As part of our technology focus, this month I wanted to zero-in on a few apps I’ve come across that have the potential to be invaluable for interior designers.
At each stage of a design project, you’ll have specific needs for which you probably have different tools you turn to for help. You may prefer to manage your client and vendor contacts through your email client, or a project binder you keep on your desk within arm’s reach. And perhaps you are one of those designers who never leaves home without your sketchbook, because “you never know…” (But we all know some of the best designs are formulated on the proverbial restaurant napkin!).
In today’s i-age, these same needs may propel you to search for the most appropriate, efficient, or affordable technology to help you through your design projects. And while many of the mobile apps available today might not be superior to your standard desktop installations, you do have to admit that it is pretty fascinating to see what you can accomplish on a handheld device, and that, for the most part, these apps are just downright cool.
So for all you iPhone/iPod touch/iPad-toting designers out there, here are a few apps you might consider for your next project.
AutoCAD 2011 Video Training by appOmator.com
Purchase AutoCAD 2011 Video Training on iTunes
This collection of tutorial videos is perfect for the designer on the go. Plug in your headphones and expand your CAD capabilities while taking the train, taking a lunch break, or taking your morning jog.
The app features ten extracts from the training series, demonstrating AutoCAD’s modeling and rendering tools, drawing area, commands, menus, toolbars and layouts (the full version is available online and provides a full 10 hours worth of training).
For its price tag, this app certainly seems like a bargain to me!
AutoCAD WS by Autodesk Inc.
Purchase AutoCAD WS on iTunes
Once you’ve brushed up on how to do 3D modeling — and you’ve set up your drawings using the training videos — why not take CAD for a test-run (literally) and download AutoCAD WS? It’s a free app that allows you to view, edit, and share DWG files.
I can see this app being particularly useful for verifying and updating dimensions in the field, an easy reference and less bulky than a roll of printed drawings. Or perhaps for those days when you need to be in two places at once, and the deadline for CD’s is fast approaching. The free online workspace also seems like a potentially valuable option for designers who do not have a file-sharing site but need to send drawings to the client, engineers or consultants for review.
Essentially, this app offers the basics of AutoCAD on the go – how great is that? (Now if only someone would do the same thing for REVIT…)
Purchase REVITkeys on iTunes
Okay, so there may not be a fully-loaded app for Revit, yet … (a girl can hope) … but this nifty app functions as a quick reference for the CAD-turned-Revit-user who prefers to use keyboard shortcuts but can’t ever seem to remember what they are.
This app has been updated for Revit 2011, and it features 154 keyboard key combinations in 14 categories. So the next time you’re about to lean over and ask your coworker (again) for the keyboard shortcut to rotate your model in default 3D view, just reach for your iPhone instead because, yeah, there’s an app for that!