Thinking outside the sheet

  • Thinking outside the sheet

     Jeffrey Collins updated 1 month ago 3 Members · 5 Posts
  • Jeffrey Collins

    Member
    December 12, 2021 at 11:43 pm
    Points: 620
    Rank: UC2 Brainery White Belt I UC2 Brainery White Belt I

    I’m a roadway/highway designer and we’re getting closer to supplying digital 3D models but it’s still going to be some time before that’s the norm wanted/needed for a majority of contractors. In the mean time PDFs have become the new paper and we’re using standard sheet sizes, why??? So we can print hard copies?

    If I have a 3 mile long project, at 1”=50’ I’m looking at 12ish sheets just for plan view. That becomes cumbersome to find and “page” through, only to find the information needed spans multiple sheets.

    Has any one instead tried creating 1 unknown sheet size (might be 66”x 340”) with the same 1”=50’ scale? Having all the information on one “sheet” only needing to pan around, never worrying about which sheet the information is on?

    Wouldn’t this be a good intermediate step from digital plans to digital models? At this point we should be thinking about the limitations of file size not the limitations of a piece of paper, which our plans my never actually be printed on.

    Other than, “That’s the way it’s always been done.” Why are we confined to 22×34 or 24×36 sheets of paper when printing to PDFs? Any issues to worry about in Revu?

    Would appreciate any and all opinions and insights.

  • Troy DeGroot

    Organizer
    December 13, 2021 at 12:18 am
    Points: 8,004
    Rank: UC2 Brainery Purple Belt III UC2 Brainery Purple Belt III

    Welcome to the group @Jeff.Collins

    I can definitely feel your pain and agree with the idea of a continuous combined PDF. Here is a blog post/video I did a while back showing how to combine several PDFs just like your asking. https://uchapter2.com/combining-several-pdfs-into-one-pdf-using-bluebeam-revu/?no_frame=1

    I know because CAD is done in one continuous layout it would be nice to get rid of the Viewports and just print a full-size PDF of the entire site. For now, combining the PDFs might make some of your workflows a little easier.

    I’m not sure how the industry is going to handle the Sign/Seal part of model submittals, but until then, signed PDF’s it is.

    • Jeffrey Collins

      Member
      December 14, 2021 at 12:43 pm
      Points: 620
      Rank: UC2 Brainery White Belt I UC2 Brainery White Belt I

      @troydegroot thanks for sharing the video.

      That is a work around for sure and exactly supports my point. I’m responsible for creating the cut sheets (which honestly is a pain and time consuming), that then someone would need to do those steps for. On most projects this needs to be done for multiple different plan types, having to do the “same thing” numerous times. We (designers) should just be creating the combined version in the first place. Taking a step back, maybe it starts with going with the familiar, standard sheet sizes, but including a master/index sheet that is larger and has hyperlinks to individual sheets if those are needed/wanted for other purposes.

      In theory this leads to no cut sheets, just multiple different plan types, taking plan sets from hundreds of sheets to tens of sheets. Which in return becomes familiar and is the step into 3D pdfs and digital models.

  • David Cutler

    Member
    December 13, 2021 at 8:41 am
    Points: 5,565
    Rank: UC2 Brainery Purple Belt UC2 Brainery Purple Belt Rank

    Great discussion topic @Jeff.Collins

    Wearing my Project Engineer hard hat a full project PDF would be a wonderful tool! Especially if it was setup with clearly identified layers so that you can toggle off what you don’t need to see. If it was a nice straight job it would be great to plot out a single sheet that I could hang on the wall in the trailer without having to tape multiple sheets together.

    Putting on my tie as an Owner’s Representative I cringe over the potential document control issues having “live” documents out there. A flattened, black and white document that can’t be edited is the contract in this world. Having sheet numbers to reference in correspondence, RFI responses and such are key to good documentation.

    While some portions of the industry are going digital at every opportunity you are correct that most contractors want paper and a .PDF file that they can print/plot copies at will – and measure in Revu! While they get tattered and dirty you never have to worry about charging a set of paper plans in the field!

    • Jeffrey Collins

      Member
      December 14, 2021 at 12:57 pm
      Points: 620
      Rank: UC2 Brainery White Belt I UC2 Brainery White Belt I

      Thanks for sharing @David Cutler

      “…it was setup with clearly identified layers so that you can toggle off what you don’t need to see.” Agree with this, certainly related, teaching people pdf’s can have layers is also important and a step to reducing the plan types needed.

      “If it was a nice straight job it would be great to plot out a single sheet that I could hang on the wall in the trailer without having to tape multiple sheets together.” Funny thing is designers do this during the early stages of design and then we chop it (additional time and money) to give it to contractors.


      “Having sheet numbers to reference in correspondence, RFI responses and such are key to good documentation.” Could still have sheet numbers and we have alignments (in the world I’m use to) that could be referenced. Adding layers that can be manipulated would add a wringle, but maybe then there’s a “flat” contract plan and then a user friendly “smart” pdf.

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