You Don’t Need a CAD Department to Do Layout – Quick How-To [VIDEO]

January 9, 2018 Aric Stott

Did you know that you don’t need a CAD department to do construction layout?

In the beginning, it was the big dogs who had all the high-tech layout solutions (and it was expensive). Now, anyone can do it quickly and easily without breaking the bank— even you.

We all know the deal. Technology is evolving faster than we can keep up in most industries, but we often still communicate to the field via paper plans. These plans are usually in the form of PDFs, potentially causing more human error onsite. One way to reduce the risk is to import your PDF into a layout software. If you don’t have a CAD department at your firm, don’t worry. You won’t need CAD expertise with this method.

Some of the key benefits of doing it this way are that you’ll still be able to extend your BIM workflow, you’ll save time and money on expensive software, and you won’t need to hire a CAD team to do the work.

In the following video, we’ll show you how it’s done using Trimble Field Link.

For a quick how-to, check out the six-step instructions at the end of this article.


Quick How-To for Importing a PDF in Trimble Field Link

  1. Create a new Job in TFL

    1. Give the TFL file a name

    2. Select appropriate folder

  2. Import the desired PDF

    1. Select the desired scale or Custom

  3. Create Points on the geometry to verify scale

    1. ‘CREATE’ button and ‘Create From Model”

    2. Select endpoints or midpoints of known geometry and create points

    3. Go to ‘MORE’ and ‘COMPUTE’ to verify the measurement

  4. Create Control Points for Instrument setup

    1. Go back to ‘CREATE’ button and ‘Create From Model’

    2. Locate known locations in the model that are accessible on the site

      1. Examples; columns or corners of foundation(s)

    3. Create points on the known locations

  5. Create offsets of Control Points (only if necessary)

    1. Go to ‘CREATE’ and ‘PLAN’

    2. Select a point that needs to be offset and use “INPUT FORM’ and ‘Directional’ buttons to accomplish desired offset distance and direction

  6. Create points for the desired layout

    1. ‘CREATE’ button and then choose your options; ‘Create From Model’, ‘Linework’, ‘Plan’, etc.

If you’re interested in the latest software and hardware layout solutions for your business, contact Trimble today for more information or a demo.

About the Author

Aric Stott

Aric is a Field Solutions Product Manager at Trimble MEP.

Follow on Linkedin Visit Website
Previous Article
7 Signs of Asset MISmanagement in Construction
7 Signs of Asset MISmanagement in Construction

What are the signs of asset mismanagement and what could the potential impact be? Discover the 7 signs of a...

Next Article
Estimating and Bidding Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make: Part 1
Estimating and Bidding Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make: Part 1

This is Part 1 of a two-part series on common estimating and bidding mistakes. In Part 1, Don Kiper takes u...


Get Construction Industry Insights Sent Directly To Your Inbox!

First Name
Last Name
I understand that by submitting my personal information to Trimble it is subject to the Trimble Privacy Notice.
Success! Welcome to the community.
Error - something went wrong!