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Discussions about any other product with no dedicated forum - MEP Modeler, Archicad Goodies, 3rd-party Add-Ons, operating systems, products of other vendors, etc. (Example: Which Add-On is the best for creating special Stairs?)

Moderators: Karl Ottenstein, LaszloNagy, ejrolon, Barry Kelly, gkmethy

User avatar
By agroni
I have started checking out this new tool called Bluebeam in detail since the moment when it was published, I did not impress me that much. Sadly, after watching tons of video tutorials I am still not quite so impressed about the possibilities of this tool.

Why should we transfer our work from Archicad into a PDF??? Shouldn’t the case be where the architect creates all the information in an Archicad file, like Zones with information instead of placing fills in Bluebeam?! How the “Single Source of Truth” system in BIM will work if you start putting information on a PDF file?!? BIM in my opinion does not work like this!

Exchanging Markups makes sense only if the whole planning team is equipped with this software, otherwise using it only from one side is not very intuitive. In addition, what I understood from the tutorials is that all the markups are placed on the layout and not in the floor plan (maybe I am wrong), but if this is the case than it does not give me a clear overview since I would need to switch very often between layout and floor plan to make a change in the project.

What is your opinion on this tool?
User avatar
By Marc H
Over the past few years, Bluebeam has received more attention and I have many colleagues who think its great b/c they can mark-up pdfs on the fly and it tracks the changes for delivery back to the consultant. For example, they can snap part of the design, shift or mirror it, and paste it elsewhere; a kind-of easy 2D editor. They can measure things and so forth. For them, its a new tool. This is especially true if they do not have CAD or BIM software, such as various non-A&E project team members.

I've used similar features via Adobe Acrobat Pro (albeit not as extensive a tool kit for architecture). But the idea is the same - quick mark-ups with tracking = speed of on-the-fly mark-ups (easy in Skype meetings) and accountability for where the changes come from.

That said, though my office provides Bluebeam to me and I've used it a few times, I wholeheartedly agree that live ArchiCAD editing far out-distances the 'pdf mark-up strategy' for design process. Having a portable virtual model (in BIMx) off to the client beforehand and then in-person screen or Skype calls with a skilled AC-based architect is a far more effective process. As we know, it provides so much more visualization and single point of editing = quality.

Also of note, many offices are using Revit, which is heavier and slower on-line than AC (according to one of our architects who knows both platforms). Just last month they held Skype sessions with the client on a fully equipped 50,000 SF project. They still relied heavily on Sketch-Up and Bluebeam b/c the Revit model was too slow to edit very much while on-line. (It may be a good idea to run some tests if you are routinely working with larger or more complex models.)

Hope this helps.
User avatar
By Marc H
I forgot to add that BIMx Pro presumably will accomplish the same result as Bluebeam with extended team members (e.g., measuring and mark-ups of the virtual model and PDFs within the posted package) . I have only used the basic BIMx to date, but intend to explore this soon. Others may have much more to share on BIMx Pro.
User avatar
By Steve Jepson
Bluebeam is perhaps on par now with the functionality of Adobe Acrobat Pro Extended - I don't know.
The mark up aspects are insignificant compared to what you can do with either of these programs.