eTakeoff Interface for Autodesk Navisworks Case Study

The main purpose of the project was to create an extension to eTakeoff Bridge, which would establish a bi-directional data exchange between Autodesk® Navisworks® and Sage. AMC Bridge developed Autodesk Navisworks Integrator, the add-on for Bridge, implemented in a form of two intercommunicating plugins for both Autodesk Navisworks and Bridge. With the release of Navisworks Integrator plugin, which enabled seamless data exchange with the popular AEC application and facilitated 3D model-based estimation, the number of Bridge users increased dramatically.

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Customer: eTakeoff

Client

eTakeoff’s specialty is electronic Quantity Takeoff. The original eTakeoff product was Dimension, a family of plan quantification tools varying in price and capability. Those “takeoff” tools were integrated with numerous planrooms, file transfer applications and estimating packages. In addition, eTakeoff provides utilities to simplify the naming and organization of electronic plans. In 2014, Bridge, a product designed to tightly integrate Dimension with estimating systems, was released.

There are thousands of contractors in every construction trade, who use eTakeoff Dimension daily to boost their productivity by as much as 15 times over paper takeoff. Dimension incorporates sophisticated Assembly capabilities and even has a patented symbol search feature (Auto-count), yet it is one of the easiest to use Takeoff tools on the market.

Challenges

eTakeoff’s Takeoff solutions included Dimension, a complete electronic viewer and takeoff solution for estimators across all construction disciplines, and Bridge, a middleware program that runs between eTakeoff Dimension and an estimating system, which in this case was Sage Estimating. Offering 2D plan quantification integration, Bridge eliminates the need for manual data entry and vastly simplifies processing of one of the most highly-requested construction management operations.

Soon after its release, Bridge was recognized as a versatile and user-friendly takeoff integration tool. With the growing software popularity, eTakeoff conducted numerous user studies that demonstrated additional demand for integration with commonly used BIM software, Autodesk® Navisworks®, to perform 3D model-based quantification.

Owing to its expertise in developing applications based on Autodesk Navisworks APIs, AMC Bridge was entrusted with development of the corresponding add-on for eTakeoff Bridge.

Solution

The main purpose of the project was to create an extension to Bridge, which would establish a bi-directional data exchange between Autodesk Navisworks and Sage by replicating the existing Dimension/Bridge communication workflow.

AMC Bridge developed Autodesk Navisworks Integrator, the add-on for Bridge, implemented in a form of two intercommunicating plugins for both Autodesk Navisworks and Bridge.

eTakeoff Interface 1

 The integrator plugs Autodesk Navisworks Manage or Simulate (2016/2017/2018) into Bridge, so that objects and dimensional information can be dragged and dropped directly into Sage Estimating. The add-on enhances user experience with an option to inspect changes visually in the graphic viewer that allows switching between 3D and 2D quantification takeoff tools while feeding the same cost estimate. It will even automatically find changes between existing and revised models for quick turnaround of estimate modifications.

eTakeoff Interface 2

Connecting “Best In Class” popular products from industry leaders – Autodesk and Sage - enables users to continue working with the tools they are most comfortable with.

Process

AMC Bridge received a set of defined technical requirements developed by eTakeoff stakeholders in collaboration with the Research Institute for Building Information Modelling.

First, AMC Bridge team had thoroughly evaluated available user scenarios and researched Bridge technical attributes. AMC Bridge’s significant experience in Autodesk Navisworks customization allowed the team to create a comprehensive list of changes and modifications in Bridge essential to perform its communication with Autodesk Navisworks. Once Bridge developers delivered the product customized to the integration needs, AMC Bridge team handled the development stage using eTakeoff Bridge and Navisworks APIs.

After the successful release, AMC Bridge continued cooperation with Bridge development team delivering technical support to eTakeoff.

Results

eTakeoff now delivers a unique “Best In Class” solution connecting two leading 3D/BIM software products and the leading 2D plan takeoff tool with the U.S. leading Cost Estimating solution. With the release of Navisworks Integrator plugin, which enabled seamless data exchange with the popular AEC application and facilitated 3D model-based estimation, the number of Bridge users increased dramatically.

eTakeoff clients experienced the accelerated productivity of the estimation engineers as a result of the simplified estimation workflow and better takeoff visualization.

 

Sep 01, 2017
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