CADD on the road: eXtreme Conference 2017: A Revu

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The weather was fantastic in LA for Bluebeam’s eXtreme Conference. Almost a thousand people in attendance and every single one excited about what is next. In this era of collaborative solutions, Bluebeam has focused their products on empowering users and project teams in many ways. This year’s conference gave us a glimpse as to what is in store for us in the future. Let’s explore some of the new 2018 features, development partners, and exciting projects from eXtreme Conference 2017.

Bluebeam has made a focus on improving the user experience in their premier software, Revu. Tool Sets provide a user the means to create powerful, custom markup tools to support their workflows and processes. The ability to create tool bars customized to their desires. Tabs and panels help provide ease of access to crucial preferences, options, and processes. All of these features can be found with today’s Revu 2017. With 2018 on the horizon, Bluebeam has put a main focus in updating their user interface. Not only have they kept all the features listed above, they have added quite a number as well. They have also overhauled the UI to make it much easier for users to access tools, less clutter on screen, and keep it intuitive with how the user works with the software. One interface feature that I particularly love is that when I click on a markup, a menu will appear giving me clear insight to the properties of that markup in Revu 2018. This removes the need to keep a preference tab open the entire time, giving me more room to have the tools available when I need them.

2D and 3D integration have always been an issue in any project. Today’s BIM-centered world stresses the use of 3D modeling, as it should. 3D modeling is the way of the future for collaboration and coordination in any project. However, there is still a need for integration on the 2D level as well as a 3D level for projects. Ineight, a Bluebeam development partner, has added a plugin for Bluebeam Revu to sit right inside their software. Ineight’s premier offering is built around project modeling; using 2D and 3D information to produce and manage 4D and 5D processes. The use of Ineight’s software allows the user to generate project information and push it back to the drawings and design documents they were first published from. This helps bridge the gap between 2D and 3D integration.

The conference’s main objective was to provide a learning experience, no matter what level of user you were. Many training sessions were provided by Bluebeam employees, partners, and Bluebeam Certified Instructors. Such sessions included Bluebeam 101, RFI’s & Submittals, Creating 3D PDFs, and many more! There were also panels set up that provided industry insight, best practices, and how to educate users in today’s technology driven landscape. I was part of the panel Train the Trainer: Tips & Tricks for Software Trainers. There, we discussed the ways educators can engage their students through the use of technology, practice, continued education and support, and other methods. With the insight of two of Bluebeam’s software trainers, as well as two Bluebeam Certified Instructors (myself included), attendees gained insight into how each of us tackled the ever-changing landscape of training a workforce in the AEC industry.

The eXtreme conference is not marketed as a convention in that there were only a few booths that were in attendance. The main focus of the eXtreme conference was to train, learn, network, gain valuable insight on trends in the AEC industry, and to maintain a constructive conversation and relationship between Bluebeam, it’s partners, it’s certified instructors and consultants, and it’s customers. To that end, this year’s eXtreme conference (being the largest yet) was an immense success.

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