We’re excited to announce a new line of built-in features tailored to the unique requirements of the Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry software.

In a recent release, PDFTron introduced direct conversion from Autodesk’s AutoCAD® DWG™, AutoCAD® DXF™, and Bentley’s MicroStation® DGN™ formats, which are among the most common design data formats found in nearly every design environment and used in construction projects around the globe (try online demo).

With direct support for DWG, DXF, and DGN, PDFTron gives customers the ability to integrate seamless and fully customizable, CAD viewing, annotation, and collaboration capabilities as part of Windows and web-based apps. And additional built-in, AEC-specific features are scheduled to roll out in coming months to enable streamlined project communications, with direct support for IFC and Revit® RVT™, and 3D PDF via Product Representation Compact, for example -- coming Q3 2019.

Figure: Collaborating on AutoCAD DWG Layers (AutoCAD Xrefs and Microstation Reference Files) in PDFTron WebViewer Showcase

linkWhat’s Behind PDFTron’s AEC Features

AEC software manage fast-paced and demanding construction workflows, whether onsite or at the office. Therefore, they need fully flexible document processing tools unparalleled in terms of accuracy, speed and reliability, and capable of handling the many CAD file formats preferred by users in the AEC space.

Over the past decade, the CAD industry has effectively converged on PDFTron as the premier supplier of PDF and document processing technology (see CCS success story). From market-leading companies such as Autodesk, Bentley, Trimble, Boeing, Graphisoft, and Nemetschek, to growing SMB’s, many have standardized on PDFTron SDK due to its unmatched rendering performance with large and complex files, and the corresponding advanced feature support.

The new PDFTron AEC solution offers out-of-box functionality designed to meet the demanding requirements of companies in the AEC space and their customers. And each AEC-specific feature is fully integrated with PDFTron SDK, including hundreds of unique features such as best-in-class redaction released over seven years ago. AEC software companies will thus have at their disposal plenty of options for easy integration into an application to power advanced review/approval, takeoff, inspection or issue discussion and resolution workflows.

And we’re just getting started! Expect the selection of built-in AEC features to continuously grow as we refine our SDKs to further support the unique demands of today’s AEC software across virtually any device and platform.

linkPDF/CAD/Image File Comparison

In addition to conversion from popular CAD formats and extended 3D PDF support, we’re excited to announce a ready-to-use file compare tool for Android (with other platforms coming soon) and a cross-platform file compare API for WebViewer, Android, iOS, UWP and Xamarin (try online file comparison demo).

The new out-of-box Diff utility will let users quickly spot slight visual differences between PDF, CAD and image drawings. Design concepts can be compared side-by-side in a single view or in overlay mode with highlighted changes. And you’ll be able to export PDF Diff via OCG layers making it easy to share with others. Lastly, PDFTron diff functionality will work with any PDF file, including PDFs with images, text and other graphics -- and not just vector elements.

Figure: File Comparison Showing Differences in PDFTron WebViewer Showcase

linkAccurate Measurement with Snap-to Geometry

Another brand new addition are features that let users snap markups to control points in a drawing such as the end of a line, an intersection or a corner (try online snapping demo). Also available for WebViewer are sample snap-to measurement tools allowing users to calibrate scale and leverage virtually any line or shape annotation to perform fast, accurate measures of length, area, arc and perimeter (try online measurement demo).

linkUpcoming: Brava! Annotation Conversion

Lastly, PDFTron will also introduce direct support for Brava!® annotations through conversion from XRL™ to XFDF, the ISO-standard format for annotations interchange. Users will thus be able to continue collaborating on drawings marked up in Brava! within PDFTron's native and web-based viewers.

linkTry PDFTron’s AEC Features Today

Check out our online demo, give our currently available AEC features a try today, or stay tuned for upcoming features to be released in the coming weeks and months. If you just can’t wait, however, please get in touch for an advanced preview. Many of our upcoming features are already being integrated by a number of early adopters.