Join Jim Rogers for an in-depth discussion in this video Using Fieldwire for plans in the field, part of Construction Industry Weekly.
- This week in our weekly series we're going to take a look at Fieldwire. So as you can see on the screen here they call themselves the construction app for the field, so let's take a look and see how we can use this in the field to switch to digital drawings. Now, this is another product that is meant for teams of any size, so if I go over to the pricing tab here just to give you an idea, anybody can download a free trial what you have up to five projects and 250 plan sheets inside of that free trial app, if you need more then the plan prices go up from there, but this is one of those examples of a digital drawing app that you can download if you're just a consultant, or an individual, or somebody working at a company that's tired of carrying around those paper drawings and you just want to go digital by yourself or with a team, this will accommodate that.
So I've already got an account setup, I'm going to go over here and click on the login button and it signs me in to my account. So again, I'm just on the trial plan this is the same thing that you would get if you downloaded the free trial. I don't have any project setups so let's go ahead and take care of that. We'll just call this our sample project, tells us we can upload our plans and this is another one of those examples of being able to store our plans in Dropbox or Box and grab them from the Cloud there.
I'm just going to go ahead and upload plans from the computer and we'll go back to that construction management sample drawing file that we've been using that has the 93 sheets all combined into one PDF and I'll click on upload. Okay, once our upload processes complete we'll click on next it's going to ask us to set our categories for tasks, and tasks is not something that I'm going to look at in this particular episode so I'm just going to say I'll do this later, and this is where we can now add users so we're starting to look at this concept of collaborating with others using the same set of drawings, all I need to do is add somebody by putting their email address in here and clicking on invite, and that'll add them to this project and they can view the same set of drawings that we're going to view.
I'm going to go ahead and close that, and I don't know if you've seen in the background here but our drawings are processing, so as you've seen this kind of common theme as we've gone through the different apps, some pieces of software out there that are made for viewing and working with construction drawings it's going through this process of splitting them up into individual sheets and naming them, and tagging them so we're going to give it a minute and let it finish that process and take a look at what we do next.
Here you can see on the screen as the process progresses it's starting to find and extract those individual sheets, still working on processing them but you can kind of scroll through and get an idea of its progress as everything gets processed, and you see it's doing a pretty good job, once again of pulling out the sheet numbers and the sheet names. And as each one finishes you'll start to see a thumbnail of the drawing itself.
Okay, and as the processing finishes and we start to see thumbnails for all of our drawings, it says Fieldwire has automatically named 91 plans, so I think that means there's still a couple of sheets to go but it's asking us to confirm individually or confirm all, which means it just wants us to make sure its named them properly. So it looks pretty good from what I can see here, we're going to click on confirm all and it's probably still processing a couple of drawings but this is a little bit different than the way some of the other apps have processed the drawings because this allows us to go ahead and start using these individual sheets as the last sheets are finished processing.
So let's go ahead and do that and see what we can do here with Fieldwire. I'm going to click on the foundation plan and open the foundation plan and again says, this is currently processing hyperlinks on this sheet, but it's still going to let us use it and go ahead and pull information off of it. And again, you can see kind of a common theme through all of these systems for digital drawings. We have a markup toolbar that allows us to measure things, add drawings and lines, shapes.
What I want to focus on for this particular app are things that you can do to make the drawings easier to navigate when you're working on your phone or your tablet out in the field. And what I want to do is go back, we've seen this in some of the other weekly series where we can add hyperlinks to the detail call outs, and that allows us to jump right to those detail pages and sometimes this is a manual process what we've seen in the past is it's been an automatic process, but in this case there's no hyperlink here, so anytime that happens or it doesn't recognize a detail call out as something that needs to be hyperlinked to another drawing that's very easy to add by just clicking on add hyperlink.
Now in this case a hyperlink can be an image, it can be an actual hyperlink out to a web link or another file. And what I want to do is I wanted to choose this one and I'm just going to go ahead and drop it right next to the detail call out, and this is going to allow me just to link to one of the other drawings in my set, and I want to link to A-506, so as I start typing that you'll see that it narrows down the list and I just want to select A-506 and that easy I've added a hyperlink to my drawing.
So again when I'm on my phone or on my tablet and I'm out in the field I don't want to have to keep going back to all plans and finding this plan sheet, I can just click on this hyperlink, click on the thumbnail and go straight to that detailed sheet. This makes digital drawings a lot easier to work with out in the field on those devices where my screen real state is a little smaller that what we've got here on the web interface. And then I also wanted to point out that I am in the web interface, and again that's been a common theme throughout most of these digital drawing apps, and that is typically that the process of setting up and processing your drawings, setting up a new project is going to be done in the web interface and then you're going to switch over to the mobile apps for most of your work out in the field.
Let's jump back to our plan list and confirm those last two plans, and with that we're set we've got all of our drawings uploaded and imported into Fieldwire, I did this with a trail plan that didn't cost any money, and I can be up and running using digital drawings right now today. I can open these drawings on my phone when I get to the job site and I've got everything accessible to me without grabbing any roles of paper drawings. This wraps this weeks segment, but make sure you tune back in next week and we'll look at a couple of more features and things that you can do with out digital drawings.