Buckle up and get ready for Takeoff … Autodesk Takeoff

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June 7, 2021 | All, Autodesk, Revit

Autodesk Takeoff allows estimators to perform 2D and 3D quantify takeoffs utilizing the Autodesk Construction Cloud™ (ACC). I remember back in 2009/2010 using a product called Autodesk QTO. This older version of Autodesk Takeoff had similar advantages to today’s newer, faster, more collaborative Autodesk Takeoff.

First, let’s clarify some terms like takeoff and estimating, because the terms are sometimes used interchangeably when they should not be.

In construction, a “takeoff” determines how much of each material is needed to complete a construction project. The terms “quantity takeoff” and “material takeoff” are also used. “Estimating” is the process of adding cost to materials, as well as labor costs and equipment costs used for installation for the purpose of forecasting the cost of a construction project.

In case you did not hear, at Autodesk University last year it was announced that “Autodesk Takeoff aids collaboration, speed and accuracy during the estimation process.” This is true, but see how easy it is to confuse Autodesk Takeoff as an estimating tool when it is really a takeoff tool?

Now that we understand the difference between takeoff and estimating, let’s dive a little deeper into the benefits of Autodesk Takeoff.

There two main points that I think separate Autodesk Takeoff from every other takeoff tool in the industry: the seamless integration with Autodesk Construction Cloud and seamless integration with 2D drawings and 3D models.

Autodesk Construction Cloud

ACC is a cloud-based construction management and collaboration solution. Integrations allow data to flow across all stages of construction and between products, including Assemble, BIM 360, BuildingConnected, PlanGrid, and Pype.

In a truly collaborative environment, models from design teams flow seamlessly from design to fabrication to construction and finally to the owner. Forget email, FTP, online share file services. We have the ACC! If my designers, fabricators and contractors can access models in the cloud, it only makes sense for Autodesk to create Autodesk Takeoff, which can access the same information used by everyone else. This is where QTO was lacking ten years ago and where Autodesk Takeoff comes in. Autodesk Takeoff can access the same common data environment used by Docs, BIM Collaborate Pro, BIM Collaborate, and Autodesk Build.

2D and 3D Takeoff

There are many quantification programs that have been around for many years, and two or three are more commonly used. How do they work? Well, you open a 2D PDF sheet and start manually counting shapes, tracing lines, outlining areas, and calculating volumes. If you touch a line in a PDF, you don’t know what it is. The estimator is required to look at the line and then associate that with an object type like a wall, floor or a pipe. Unfortunately, data from modeling programs don’t translate to PDF documents. We call this work a manual takeoff. Estimators have been doing manual takeoffs for years.

But what if you have a data rich model like a model from Revit? We can easily get quantities from a Revit schedule. However, estimators typically don’t know how to use Revit. Instead, Autodesk Takeoff can easily quantify an entire Revit model. I know there are estimators who will say designers don’t model everything. That is true, but just like you write formulas to calculate quantities with a 2D manual takeoff, you can associate formulas with 3D model takeoffs.


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Why should you have to use a different program to share files back and forth between design teams and estimators – one program to do 2D manual takeoffs and another program to do 3D model takeoffs? Instead, you can use Autodesk Takeoff to seamlessly access and quantify 2D drawings and 3D models that are already part of the Autodesk Construction Cloud.


Please reach out to your Applied Software account manager, and we would be glad to demonstrate how Autodesk Takeoff can improve your workflow.