Last week, Bluebeam, a Nemetschek company who provides paperless solutions to improve AEC firms’ workflows, made a series of announcements which included two new features as well as a new offering. All three announcements are brought together with artificial intelligence being a common thread. More specifically, Bluebeam has added new AI-enabled capabilities within Revu 21 and Bluebeam Cloud, while also providing a collaborative workspace around AI more broadly. All of these additional features and spaces are expected to be available in April of 2024, per the company’s release of the news.
The first announcement made by the Pasadena-based company was Auto Align for drawing overlays and comparison in Revu 21. Revu is Bluebeam’s digital offering for construction management, including document management with automated features. With the Auto Align feature, users will be able to automate the often tedious process of aligning drawing revisions. Previously, users would have to manually align three points, which opened the workflow up to human error. They indicate that, in addition to saving potential errors, users can complete this work up to 80 percent faster with the new automated workflow.
Along with Auto Align, Bluebeam also announced the addition of automatic title block recognition when importing drawings into Bluebeam Cloud, their software solution for connecting work done in the office and in the field. Title blocks contain key information in a drawing, and when entered manually after a transfer users risk missing data or making a mistake when re-entering. With this new capability, Bluebeam Cloud will extract drawing information as metadata, ensuring accurate transfers of information and saving time for humans taking in that information in the field.
Finally, Bluebeam announced the creation of Bluebeam Labs, a new way for customers to help impact the company’s future product roadmap. According to the company, this new cloud-based collaborative workspace “offers the ability to demonstrate and validate ideas and technologies before they are launched and available to all customers.”
Bluebeam says the first feature to be showcased within Bluebeam Labs will be 3D Drawings, which will use AI to position 2D drawings in 3D space. They compare this process to “digital origami,” with the AI knowing how to position and make folds within drawings for the most descriptive and accurate 3D representation of the 3D drawings.
Every industry is currently dealing with how it will be transformed – for better or for worse – by the explosion of capabilities of artificial intelligence. These changes are more existential for some industries than others, but Bluebeam is showing the ways that seemingly small innovations can make big changes within the AEC industry. On the surface, things like title block recognition and aligning images doesn’t feel like a monumental shift. However, these processes have trickle-down effects where, if a mistake is made at the top of the funnel, major effects may be felt in other parts of the project, which can lead to project delays and/or cost increases. This is a good example of how AI can be properly used in AEC, taking over some of the tedious but important workflows to help prevent inevitable human error.
“We believe that AI should be about pragmatic innovation that enhances the customer experience, productivity and value they get from Bluebeam,” said Usman Shuja, CEO of Bluebeam, in a statement. “Through Bluebeam Labs, we invite customers into our innovation process earlier, to co-create our solutions with much more engagement and feedback. This is how we’ll continue to lead the industry for many years to come.”