Do you do design work for state DOT’s? Does part of your job entail providing cost estimates for construction projects? If the answer to these questions is “yes” then you need to check out the Bid Express Extension for AutoCAD Civil 3D 2012. This extension is of the Software as a Service (SaaS) variety in that it plugs into Civil 3D to bridge the QTO functionality with a third party web service to provide cost estimating based on custom pay item lists. You can download this extension from the subscription center and begin working with it now. To see it in action, follow the link below:
Once the extension is installed, you will find it in the Toolbox tab of your toolspace filed underneath Miscellaneous Utilities, as shown to the right. You will notice that this is a very simple extension to operate – there are only three commands to use. The first one is very self-explanatory – Subscribe to Web Service. As I mentioned above, this extension will bridge our QTO manager with an external web service, and you’ll need a subscription to this web service. You should note that the web service is currently provided by Info Tech, Inc. at no cost to the user. If you execute the first command, you will be taken to a web site that allows you to set up a subscription and will provide you with a username and password. You’ll need that for the next two commands – the first one of those is Get Pay Items. Once you log in, you will be presented with a list of pay item files that you can choose from. Currently, there are 20 state DOT’s participating in this program, with more to be added soon. No, I don’t know when your state will be added, so don’t ask. That is a topic that is not under our control. Once selected, your pay item file will be downloaded to the Pay Item Data folder into a custom subfolder called BidExpress.
Here’s where the conversation takes a quick break while you use your QTO skills to rush out and open that new pay item file (in CSV format) and assign those brand spanking new pay items to objects in your drawing. Those items can be blocks, linework, pipes, structures, and even corridor components. I’m not going to give instructions on how this is done, as it is a very involved topic all by itself, so I’m confident you can handle this.
Once you have assigned all the pay items from your DOT pay item list, you will need to run the last command available – Produce Price Report. You will be presented with a standard QTO report dialog box – no need to change anything here, just click Compute. Once it completes, you will see the dialog below, which is your summary takeoff report:
DO NOT DRAW THE REPORT YET!!! (Got your attention, didn’t I?) Why not? Well, it should be apparent that you don’t have any pricing yet in your report. To get a price report, you should click Get Price Report (self explanatory, right?) That will bring you to your Project Name dialog, as shown below:
Give it a name and description if you want, and then click Go to proceed. You will be prompted to enter your login credentials supplied to you when you registered for the service. Once you do, you will see your price report again, all nice and filled out for you:
NOW we can draw the report in the drawing by clicking the Draw button. This will allow us to place the table, like so: