A Better Way to Use Point Clouds in AEC Projects

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Laser scanning helps lower building contractor risks by ensuring as-built drawings are accurate and by exposing any inaccuracies early in the process, before they turn into change orders during construction. One area where contractors increasingly want to use point clouds is in the QC/QA process. Scanning the real-world construction site and comparing the point cloud data with the models can help identify potential problems and clashes before they occur. However, most commonly used modeling software was not designed to manage and manipulate point cloud data, making it difficult to leverage the power of rich, high-accuracy 3D point cloud data sets for project review and analysis. A recent development provides a solution. Continue reading…

Accurate by Design: How Reality Capture Transforms Construction

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The use of laser scanning in construction is soaring—and for good reason. On a typical construction project, rework accounts for 12 to 15 percent of the cost of construction. With laser scanning, the ability to catch conflicts before they happen can reduce rework to 1 to 3 percent or less. This reduction translates into hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings on change orders, not to mention the advantage of keeping the project on schedule. The new collaboration between Autodesk and Leica Geosystems is making the adoption of laser scanning even easier for construction teams. In a 60-minute webinar on September 1, Leica Geosystems’ Cathi Hayes and Autodesk’s Eric Richie went behind the scenes on the alliance between the two technology giants to share cutting-edge success strategies. You can now view the webinar on-demand.

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BIM 101: 6 Cool Apps for Viewing 3D Models in the Field

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We’ve all heard about the trend of “Getting BIM to the Field.” Typically, models were used in the office for pre-con and not something that applies to field work, where 2D datasets are the norm. Although the 2D process is familiar, it limits the amount of information available to the construction team. Taking the model to the field for use as a reference can substantially increase accuracy by providing immediate access to information that is not visible or clear on 2D plans.

Fortunately, the development of tablet computers and recent software advances have made viewing reference models in the field much easier either locally (preloaded onto the tablet) or in the cloud; in fact, many software viewers are available for free. Here are six apps that allow you to take reference models to the jobsite. Continue reading…

How to Clash Scan Data

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Autodesk Navisworks was mentioned in a previous post as our primary clash detection tool. Aside from simply bringing in the point cloud and visually confirming the models match, we can also use the Clash Detective window within Navisworks to coordinate what’s been built versus what’s about to be installed with significantly more intelligence than a walk-through of the model. Continue reading…

Using Point Clouds in Clash Detection

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We use Autodesk Navisworks almost exclusively as our primary clash detection tool. However, up until about a year ago, we have only worked with “projected” models – that is, shop drawings in 3D format that convey what the project will look like once that particular system is installed. Combining all of these files into Navisworks usually results in what’s known as “clashes,” or conflicts between systems where certain elements are competing for the same space. Continue reading…

Six BIM Point Cloud Formats You Should Know About

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Scanning a space and bringing it into a program like Leica Cyclone will let you further manipulate the scans and, most importantly, stitch them together into a single cloud, which can then be exported as a standalone file. But what type of file do you need, and what do you do with it after it’s exported? There’s a growing list of point cloud formats being used in BIM. Here’s an overview of two primary groups of formats we’re seeing (and using) most often. Continue reading…