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December 20, 2018

CADNETICS – The Bread & Butter of what we do!

Cadnetics is a unique company! Unlike similar companies, we serve every stakeholder in the AEC community and provide full production services for the entire industry, with a strong emphasis on cutting edge technology.

In a majority of our projects, we are working behind the scenes, and we don’t always get the credit or publicity. But be rest assured, we play a pivotal role in many construction projects across the States. Our company is divided into four distinct divisions, with overlapping disciplines. The divisions are:


Our client base consists of owners, architects, engineers, retailers, construction companies, and facility managers. However, the client base is a lot more diverse when it comes to our Visualization services.

Cadnetics began as a CAD drafting company, assisting Architects in creating construction documents, completing redlines and converting paper drawings into CAD. We were using the latest CAD technologies, whereas a lot of our clients were still hand drafting. It was a tough sell at first, however, as more of our clients began realizing the value of converting to computer drafting, Cadnetics was positioned nicely in the marketplace. As architects took on new projects, and needed to ramp up their staff, we were able to support them with overflow work. We also became a valuable partner to those one-man firms that did not have their own drafting departments. Soon afterwards, we were able offer onsite services for those that
preferred close collaboration in their own office. We found our niche!

Clients would frequently approach us with hand sketched notes, and dimensions, of existing conditions of renovation projects. Quite often, important dimensions would be missed or forgotten, requiring additional site visits. Soon, we were able to convince these clients to allow us to go on site with our laptops and handheld lasers, and draft the existing conditions, insuring all dimensions/relevant information was acquired. This evolved into our Existing Building Documentation (Measure) division. We are now utilizing the latest 3d laser scanning technologies to provide the necessary information to our BIM clients. We also have in house aerial drone capabilities that can provide valuable scanning and photographic resources.

Cadnetics was quick to understand that CAD was evolving from a two-dimensional discipline to adding a third axis. We were at the forefront of BIM technologies, adding Revit and Navisworks to our arsenal of tools. It was an exciting time for us, as most of our CAD drafters enthusiastically embraced 3D modeling opportunities, as did our clients. We now use Revit almost exclusively, modeling from drawings, or from point clouds that our EBD staff happily provides. Our scanning and modeling services span the entire nation.

Many of our project managers are certified managers of building information modeling (CM-BIM). We provide full BIM support services as well as providing BIM coordination services.

Long before we used three-dimensional CAD programs, we were still immersed in the 3D world via our visualization division. It began as a student wanting to learn the new Autodesk VIZ product, which Cadnetics had just invested in. Most of our clients at the time were using hand renderers for their visualization needs. They were hesitant at first to make a stylistic change, but soon began to see the benefits of 3D technology, in which you can view the project from numerous angles with the click of a mouse button. Even more so than that, you can actually fly around, or into, the building. 3D animation suddenly became accessible, and affordable.

Now we are entering the age of virtual, and augmented reality, where the viewer immerses him/herself in the space around them!

The bulk of Cadnetics projects fall within the overlap between measuring and modeling. We literally travel from coast to coast, laser scanners in tow, capturing as built information that will later result in an accurate three-dimensional model of the project. Whether it is taking scans in some retail space in California, or a riverfront area in New York City, no job is too big, or small. The point cloud information can then upload to our network in Pittsburgh, and is processed, and the modeling started, even before the scan team boards their flight home.

The BIM and Autodesk certified project managers will coordinate and assign tasks to the team. Depending on the size of the project, numerous modelers can be building different parts of the central model, updating as they go. It is worth noting that for AEC professionals, the AGC Certificate of Management—Building Information Modeling (CM-BIM) is an assessment-based certificate credential that denotes knowledge and understanding of concepts related to BIM adoption, practice and process transformation outlined in the AGC BIM Education Program.

What makes Cadnetics such a unique company, is that most of our employees have been cross trained over different disciplines, making them able to jump in on certain projects should the workload or deadline dictate. It gives us the benefit of taking on certain projects that other companies might have to turn down, due to lack of talent. That is not to say that Cadnetics has unlimited resources, we do have the advantage of versatility that many firms do not. We also require all our team members to be Autodesk certified in the programs they use.

There is no service that has increased the visibility of Cadnetics in the marketplace more than the visualization department. The release of 3d Studio for the desktop PC was a game changer in the world of animation. Up until that time, animation was an expensive proposition, available only to those with deep pockets. Adding visualization to the menu of Cadnetics services was a logical decision and was now affordable to the client base. The decision was also a timely one, as the Pittsburgh area was going through a building renaissance with an assortment of large capital projects, one of which was the new DL Lawrence Convention Center. Cadnetics partnered with world-renown architect Rafael Vinoly in creating an animated marketing video for the Convention Center, which was under construction.

However, the Visualization division is geared to take on projects beyond just architectural work. Over the years, we have partnered with diverse industries such as oil and gas, defense contracting, streetcar manufacturing, furniture, medical devices, infrastructure, and the list goes on. As technology evolves, Cadnetics is poised to be a player in the world of immersive visualization, such as virtual and augmented realities.

These are exciting times at Cadnetics. We have embarked on a course to expand our footprint nationwide with the opening of offices in the Charlotte and Columbus OH areas. Cadnetics has based its success on exceeding the expectations of our clients, and we are looking to share that philosophy in other areas. So, it comes as no surprise that Cadnetics has joined the ranks of Pittsburgh’s fastest growing companies. Even more so, it is ranked as one of the best places to work, insuring our ability to attract the best talent.

Jim Mauler, Cadnetics President, has the goal of having a presence in ten cities over the next ten years. This is an ambitious undertaking and will require finding the right people. But if the past 25 years has been any indication, Cadnetics is the company that has prepared itself for continued growth, and success.

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