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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 »

Trimble Field Link software released

June 10th, 2014 by Susan Smith

Jim McCartney, market manager, Field Solutions and Mobility, Trimble Buildings GC/CM Division spoke with AECCafe Voice regarding the most recent release of their new Trimble Field Link Software:

Live camera feed from the Robotic Total Station assists not only in positioning objects but an image can be captured and added to the data base as an additional layer of intelligent data.

Live camera feed from the Robotic Total Station assists not only in positioning objects but an image can be captured and added to the data base as an additional layer of intelligent data.

    Sophisticated 3D BIM model being managed in Trimble Field Link software.  The model is used to manage day to day layout and data collect activities

Sophisticated 3D BIM model being managed in Trimble Field Link software. The model is used to manage day to day layout and data collect activities

1)  What are the new features of the release?

When we launched Trimble Field Link four years ago, our objective was to set a new standard for contractors to seamlessly integrate their office and field activities.  While we did accomplish this in previous releases, the new Trimble Field Link 2.20 takes us to a new level in being able to satisfy the very demanding needs of contractors interested in extending their BIM workflows to field activities. Some examples of difficulties that contractors face in trying to extend BIM activities to the field include: interaction with large and sophisticated models, limited interoperability, lack of analytics or metrics, and non-parallel processes (transformation from a 3D environment to a 2D environment).  Trimble Field Link 2.20 addresses all of these challenges in the following ways:

  • New Model Viewer

o   High performance model viewer optimized for mobile devices

o   Performance enhancements support model file sizes that are consistent with the requirements of contractors doing BIM to Field workflows.  File sized support has been improved by up to 10 times the previouslysupported limitations

o   Rendering and visualization improvements of up to 5 times previous limitations

o   Now limits the need to partition jobs/models into smaller subsets to utilize them in the field.  User are now able to retain models in their original size and work with them in one job file which simplifies work process and improves productivity.

  • Enhanced File Format Support

o   In addition to our industry-leading file format support, Trimble Field Link has added direct file support for Bentley i-model file format giving contractors an even wider selection of workflows and improved efficiencies.

  • 3D Perspective View in Layout

o   As a result of this new release, Trimble Field Link 2.20 now provides the user with a realistic 3D view port during the layout process.  As models become more sophisticated, field crews often grapple with greater difficulty in duplicating construction intent from 2D plan views.  Our new 3D perspective view gives the user a 3D representation of the layout view from the perspective of the prism, meaning that the user can now truly understand what the “finished” product should look like and make timely, educated decisions on how to proceed.

  • Visual Layout

o   Trimble Field Link 2.20 is now able to provide a patented analytic tool to correct for inaccuracies in floor elevations when using the Visual Layout application during layout.  This patented technology will measure the intended layout position, calculate the elevation, and make the appropriate adjustments in the horizontal layout position to point a focused green laser dot at the correct location.  Primarily used for indoor applications including interior framing and wall layout, this technology provides the most productive means of finding the correct location without the need to for a variety of accessories.

2)  What does the 3D model support look like?

  • The goal of the 3D model support in Trimble Field Link 2.20 is to provide the most accurate and closely matched representation of construction intent to the field crews.  Too often, a 2D plan view of the field data does not provide crews with nearly enough information to accurately assess the construction intent and make educated decisions on what the impacts may be of making a mistake in interpretation.  The 3D views provided to the user can be seen in wireframe or solid mode and can be navigated using typical functions such as orbit, pan, zoom and rotation.  All of these navigation tasks are made simple by the use of common multitouch gesture controls.  With the new performance capabilities, users are able to navigate large, sophisticated models without slowing down progress with regeneration issues or difficulty in rendering.
  • When combined with the ability to use the Trimble Vision technology embedded into the Trimble RTS total stations, users now have the most realistic and accurate representations of construction models and reality in the industry.

3)   Will the release work in connected and disconnected mode?

  • Absolutely.  While it is true that growing numbers of construction sites are installing and making available means of accessing the internet and cloud-based workflows, many are still not equipped with those access points and it is critical that users are not limited to a connected or non-connected mode.  Trimble Field Link 2.20 is equipped with the ability to connect to the internet or to cloud storage sites using integrated Wi-Fi or allows them to work in a disconnected mode until they have an access point.

4)  What role does the cloud play in this product update?

  • Users of Trimble Field Link 2.20 are able to connect to virtually any cloud based storage or application as they would with any Windows device as long as they have a means to connect through an internet portal.

Bentley i-MODELS: 

1)       What kind of integration is now possible between Bentley i-models and Field Link software?

As noted above, utilizing the Bentley Mobile i-model Viewer has opened up new capabilities for file size and navigation in 3D models.  In addition to this new capability we also now directly accept Bentley i-models into Trimble Field Link.  This new integration now allows contractors who are utilizing Bentley software for their BIM or VDC workflows to more effectively move data from the office to the field and back through Bentley ProjectWise and the new Bentley Work Package Manager.  Contractors have new options and a wider choice of workflows than ever before.

2)      What was that connection like before this partnership? 

Prior to the strategic alliance between Bentley and Trimble, there was only a file conversion path to allow Bentley models to be used within the Trimble Field Link system.  The new direct integration makes the process of moving data from the office to the field and back very simple and minimizes the possibility of data loss and maintains the integrity of data to a much higher level.



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Categories: AEC, architecture, Autodesk, building information modeling, Cloud, construction, engineering, field, field solutions, infrastructure, site planning

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