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Susan Smith
Susan Smith
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 »

EdgeWise Structure makes short work out of point clouds for BIM

April 29th, 2014 by Susan Smith

In a conversation with Chris Scotton of ClearEdge3D, he spoke of their latest release of EdgeWise Structure announced at SPAR International 2014 in Colorado Springs last week. EdgeWise Structure can quickly and accurately extract properly specified steel, concrete or wood structural members from laser scan point clouds. Two of the company’s early beta tester customers were on hand at the conference to give presentations as well. Customers had tried the software on live projects, according to Scotton.

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They really were able to get a sense of how much faster the software works. The average use efficiency is about 50%. “With a project that usually took 100 hours to complete using other software, with EdgeWise Structure you can do it in about 50 hours,” said Scotton.

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According to the press release, the software’s library of structural components and its proprietary pattern matching algorithms result in a precise, mathematical best-fit of a structural member to the point cloud without having to tediously clean, clip or manipulate the points. Even if the structure in a project have been fireproofed, EdgeWise Structure is able to quickly and accurately model the bare members.

“Steel specifications are very complex and there are thousands of them,” said Scotton. “We’ve taken all the specifications created and put them in a library. The software recognizes what the steel member is from the point cloud, and it inserts the properly specified steel member into the model. That’s one of the reasons it’s so much faster, because of the accuracy of specifying the exact number.”

EdgeWise Structure makes it easy to model from point clouds. If an architect has to document an existing structure for refurbishment or retrofit, the best way to document it is through laser scanning. Next, to get it into Revit or another BIM modeler, they can do one of two things: they can model it natively in Revit or use EdgeWise.

“Our whole secret sauce is a series of modeling and semi-automated modeling algorithms that automatically extract the features from the point cloud,” explained Scotton.

“Whether you’re modeling piping, steel structure, or concrete for walls, EdgeWise goes through the point cloud and extracts the relevant features so you spend most of your time not modeling from scratch. We give folks a head start in the whole modeling process.”

In the past it was often cost prohibitive to scan a model because of the tools. The workflow has been substantially automated with EdgeWise.

EdgeWise Structure is the fourth offering in the EdgeWise portfolio. EdgeWise Building does walls, windows and other architectural features, MEP does the systems, ducting and piping within a BIM. EdgeWise Structure does a structure within an as-built BIM. “Those three together comprise our BIM suite, and we have a Plant Suite, that consists of EdgeWise Plant and EdgeWise Structure. These can be purchased individually or together.”

The EdgeWise portfolio is priced on a perpetual license. Right now they are running a special until the end of May. EdgeWise Structure is $29.95. The EdgeWise BIM Suite is $49.95 if purchased before the end of May. Maintenance is also 20% of the license cost.

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Categories: AEC, architecture, building information modeling, engineering, plant design, point clouds

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