Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Application Development - Building a Case for It

I was approached by Mike Shell recently. Since he is interested in developing a software application intended to support viewing Revit models via a 3D PDF Converter his need is a bit broader than just my opinion. He needs interest from bigger organizations than mine.

He is seeking statements from firms that support his business plan. Here's one of two sample letters he provided:
    To Mr. Michael Schell or to whom it may concern,
    Our firm uses Autodesk Revit for our architectural and 3D CAD design needs. We are currently using another product for viewing and illustration for sharing our model requirements and for printing documents, but not aware of 3D PDF format, for printing or illustrating our models.
    If this product is available I would be interested in purchasing the product, if the value was in the $________ price range. It would be valuable for us to be able to distribute our 3D Revit designs in a neutral 3D format like PDF… since the Adobe viewer is free and everyone has it already on their PC.
    Integration of 3D views within the construction set as the next step in the evolution of construction drawings would be beneficial. Having an Adobe 3D PDF that a contractor can use during the construction phase would further enhance our communication with the clients.
    Sincerely Yours,
    Your Name
If you and/or your firm are interested in learning more contact him via EMAIL. He's also hoping you'll provide such a letter to demonstrate how interested you are, and thereby demonstrating overall interest in the project.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Doesnt Adobe CS5 already have a 3D "smart" PDF feature?

Greg@L2D said...

Isn't Autodesk Design Review used to exactly what this proposed application would do? The only issue i have with Design Review is that the 3D mode comes in a shaded and the materials can not be shown. All our client use Design Review with no complaints.

Erik said...

Isn't this what Design Review is for? It's free and can either be 2D or 3D. And the fact that Mark-ups link back to the original Revit file is a plus...

Steve said...

Well that's the struggle with building a case for creating something isn't? What's already available versus what isn't or might be possible with fresh look at "the problem".

Perhaps in the end the decision is that what's already out there is enough?

I don't know how his project would actually perform or make "my" life better but that's the essence of his query...are people satisfied? Would a different PDF based solution be "better", could it be better?

Steve said...

Oh, not to give this post greater emphasis (not the same scope)...but consider that back when Revit got started there were lots of arguments that other software did the job already. Still hearing them 11 years later. Glad they didn't listen to that "crowd".

Greg said...

Almost everyone, everywhere has the free Adobe Reader. Almost no one has the Autodesk Viewer installed. And they aren't going to hassle with downloading and installing it.

The reality is that any architect who needs to share AutoCAD data with their client (think homeowners, building owners, interior designers, etc.) is going to send a PDF of the relevant AutoCAD layers. The same applies to Revit data. Asking your client to go download a viewer is generally a nonstarter. But being able to simply send your client a 3D PDF and never worry about whether they can view it eliminates a huge hassle for both the sender and receiver.

Mike Hardy-Brown said...

Design Review is brilliant, it works, markups are sent back to Revit ...no problem. All works well in theory. In reality though, people don't like change, so if Mr. Client or Bob the Builder has been using PDF's, they will not embrace the change. It could be fear of the unknown or plain laziness. In practice (IMO), most people still request PDF's not DWF's.
Where has that original Revit pioneering spirit gone? ....all too mainstream now perhaps?

Malleristic-Revitation said...

I suddenly feel fortunate, in that we have had a vast amount of success pushing people towards Design Review. It isnt just "3d," its having the data all present just like you are in Revit, but.... not. Weve pushed consultants, clients, Project managers, and folks in the field with Eslates, all towards ADR, and they seem to be loving it.

PDF? Meh.

The BIM Man said...

have you seen this too...?

http://www.righthemisphere.com/products/

Ben May said...

I heard a rumor quite a few years ago now that Autodesk were working on a number of large OEM computer manufacturers and/or Microsoft to bundle a DWF viewer such as Design Review with machines

But agree, non technical people will not download what is quite a large download now in Design Review

Erik said...

Keep in mind that the current file extension from Design Review (.dwfx) can be opened with Internet Explorer (arguably more ubiquitous than Adobe .pdf reader)or versions of Windows newer than XP.

And while you can't do markups in files from those programs you could send a file to your Grandma to open and look around.