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20 Apps That Should Be In Your Builder’s Toolbox

Posted by Dan Dolinar on Fri, Sep 16, 2016 @ 07:09 AM
Dan Dolinar
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Back by popular demand is our latest rundown of the design and construction apps that are making a difference on our projects. Whether you have a smart phone or a tablet, there is a range of powerful tools that can easily accessed from the palm of your hand. Whether you are an architect, engineer, contractor, or tradesperson, there is an app for you in this list. Browse through this list – we are sure you will find a tool that will meet your immediate need.

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BIM Tools

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Autodesk® AutoCAD® 360

iOS | Android

Cost: Free*

Description: AutoCAD 360 is a free, easy-to-use mobile drawing and drafting app that offers viewing, editing, and sharing of CAD drawings, simplifying on-site redlining, as-built documentation, and design review and approval.

*You will eventually need purchase a service subscription. 

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BIM 360 Glue®

iOS

Cost: Free*

Description: BIM 360 Glue, an Autodesk product, is a cloud-based BIM management and collaboration product that connects your entire project team in order to integrate BIM project workflows from pre-construction through completion.

* You will eventually need purchase a service subscription.

 Learn more about BIM 360 Glue® in our post Raising the Bar in BIM Using 360 Glue for CSU Monterey

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BIM 360 Field™

iOS

Cost: Free*

Description: Autodesk® BIM 360™ Field is field management software for 2D and 3D environments that combines mobile technologies at the point of construction with cloud-based collaboration and reporting.

* You will eventually need purchase a service subscription.

Learn more about BIM 360 Field™ in our post How To Use 360TM Field® On an Active Construction Site

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BIMx

iOS | Android

Cost: Free* 

Description: BIMx, a Graphisoft product, features the 'BIMx Hyper-model', a unique technology for navigating the integrated drawing sheet and 3D building model and for displaying building component information. The BIMx Hyper-model offers extremely smooth handling and outstanding performance, even for projects with complex 3D models and extensive 2D documentation. BIMx allow project stakeholders to access the complete construction documentation of buildings with the tap of a finger - even on the job site.

*Note: To access this feature of the BIMx Hyper-model, you must purchase the 'BIMx PRO' function pack which is available as an in-app purchase.

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SightSpace3D

iOS | Android

Cost: Free

This augmented reality app allows users to overlay Trimble SketchUp 3D models against the actual construction on the job site. Check for errors during construction and pre-visualize buildings, materials, and fixtures to more effectively communicate scale and context.

Note: SightSpace Pro connects with your SightSpace Pro account or a SightSpace Share Code. Don't have an account? Free trial available on the website.

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Sketchup Mobile Viewer

iOS | Android

Cost: $9.99

Description: This app allows iPad users to store and access their own 3D models, as well as explore and download models from the entire universe of SketchUp files available in the 3D Warehouse.

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123D Catch

iOS | Android

Cost: Free

Description: Use your smartphone camera to turn photos into realistic 3D models by taking a series of photographs from different angles. An integrated photo compass guides users through the process and ensures accurate results. Three-dimensional models can be saved in the cloud and exported in a variety of formats for use in other 3D tools and projects.

 

Field Management

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Procore™

iOS | Android

Cost: Free

Description: Procore’s app mobilizes project management, allowing users to manage drawings in real time, work offline, and improve transparency and accountability all from one mobile platform. Connects to Procore’s cloud-based construction project management software.

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Prolog Mobile

iOS

Cost: Free

Description: Prolog Mobile is the only mobile application designed specifically for Prolog construction project management software from Meridian Systems, a Trimble Company. Prolog Mobile seamlessly extends Prolog’s Field Management functionality to your iPad without any special integration.

Compatibility Note: Prolog Mobile requires Prolog 9.8 or later to operate. Server versions prior to 9.8 are not supported.

