Software Advances Push Point Cloud Use to New Level in Building Documentation

Users cite breakthroughs in registration speed, simplicity as key drivers. — Point clouds captured with professional-grade 3D laser scanners have long been the gold standard for as-built documentation because of their unrivaled accuracy and level of detail. More recently, innovations such as the imaging laser scanner have promised to make point clouds accessible to everyone. But achieving maximum usability of these rich 3D datasets has been impeded by a few hurdles. For one, registration of the point cloud – the process of aligning various views into a complete model – in the past required a certain level of expertise and manual manipulation. Loading and processing large point clouds could also be laborious and time-consuming, often adding hours or even days to the office side of the workflow. Fortunately, recent advances in software have eliminated these obstacles, paving the way for point clouds to become the universal foundation for building documentation. Continue reading…

The Secret to Faster, Smarter MEP Layout

Power Design Inc., based in St. Petersburg, FL, is one of the most dynamic electrical contracting companies in the nation. The family-run business provides service in design-build, construction and pre-construction, engineering, systems and lighting, with an emphasis on integrity, quality, innovation and teamwork. In a webinar on December 16, Bradley Moore, BIM/VDC manager of Power Design, and Stanley Lawrence, owner of Datum Tech Solutions, shared insights on Power Design’s transformation from traditional to cutting-edge MEP layout. You can access the on-demand webinar here.

Continue reading…

How to Capture Tall Vertical Structures from a Distance

In a service-oriented business, client satisfaction is the No. 1 goal. But as any entrepreneur who has ever entered a contest knows, it can’t hurt to have a secondary motivation to raise the bar on a firm’s overall capabilities.

When Doug Brinley first learned about the new MultiStation category in the annual Plan Contest at HxGN LIVE 2014, he knew he wanted to make an entry on behalf of Glapin Milphrey, LLC, the company he founded in 2012. “I wanted to submit a highly creative project that would explore the value of the MS50 for our company and provide a competitive contest entry,” Brinley explains. Continue reading…

A New Tool for BIM: The 3D Disto

Beginning this week, we’re digging into a new tool (to us) from Leica Geosystems called 3D Disto. With some basic orientation, you are able to shoot points much the same way you would use a total station, only you’re not looking through a scope but using the screen on a tablet. Thanks to the built-in camera, the 3D Disto will “show” you what it’s shooting remotely. This offers the luxury of single user operation without prisms or even a tripod. Continue reading…

How BIM 360 Glue Changes Model Use

Many years ago, we decided Autodesk Navisworks would be our “decoder ring” by which we’d assemble all the different models we work with from start to finish. At a minimum this means subcontractor models, but it also usually includes design models from architects and engineers. Mobile model use, particularly in the field, has never been practical as the few model viewers out there all have a mix of pros and cons. The good news is that Autodesk introduced BIM 360 Glue for the iPad many months ago and it’s changed the way we think about model use. Continue reading…