Introduction of ARES Touch:
ARES Touch is a Mobile CAD solution for DWG drawings on Android and iOS. After installation, all the viewing and dimensioning features are available for free. If you subscribe or buy an ARES Trinity license, you will also be granted access to the editing and collaboration features we will see in this video above.
Usage of ARES Touch:
ARES Touch can be used on both smartphones and tablets. On a smartphone, the screen is smaller, but this is a device you always have with you. If I receive an email with a drawing attached, I can easily open it with ARES Touch.
File Explorer in ARES Touch:
The File Explorer in ARES Touch helps you to browse files stored locally on the device or in the Cloud. ARES Touch connects with all the most popular file storage providers. When the file is in the cloud, it is instantly synchronized, ensuring that all users are always working on the latest version.
Advantages of ARES Touch:
Another key advantage is that I don’t have to plan to download drawings. I can access any drawing at any time, even when I am not in the office. And I can be sure that the file I will open is always the latest version.ARES Touch enables you to work even if you have no Internet connection, including when the file is stored in the Cloud. In the file options, you can choose to make it available for Offline use. This also happens automatically when you open a file.
When files are stored in the cloud, I will receive notifications, like this one, for the files I was previously working on. This significantly improves collaboration with the other users and helps me to react promptly whenever something requires my attention. From the notification, I can also open the drawing directly on my smartphone.
Features of ARES Touch:
The user interface of ARES Touch is optimized for touch screens. You can zoom in and out with two fingers, pan with one finger, or double-tap to make a zoom extent. On the right, you will find large icons to access the most important features. You can, for example, navigate between the model space and different layouts and access the layers list to show or hide layers. You may choose to show all layers to check that nothing is hidden. While reading, you can hide the toolbar if needed. So we could turn off a layer, for example, in the Views toolbar, you will find different 3D viewpoints, which can be helpful when you are working on a 3D drawing.
2D Editing Features:
It is also useful to return to a 2D view if the drawing was not saved as you would expect. You will further find a full set of 2D editing features, but when using a smartphone, you will likely have more interest in the viewing and annotation features.
The dimensioning tools are found in the Annotate toolbar. You may, for example, need them to check a distance or angle that is not shown in the drawing. This is an opportunity to show you some other touch gestures. When a command is launched, you can hold your finger on the screen to bring up the loupe, magnifying whatever is under your finger. Combined with entity snaps, you can fly over specific points and they will appear as selected. At the top of the screen, you will see an icon to activate a specific snap for the next point. You will hear more about editing features later on when we demonstrate working on the tablet.
Trinity Collaboration Features of ARES Touch:
For now, I would like to show you the Trinity collaboration features. For this, we will go into the Comments toolbar, which opens the palette for comments and markups. At first, we can see here the history of the collaboration feed with the other users working with ARES Touch, ARES Commander, and ARES Kudo. I can reply to some of these conversations.
Most importantly, the comments and markups improve the collaboration between the users in the field, who are using the drawings, and the users at the office, who are creating these drawings. With markups, the ARES Touch user may opt to insert a Voice Recording to comment with his or her voice. For example, we can record a message like this one, asking for clarification from the office: [voice recording from Cedric] Similarly, we can comment with a Picture Recording, inserting one or more pictures taken from the smartphone. We could use this to report an incident or to share information that can help the design team.
Finally, another type of markup is the Stamps. This is faster and easier than using text. I can use preconfigured Stamps, or create a new one myself. Most importantly, Stamps — and all the markups or comments — do not modify the drawing. They represent a collaboration feed. Therefore, they can be hidden, and the design team will not lose time cleaning up the drawing later. When I create markups, the design team and all the other users will promptly be informed with an email notification, without any further action from me.
Advantage of Tablet:
Now, let’s take a look at the tablet. Unlike the smartphone, the tablet doesn’t fit in your pocket, so it is not always with you. But tablets are now frequently used to replace laptops. Indeed, one advantage of the larger screen is that it is almost the same size as a printed drawing. It is more comfortable to read drawings on a tablet than on a smartphone. Just like on the smartphone, you can access drawings stored locally and those stored in the cloud. The only difference on iOS is that you need to swipe your finger to access the file options and ask, for example, to make the file available for offline use. The features are exactly the same on a tablet, including the dimensioning and collaboration features we saw earlier.
Let’s take a look now at the editing features. The most essential features are exposed in the Draw, Modify, and Insert toolbars on the right.
Commands in ARES Touch:
If you tap on the Play icon, you can see the full list of commands. The command names are the same as in ARES Commander or AutoCAD.We can, for example, call the Hatch command. But for today, we would like to focus on two use cases: Block insertion and Quick Modifications.
Before modifying our drawing, it is worthwhile to take a look at the layer tools. Among other options, you can choose to activate a layer by selecting one of its entities. After selecting your layer, you can go in the Insert toolbar to find the Block insertion. One use of block insertions is in surveys. For instance, this is a symbol for an electrical socket, and this one represents a desk. This information I have surveyed can help the design team to improve the drawing, and it could be any block. If I select this block, I can find the Properties icon and open the Properties palette, where we can check that the block was inserted in the right layer, or even change it to another layer.
In the Modify toolbar, you will find the Quick Modify command. To select the entities we can either tap on them or hold a finger on the screen to bring up the window selection. If we draw the window selection to the right, it will select the entities fully inside. If we draw the window selection to the left, it will make a capture window that also includes the crossing entities. After selection, you will be asked for a base point — you will understand why in just a moment. The Quick Modify command will help you to quickly reorganize content, as you can combine copy, move, rotate, and scale actions with the same selection. If you try the commands available in the Draw and Modify toolbars, you will realize that they follow exactly the same logic as in ARES Commander and AutoCAD. Therefore, if you are experienced with CAD you can draw virtually anything. With coordinate input, you can enter absolute or relative coordinates. For example, you can define the next point at a distance and angle from the previous one.
In conclusion, the goal of Mobile CAD is not to replace traditional CAD software but to significantly reduce the time to market your projects. You and your colleagues can work faster because modifications are instantly synchronized, and the design team can enrich their work with quick feedback and information from the users in the field.