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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As I'm sure many of you experience, you no longer drive to a print shop to pick up plans for takeoff. Most of them are now downloaded off an online portal.

This leaves us with the option, print them off or work with them digitally. I don't own a plotter, and I'm not about to work off an 8.5x11".

I end up printing off the plans, then opening them on my computer, zooming in to read the plans and marking up the hard copy the old fashion way with a pencil. For a guy that works with modern technology I still do most of my bids the old fashion way.

What I'm thinking is getting a monster monitor with a pen mouse and using a light weight PDF editor program to estimate.

So how do you do your take off with digital plans?
 

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Phd
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I bought a larger monitor and use Adobe Acrobat. (The full program, not the reader) it has a measuring tool built in.

I hated changing over from prints to digital, but now that I can blow the plans up, I actually prefer it.

The only thing I don't like is having to open up every section of the plans to look for fencing. It's not always on the site plan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I bought a larger monitor and use Adobe Acrobat. (The full program, not the reader) it has a measuring tool built in.

I hated changing over from prints to digital, but now that I can blow the plans up, I actually prefer it.

The only thing I don't like is having to open up every section of the plans to look for fencing. It's not always on the site plan.
That's how we suffer with low-voltage. Normally it's combined with the electrical layout, but there is never a labled schedule or engineered drawings like there is for electrical, so you end up opening up 12 different PDF files looking for the important parts.
 

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I purchased a used 42" printer/plotter for a few hundred bucks.

I usually print just the pages I need, I can't sit in front of a computer and figure estimates and study plans.

I need to have the paper in hand and mark it up as I go.
 

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I'm a Mac
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I plot them, the main pages I need, I usually have to flip between architectural floor plans, cross sections and the same with engineering and usually all at the same time.

Working off a screen and jumping between pages sucks. I had a used architects plotter, lasted a year and cost me $500. It died, I bought a canon 750 plotter on sale for $2000 and definitely get my monies worth out of it.
 

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I like the 42x36" pages.

I can read them and lots of room to write.

I can't seriously review plans on a monitor.
 

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Contractor of the Month
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I like the 42x36" pages.

I can read them and lots of room to write.

I can't seriously review plans on a monitor.
That kind of the way we feel...but I think I'm just stuck in the past. Maybe a nice 42" touch screen would be the ticket.

But Chris has a point, you need to have the pages side by side when comparing the reflected layout to the milwork or conduit tree etc.
 

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That kind of the way we feel...but I think I'm just stuck in the past. Maybe a nice 42" touch screen would be the ticket.

But Chris has a point, you need to have the pages side by side when comparing the reflected layout to the milwork or conduit tree etc.
Dual monitors with 2 42" touchscreens...

Well now I have to up my rates cause that would be awesome and thats what I now want.
 

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We will print what we need, blow up portions ect. I does suck having 12 pdf's open and yes the full adobe helps. Boss has two 24" monitors. I have one. Lol


And if I can get paper copies thats what I do.
 

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I plot them, the main pages I need, I usually have to flip between architectural floor plans, cross sections and the same with engineering and usually all at the same time.

Working off a screen and jumping between pages sucks. I had a used architects plotter, lasted a year and cost me $500. It died, I bought a canon 750 plotter on sale for $2000 and definitely get my monies worth out of it.



With Bluebeam Revu Extreme you can link all the pages and details in about 10 minutes. So you just have to click the page you want on the index and it will take you right to that page..... then you click the detail and it will jump right to the page with that detail.....

I'm doing a 6 million dollar medical office building right now, and we don't have any paper plans on site...... The super just has his laptop and a 32" monitor. It's great because you can mark up the drawings with RFI responses and create links that automatically open the RFI document.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
With Bluebeam Revu Extreme you can link all the pages and details in about 10 minutes. So you just have to click the page you want on the index and it will take you right to that page..... then you click the detail and it will jump right to the page with that detail.....

I'm doing a 6 million dollar medical office building right now, and we don't have any paper plans on site...... The super just has his laptop and a 32" monitor. It's great because you can mark up the drawings with RFI responses and create links that automatically open the RFI document.
I like the sound of this.

I may be prying open my wallet to the tune of $300.
 

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Also thebluebook.com just released a free PDF takeoff program that can dimension..... It's called vu360..... I played with it a little and it seems decent for a free program, no where near as useful and powerful as bluebeam though.
 

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The one downfall to bluebeam is when divisions have different title blocks it takes longer to link everything, because it uses text recognition in a defined area of the page.
 

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Also thebluebook.com just released a free PDF takeoff program that can dimension..... It's called vu360..... I played with it a little and it seems decent for a free program, no where near as useful and powerful as bluebeam though.
Released it for free? Back 4-5 years ago it was free with membership. Good basic program, works well :thumbup:
 
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