Susan Smith has worked as an editor and writer in the technology industry for over 16 years. As an editor she has been responsible for the launch of a number of technology trade publications, both in print and online. Currently, Susan is the Editor of GISCafe and AECCafe, as well as those sites’ … More »
Roundtripping with Trimble Field Points and Revit
January 29th, 2014 by Susan Smith
Bryan Williams, segment manager, Field Solutions with the General Contractor Division and construction manager of Trimble Buildings, spoke with AECWeekly about the recently released Trimble Field Points software for construction field layout. This application makes it possible for building construction contractors to create layout points in their CAD models. By matching the digital design on the physical construction site with points created in the field, field layout work can become much more accurate and save time.
“Trimble has a long history of field surveying and layout hardware for us for crews in the field,” said Williams. “We have elegant and robust integration with our own tools within the greater Trimble Buildings group such as the SketchUp product, Vico Office product and Tekla Structures product, but we also realized there are many important steps along the way, there are lots of people using existing CAD and Revit products. These people now have a nice connection from office to field. Also they can bring that information back in from the field to the office so they can then have a complete lifecycle of the data being produced on the worksite.”
The interface is a direct ribbon that works within Revit or AutoCAD, that allows users to be able to place points. They can quickly place manual points, and create series of points, and export them directly out to Trimble Field Link. Users can import field point data into the Trimble Field Points software and not have to leave their design platform, and do comparisons in the model. Trimble Field Points offers fluid creation of field points for most construction applications including anchor bolt locations, curtain wall attachments and hanger or sleeve locations via simple, intuitive point creation workflows.
Once the points are placed either automatically or manually, users can export directly and send data out to the Field Controller. They can then using a positioning instrument such as Total Station and import points back from the field. If a point is not where it was designed to be, the user can update the plan and design as needed.
In the field, Trimble Field Link, a powerful positioning system that operates with the 3D model, allows selection of points to position yourself.
Trimle Field Link navigates to the point you want to get. “We can bring the 3D model into the field as well, not only with the 2D plan but the 3D model,” said Williams. “You can import points or create additional points in the field. We also have with the Field Solutions our Total Stations that have cameras inside them. When you’re operating them, you can see where it’s pointing with location, and can use that information when you lay the point out. You can record the image and bring that back into the office as well.”
The Field solution allows users to verify a slab is flat and compare what was actually built to what it should be. The automated camera shots taken around an area can provide a graphic indication of what the slab looks like.
Once the information is taken from the field it can be imported back in to the 3D model.
With Trimble’s strong history of field solutions that includes hardware, they offer a completely different lifecycle perspective to round tripping field data back and forth from office to field.
Field Points works in either a connected or disconnected mode, so that work can be done in disconnected mode and sent back to the office when a connection is available.
Trimble Field Points is expected to be available in the first quarter of 2014 through Trimble’s Authorized Distributors of layout solutions from Trimble Buildings’ MEP and General Contractor / Construction Manager Divisions.
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