Best Digital Tools for Your Construction Business


Tools used in the construction industry can be divided into two groups. First, you have power tools that are a product of the modern era, then, you have the traditional tools that are, more or less, the same as they were several millennia ago. Let’s face it, a modern hand-saw, claw hammer, sledgehammer and scaffolding are only slightly superior (in materials mostly) to their ancient counterparts. This makes people assume that the construction industry isn’t as affected by the technological advancement as some other fields and industries are. What they forget, however, are the improvements in software. Here’s all you need to know about this.

  1. SketchUp Pro

The best thing about SketchUp lies in the fact that it’s beginner-friendly and gives clients an opportunity to see what their ideas would look like when realized. The photorealistic design comes in both 2D and 3D and it presents you with a visual representation of the design that you yourself get to make. As a beginner, you can also rely on numerous learning materials that are available out there.

Sure, the basic tool may be a bit too simplistic for architects and professional construction companies but Pro version more than makes up for this. For the first group that we’ve discussed (future clients and real estate owners) the free trial version is more than enough. Contrary to the popular belief, the SketchUp, although flagship of the industry, isn’t the cheapest CAD (computer-aided design) out there.

  1. Autodesk Fusion 360

The first massive advantage of Autodesk Fusion 360 is the fact that it’s cloud-based software, which allows multiple parties to all participate on the same project. In other words, it provides a crossover between CAD software and the collaboration tools. Due to the fact that these projects always require input and involvement from several different parties, it’s fairly easy to see the advantage of this tool. Other than this, it allows foreman to access the tool via their phone, while on the site and make a crucial last-minute check prior to executing a vital task.

The last advantage of this tool is the fact that it’s subscription based. What this means is that A) the initial sum won’t be that great and B) that if you ever decide to change the CAD, you only have to cancel the subscription. This gives you a lot more flexibility and freedom of choice than a scenario where you make a purchase, which makes you compelled to stick to the project.

  1. Solidworks

The reason why Solidworks is so far down on this list is due to the fact that it runs only on Windows. Nonetheless, the fact that this is still most widely used OS for computers makes this downside into not such a big of an issue. The software itself is a tad more expensive than what you might have gotten used to, yet, it more than makes up with its user-friendliness and the number of options. It’s also worth mentioning that it’s probably the most widely used design software out there.

Its ‘safety wizard’ is definitely its strongest feature, due to the fact that it’s incredibly efficient at discovering structural weaknesses. This means that it can, potentially, save lives, as well as a small fortune in resources and penalties. What this means is that you get the ability to see how the structure will act, in action, instead of having to start works on the project in order to see the same thing. The test environment and the simulation are incredibly life-like, which is something you should definitely consider.

  1. Onshape

Finally, it was only right to bring you at least one free CAD tool for you to at least consider. Sure, it goes without saying that, for a business, getting a premium software is a must. Nonetheless, the problem with trial periods lies in the fact that they give you a sample, not only temporally, but sometimes even lock out certain features. With Onshape, you won’t have to worry about these issues. The learning curve is incredibly beginner-friendly and the amount of additional resources that you’ll have available is simply amazing. Other than this, the community itself is more than welcome to the newcomers, which provides you with a great deal of extra support. All in all, definitely a tool worth checking out, regardless of the scope of your business.

In conclusion

The last thing you need to understand is the fact that the choice of the software is one of the most important business decisions you’ll get to make. This is true mostly due to the fact that it’s a tool that your team will get to interact with, every single day and on many different projects. In other words, it will affect your efficiency, your overhead and your period of adjustment. All of these are crucial for the survival of your business.

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