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BlueBeam® Revu

iOS

Cost: $9.99

Description: Bluebeam allows users to markup and manipulate documents and gives them access to edit, develop and collaborate on PDFs from anywhere at any time, enabling comprehensive project communication. This app is Revu’s cloud-based solution, Bluebeam Studio™, which instantly renders large format single sheet PDFs so productivity isn’t compromised.

Learn more about BlueBeam® in our post Case Study: Using Bluebeam On the San Diego Central Court

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PlanGrid

iOS | Android

Cost: Free*

Description: PlanGrid is a fully integrated planning information app that handles blueprints from beginning to end. Use PlanGrid to reduce repeated trips to the trailer, minimize rework, and find answers faster through instant collaboration. Keep everyone on the current set and manage all your construction documents without relying on paper. 

Note: Your first 50 sheets are free.

Learn more about PlanGrid in our post A Field Guide to Using PlanGrid On An Active Construction Site

 

Handy Tools

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Archipad: Sketch and Doodle to Scale

iOS

Cost: Free

Description: Archipad is a scale aware sketching program, meaning sketches are automatically scaled to the real world based on user preferences. Simply establish the scale on the drawing pad and begin doodling. Users can zoom in and out to develop specific areas, rotate layers or the entire drawing to tryout different options, and share sketches with others. Drawings also can be exported to a CAD application to prepare a working conceptual design. Other features include the ability to duplicate shapes multiple times, create multiple layers, and duplicate or flip layers.

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Home Depot App

iOS | Android

Cost: Free

Description: Because the Home Depot is a common stop for construction projects, check out their very own app. Research over 100,000 products on your device without ever having to visit their store. The free app also has an interactive toolbox, measurement converter, and nut and bolt finder.

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Stanley® Level

iOS

Cost: Free

Description: The STANLEY®’s Level App for the iPhone and iPad gives you a portable level in the palm of your hand. The app asks you to calibrate your device for the first use. Once completed, the digital level is available anytime, anywhere. Just like a real level, the bubble will indicate when you’re straight.

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DeWALT Mobile Pro™

iOS | Android

Cost: Free

Description: DEWALT® Mobile Pro™ is a full-featured calculator and reference tool designed especially for construction pros. It comes with a construction and scientific calculator plus calculator templates for area, length, and volume, as well as estimating studs, drywall, and concrete slabs.

 

Safety

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iAuditor

iOS | Android

Cost: Free

Description: iAuditor, a SafetyCulture product, gives users the ability to build checklists, conduct inspections, and file exportable reports for free, cutting inspection times in half.

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Spotlight

iOS

Cost: Free

Description: Workplace Incident Reporting and Accident Investigations across teams. Designed for all workplace incidents, enterprise & government investigations, police, fire and emergency services incident reporting.

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OSHA Heat Safety Tool

iOS | Android

Cost: Free

Description: Get the heat index for your work site and precautions to prevent heat illness. When you're working in the heat, safety comes first. With the OSHA Heat Safety Tool, you have vital safety information available whenever and wherever you need it — right on your mobile phone.

 

LEED

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USGBC

iOS | Android

Cost: Free

Description: The USGBC app enables you to read publications and articles as well as stream educational courses from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) on a beautiful, and easy-to-use interface. The USGBC app allows you to highlight passages, bookmark locations, and easily annotate your publications.

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Green Badger LEED

iOS | Android

Cost: Free

Description: This app makes documenting and organizing LEED construction credits across a single or multiple LEED projects maintainable for any size firm. Capable of instantly verifying LEED compatible materials, this app is directed towards general contractors, architects and LEED professionals who are looking for an easy solution to document LEED construction credits for future certification

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Did you download some of these calculator apps? If you are looking for more industry apps, check out What Calculators Are In Your Builder’s Toolbox?

What’s in your toolbox?  Please share the great tools you use in your daily work practices below and we’ll feature your app.  We look forward to your feedback!

Topics: Mobile Devices, Gear + Apps