March, 2018

New Features, Enhancements, and Modifications

Branch with tap

AutoBid SheetMetal now remembers the Start with Tap selection in the Branch with Tap menu. By going into On-Screen View and selecting Branch with Tap from the Commands pane, you can change the “start with tap” setting. AutoBid SheetMetal 2018v1  will remember this setting.


Convert all hot spots with the box-in tool into an item

With AutoBid SheetMetal 2018v1, you can use the box-in tool to box in a certain area and convert all remaining hot spots into a certain item in order to clean-up and finish a takeoff. Select the Box-in with options command.


End Add Drop/Rise with an item

A new field has been added to the “Add Drop/Rise” screen called “End with item:”. AutoBid will now remember the last selected item in order to end takeoff runs with the same item instead of having to re-select it from the list of items until you leave Take-off.


Option for pressure test of flex duct

Individual categories for round and flex duct have been added to adjust the labor to optionally accommodate for pressure testing. The option is located in the project setup dialog where pressure testing for flex duct can be toggled on or off.  


Multi-branch pairs for Flex duct

An option has been added to create auto-branch pairs for flex duct.

Switching drawings in OSV

Users reported speed issues when switching drawings in the OSV (on-screen view). The issue occurred because AutoBid SheetMetal was always re-downloading the drawing from the database to the local drive. This has now been optimized and drawings now only download from the database if there is no drawing available locally or if the drawing has changed.

To benefit from this new optimization, previously used background drawings should be re-download in order to ensure that the latest drawings are available locally. It is expected that re-downloading a drawing will take a moment but switching between drawings that got re-synced will now be significantly faster.


Performance Improvements

The search and replace functionality is now significantly faster because AutoBid SheetMetal is now not redrawing the complete drawing with all annotations but only what has been updated.

Performance has noticeable improvements in nearly all areas of AutoBid SheetMetal. Functions like copying items in OSV to the clipboard, adding hotspots, or repeating lines will perform significantly faster after this update.


Mouse menu behavior

During length take-off the mouse menu now always stays visible allowing faster access and switching between items.


Storing Drawings in the cloud

Some customers have experienced performance problems when storing large amounts of  drawings in their database. We have added the option to store the drawings in the Internet cloud. In order to store all drawings in the cloud by default, a new checkbox has been added to the company settings. From the main screen go to Master Settings - General Company Settings and check the option “New project default to store OSV background drawings in the cloud” at the bottom.

When creating a new project under Files - Add New Project a new checkbox “Store OSV background drawings in the cloud” has been added to the third screen of the New project Wizard which allows one to change and overwrite the company settings.

For new projects it is possible to store all drawings in the cloud. Under Project Setup - Setup Project - TakeOff a new option called “Store OSV background drawings in the cloud” has been added. Depending on if the box is checked or not AutoBid SheetMetal will store all drawings in the cloud or the local database.

In scenarios where a user needs to work locally and temporarily without the Internet, the user can move the drawings between the local database and the cloud by going to File - Open project - Tools. Two options called Move all drawings to the cloud and Move all drawings back into the database are available.

Tip –  Depending on the network performance the initial upload of the drawings will be slower compared to leveraging a local database but performance of the system will be better long term.  When copying a project with multiple drawings stored in the cloud, the drawings will be downloaded from the cloud to the local machine in order to use them; please allow time for the files to be copied. An Internet connection is required.

It is not possible to access the drawings directly through a web browser, but only through AutoBid SheetMetal 2018v1. Deleting a project will remove the drawings from the cloud. There is not a space limitation on how much data a customer can store in the cloud.


Warning: Drawings in the cloud are stored project specific but are not tied to a database. If drawings are stored in the cloud and the database is backed-up and restored on other computers, all database instances will be accessing the same file in the cloud. Changing a drawing in one project will affect all computers that access the drawing in their project. It is imperative when storing drawings in the cloud that for all database restores the backup/restore utility is being used.  


New icons for master library

The icons in the master material library have been updated on user request.