Automated takeoff is most commonly performed with a digitizing tablet. It looks like a large drafting board, especially when a set of plans is placed onto it. A pointing device, usually a pen-like stylus, is used to identify points on the plan; the digitizer communicates the position of the pointing device to a computer as an x-y coordinate pair with a typical resolution of .001".
Ziatek® Power Takeoff for Windows intercepts the coordinate information and applies algorithms to compute distances and areas that are used for quantity surveys. The combination of hardware and software automates counting of items, scaling of distances and perimeters and computation of areas.
Paper drawings, which are two-dimensional by nature, implicitly contain three-dimensional information, e.g., thickness of a concrete slab or interior partition height are indicated by notation or by auxiliary view. Ziatek® Power Takeoff allows the estimator to key in the vertical dimensions so that volume and vertical surface area can be automatically computed and converted to the desired units of measure. A 3D wireframe model of the structure can be viewed in perspective from any viewing angle.