The Portable Document Format (PDF) has been in existence for over 20 years. Most of us think of the PDF file as the ‘path to paper’, because it was the file intended to prepare AutoCAD drawings for printing. Since then, the PDF has evolved in some powerful ways. Similar to the .IFC format, a .PDF is a universal file type with open standards. Updated plug-ins to BIM authoring software can extract, and potentially exchange, meaningful metadata between authoring tools and the PDF set of drawings. As members of the grassroots Construction PDF Coalition (www.cpcoalition.com), we are committed to eliminating the need for paper drawing sets and moving towards a new medium. However, this cannot happen until all field crews, project managers, owners, local permitting offices, and others are all comfortable with abandoning the paper set. Our strategy to motivate progress in the Industry is by providing intuitive steps towards progress. An overnight jump from 2D paper to 3D BIM workflow is extremely difficult – if not impossible – for project teams to adopt. This presentation demonstrates key steps that your project team can take to leverage the PDF file as a way to ‘bridge the gap’ from paper deliverables to digital deliverables on the path towards full industry BIM adoption.
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