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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 5.0 Furthers Revit Integration and Much More

April 8th, 2015 by Susan Smith

Chris Scotton, president and CEO of ClearEdge, talked with AECCafe Voice about the latest release of EdgeWise, EdgeWise 5.0. In this release, the ClearEdge team has updated the core automated feature extraction algorithms. The EdgeWise 5.0 release is for the BIM Suite and the Plant Suite.

EdgeWise 5 New Strucure Tool 1

AECCafe Voice: What do you feel are the most important features of this release?

Chris Scotton: There are two critical new advancements with this release of EdgeWise 5.0.

The first is much more accurate pipe extraction algorithms.  Previous versions of the software produced a fair number of false positives (inserting a pipe where none existed). This new version virtually eliminates the problem of false positives with a set of enhanced algorithms that make the finding and fitting of pipes much more accurate.  False positives have been reduced to about 1% of extracted pipes in this version.

EdgeWise 5 New Strucure Tool 2

The second major advancement is automated extraction of gridded steel.  These new algorithms identify and fit a standard steel or concrete structural  member to the point cloud using a best-fit algorithm.  Here is a video to watch the automated steel extraction. It’s a pretty impressive step forward, we think.

AECCafe Voice: How does the recent release compare to the previous one?

Chris Scotton: This is our most technologically advanced release yet. In addition to the aforementioned algorithm improvements, this release also features deeper Revit integration that ensures objects such as non-standard elbows to import properly to Revit.  We’ve also created a Plant 3D Plug-In that brings EdgeWise Intelligent models directly into Plant 3D as well as a dramatically better photo-realistic visualization engine.

AECCafe Voice: What is a typical workflow for users?

Chris Scotton: The typical workflow is as follows:  a user scans in the field, registers the scans in their typical registration program, then brings the registered scans into EdgeWise for processing. Once the EdgeWise automated extraction routines are run, the user QAs extracted results, finishes the model in EdgeWise and exports the final intelligent model to Revit, PDMS, AutoCAD, Plant3D, Microstation, CAD Worx or another CAD program.  Using EdgeWise in one’s workflow can typically save between 50% and 75% depending on the type of project.

EdgeWise 5 New Strucure Tool 3

AECCafe Voice: EdgeWise 5.0 provides functionality not found in Plant 3D or Revit, so do you have a partner arrangement with Autodesk regarding these products?

Chris Scotton: Yes, we’ve worked closely with the Autodesk product teams to integrate the EdgeWise models with their platforms and we’re continuing to improve this integration.  The ADSK team has been incredibly helpful and open to bringing the EdgeWIse benefits to their users,

AECCafe Voice: The auto extraction appears to be something that would really be beneficial to users. Can you expand on that and how it came about?

Chris Scotton: Kevin Williams, our Chief Scientist and Founder, is one of the world’s leading authorities on computational geometry and computer vision technologies, going back to his days working as a researcher in the defense industry.  He wrote the world’s first aerial LIDAR analysis software back in 2000.  He applied that experience to the problem of terrestrial laser scanning in 2007 and launched ClearEdge3D.  Truth be told, it’s an exceedingly difficult problem to solve and Kevin and his team worked for four years on the core automated feature extraction algorithms that comprise the bulk of ClearEdge’s intellectual property.  This latest release builds on all of that prior work with dramatically enhanced algorithms that take the industry one step closer to that mythical one-click model.

AECCafe Voice: What are some of the challenges in bringing point cloud data into a BIM or facility model?

Chris Scotton: The single biggest challenge is one really can’t do much with just a point cloud.  Unless the cloud is tagged with facility intelligence, it’s just a big, unwieldy series of X,Y, Z measurements.  Our approach is to offer software that allows users to create intelligent, lightweight BIMs and facility models that contain a host of critical data about the facility or the BIM.  Once the model is loaded, the large point cloud can be archived.  There is certainly a place for point clouds in the BIM and FM tool box, but intelligent models are just much more efficient.

(From company materials) Here’s what’s in the 5.0 release:

  • New pipe extraction algorithms that virtually eliminate false positives
  • New technology to automate the extraction of gridded steel and concrete structures—this will fundamentally change the way you model structure
  • New Plant 3D plug-in that brings EdgeWise intelligent models directly into Plant 3D
  • Improved Revit plugin that enables import of even out-of-tolerance as-built elbows
  • The new photo-realistic visualization engine called ClearView
  • And much more!

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Categories: 2D, 3D, AEC, AECCafe, architecture, AutoCAD, Autodesk, BIM, building information modeling, Cloud, collaboration, construction, engineering, integrated project delivery, plant design, point clouds, project management, reality capture, rendering, site planning

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