Ever since people began building structures, there’s been a need for blueprints. Techniques, methods, and models have evolved over the years — though, for the most part, these were completed using a pencil and paper.
In the advent of the digital era, digital drawings for construction are changing the way architects and construction companies approach new projects. Digital drawings are being incorporated into the construction process to promote easier communication channels and increase efficiency and accuracy.
Jobsite ANZ spoke with Alistair Michener, the Founder and CEO of Drawboard, about how digital drawings are transforming the construction industry and what the future holds.
More Efficiency and Collaboration
Print drawings have been the primary form of communication for construction projects. They provide 2D representations of buildings and infrastructure, aiding in the mental visualisation and final development of construction projects.
While print drawings are an effective method, allowing construction workers to visualise and complete construction projects, digital drawings gaining popularity as they can provide more in-depth information.
“In their digital form, drawings facilitate far more efficient sharing, dissemination of data, collaboration and prevention of the need for printing and associated time wastage."
“In their digital form, drawings facilitate far more efficient sharing, dissemination of data, collaboration and prevention of the need for printing and associated time wastage,” says Michener.
“Drawboard PDF is a pen and touch-focused Windows 10 application that lets users intuitively mark-up digital drawings using a pen and other easy-to-use markup tools,” explains Michener.
Bullclip takes this process a step further by providing a communication channel between design and construction teams throughout the construction process, transforming the traditional static PDF file into a live, connected communication channel. The teams can communicate and mark-up drawings in real-time, speeding up the feedback process and enabling a quicker completion of construction projects.
“Both Bullclip and Drawboard PDF bring the ease of writing and inking — an often cited benefit of physical markups — to the digital environment,” says Michener.
Products such as these can be accessed using mobile and iPad devices or any web browser to enhance the construction process and enable more efficient communication between workers.
Digital Drawings = Higher Quality & Safer Projects
Michener notes that design drawings, once restricted to the realm of the physical, static artefact, are now smart, connected communication mediums. Design and construction teams can use them to instantly share feedback on markups and sketches with the entire team, It also improves accuracy and specificity in the design itself.
“This is transforming the industry by reducing time in feedback loops between teams, which results in higher quality and safer projects delivered at an ever-increasing pace,” says Michener.
The construction industry requires instant information and feedback about the design and status of construction projects to ensure they are completed on time to a high standard.
“This is transforming the industry by reducing time in feedback loops between teams, which results in higher quality and safer projects delivered at an ever-increasing pace."
“The future of digital drawing is the cornerstone to a smart medium that facilitates this information exchange as early as possible, in whatever format people prefer, and in a manner that is accessible to everyone,” says Michener.
Due to its efficiency as a medium, there will be an increase in demand for all phases of construction projects to be able to have access to all project data to facilitate information exchanges.
The construction industry will continue to rely on having all information available in one digital location, thereby increasing the ability for data to be shared between different construction technologies more easily.
“3D technologies will play a major part in extrapolating and communicating the 2D drawing, but 2D file formats will continue to be the common denominator and basis as a communication medium. It’s just about how we choose to develop the technologies that are possible on top of a 2D drawing,” says Michener.