it doesn't save a .dxf or .dwg file. It creates a file I can download and insert into Autocad, then make the adjustments based on what measurements were taken.

    As for it not being a Cad program?? Hmm.. Interesting..

    There are even some stylus thingy's some folks use but, give the Leica Sketch program a test. Not like you're looking for the accuracy in your drawing but, the drawing is just a simple representative of things in the room you want to measure out.. The distances are accurate though..
    Give a man AutoCad, and he'll draw you a floor plan.
    Give a man Revit and he'll build you a house.
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  2. #12
    All AUGI, all the time pauljordan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tablets & CAD for field surveys

    Take a look on the app store for OrthoGraph. I do as-built surveys for clients prior to adding their mother-in-law rooms and everything else from outhouses to barns.

    I tried probably 15-20 "cad" programs until I ran across OrthoGraph. Pair it with a Leica D2 laser distance meter and it's better than pockets on a shirt.

    You can export the drawings as .dxf, (Autocad) .ifc (Revit) XLSX .PDF, and an Image... All in 3D. Also available for the IPads.

    Autodesk is about ready to send out an upgrade to their Autocad Mobile (Formerly Autocad 360) that will be using the Leica series of laser Distance Meters as well.

    The D2 from Leica is right at $200 so you can make that back on your first job.

    It's a LOT easier to carry an 8" tablet in one hand and hold your ldm with the other. With Orthograph, they actually just made a change to their software that has a big red button you hit that makes the LDM take the shot.

    To each their own I guess..

    Just checked and the Leica Disto is the D2 model that I use.
    Last edited by pauljordan; 2019-02-06 at 09:39 AM.
    Give a man AutoCad, and he'll draw you a floor plan.
    Give a man Revit and he'll build you a house.
    Give Cadmama a couple of drinks and she'll have everyone singing Rockytop!

  3. #13
    All AUGI, all the time pauljordan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tablets & CAD for field surveys

    OK, first of all I realize I'm bringing up a new solution to an old thread that I commented on a few years back.

    Since then I've been using Autocad Mobile and still using my Leica Distro.

    For an update, now I can draw a line with my finger of any length, just the general direction I'm heading in, then I can put my Distro in one corner, point it to the opposite corner and put the measure button. With bluetooth activated on both the Distro and on my Samsung Tablet in the Autocad Mobile App, it will change that line to a nice, straight line and then make it the correct length, then, put a dimension on it that's exactly the same as the one I measures.

    Then I just move to the corner I just shot to and repeat the process and in short order, I have the outline of the interior of the room I'm trying to draw.

    There are blocks in the program for things like windows and doors you can also drop in at a high degree of accuracy.

    The only problem I'm having to figure out is how to measure to an outside corner and I've been pondering the idea of using a stick with a surveyors target on it that I can lean against the outside corner of the wall, shoot that distance, and move on to the next wall.

    Prior to discovering this ability, I would use tape measure to measure out the walls and that's is definitely a much slower process.

    I still carry a tablet and 4 colored ink pen (different colors can mean walls, windows and doors, dimensions, and notes to myself) as a way of taking notes on what I'm working on.

    It's made my life so much easier when trying to draw out a clients existing structure.

    If they would improve the offset command to where I can offset 6" or whatever I input, it would be the best thing since pockets on a shirt.

    It would also be quite nice if AUGI had a forum dedicated to this technology for sharing ideas and things we've learned.
    Last edited by pauljordan; 2019-02-20 at 07:58 AM.
    Give a man AutoCad, and he'll draw you a floor plan.
    Give a man Revit and he'll build you a house.
    Give Cadmama a couple of drinks and she'll have everyone singing Rockytop!

  4. #14
    Member Wrongway's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tablets & CAD for field surveys

    PaulJordan,
    Tablet/field survey tools is a topic that has been on the back burner for me for a while, but is always relevant, so thanks for your posts.
    I see that HomeDepot offers the Leica D2 for $199. That and a few hundred for a tablet seem feasible.
    I see also that Leica offers the Leica 3D DISTO for $8,295, not sure if that includes the tablet.
    I'm using a digital tape measure (no memory or connectivity) plus a pen and paper. I think I can do better.

    From your post, it looks like you're using a Samsung tablet, Leico laser measure, and Autocad mobile app, is that all?

    The field method sounds interesting, but I don't fully understand the steps you describe, or how that is better than standing in the center of the room and taking shots in all directions with the laser.
    Last edited by Wrongway; 2019-06-20 at 04:01 PM.
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  5. #15
    All AUGI, all the time pauljordan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tablets & CAD for field surveys

    Hey Wrongway,

    First of all, my apologies for not getting back to you for so long. I rarely if ever come to the AUGI forums anymore these days. Just so happens I was looking to see if they ever added a forum for the Autocad Mobile software yet. I was actually pondering writing up a tutorial on how I use it for doing as-built drawings of houses for my clients and can pretty much send my clients a .pdf file by sending the drawing I just made on my tablet to my laptop, plotting that to .pdf, then sending them the .pdf files. I never give out my .dwg files to my clients. If they decide to walk away half way through a job and they have versions of your .dwg files, they can go find someone cheaper to finish the drawings and you get left with nothing..

    Yes, I use Samsung tablets, somehow I ended up with three of them.. My larger of the three is having battery issues so I'll probably pick up a battery off Amazon and get it working again.

    Be careful which laser device you end up with.. I guess the same can be said about the tablet you're using. Main problem I ran across was the bluetooth on the laser device was a newer version that the one on my original tablet.. Go to a surveyor shop and try before you buy.. The lasers from Home Depot and Lowes aren't really looking at the design market. Mine is accurate to 1/32" at 300'... I've never tested it that close but, I'll take their word for it..

    As for pen and paper, I still carry a tablet and one of those 4 color pens (Each color means something like lines, dimensions, windows/doors, notes to me) which makes it a lot easier to figure out what you actually drew. But, with the tablet, you don't need that but, I still use those same colors and the reasons I've always used for each one.

    I've thought about hauling a laser printer in the back of my truck at times to be able to hand my client a drawing right there on site but, I'd prefer to take it home and clean up my work with my Autocad 2010 on my laptop (Yep, rockin the old school software) and send them a .pdf file.

    I've got a Disto 330i as well as the Disto D2. The D2 was given to me by a company called OrthoGraph from Hungary for doing an interview on youtube answering questions about their software. I must say, I'm very happy that AutoDesk stepped up and made the portable version work.

    Makes my job a lot easier and faster these days. BTW, don't forget your batteries.. and a tape measure cause sometimes, you still need one.

    Also, one awesome tool I have is a video camera that made for looking down in car engines and other hard to see places. Well, it's got a nifty 2" color screen and an LED light on the end with the camera.. Great for looking up in ceilings, behind walls, etc.. I grabbed mine at WalMart when I saw one on clearance.. Awesome score..

    Here's my email (written backwards to foil the spam bots) moc.liamg@ylzzirgypmurg Feel free to drop me a note if you have any questions..

    It'd definitely be nice to find a forum talking about this software and the technology it's capable of.
    Give a man AutoCad, and he'll draw you a floor plan.
    Give a man Revit and he'll build you a house.
    Give Cadmama a couple of drinks and she'll have everyone singing Rockytop!

  6. #16
    Administrator Ed Jobe's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tablets & CAD for field surveys

    Quote Originally Posted by pauljordan View Post
    It'd definitely be nice to find a forum talking about this software and the technology it's capable of.
    You can use the Cad Mgr forum for discussions of that type.
    C:> ED WORKING....

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