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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 »

Bentley Design Applications and TopCon’s Mobile Work Force Streamline Field Operations with MAGNET 4.0

June 30th, 2016 by Susan Smith

In early June, Topcon Positioning Group and Bentley Systems unveiled a new level of direct communication between Bentley’s design applications and Topcon’s mobile work force products found in the forthcoming release of its MAGNET 4.0. With direct communication from MAGNET Enterprise to Bentley’s ProjectWise, users of Topcon’s family of MAGNET and 3D-MC software solutions can now, while working in the field, access or receive i-models created by Bentley’s OpenRoads design modeling technology. To find out more about the agreement and how MAGNET works with Bentley applications, AECCafé Voice spoke with Dustin Parkman, Bentley’s vice president of product development.


AECCafe Voice: What kind of enterprise data is generally found in MAGNET?

Dustin Parkman: Topcon’s MAGNET Field and Office software enables users to collect survey mapping data and perform construction and road layout using total stations, levels, and GNSS receivers. These products, as well as the MAGNET enterprise Web client, handle all design and as-built data used during the construction of infrastructure, including transportation and building assets. This includes, but is not limited to, roads, surfaces, corridors, string sets, foundation plans, and so on for layout and as-built and existing condition data collection. MAGNET can acquire data from many sources including the new i-model integration with OpenRoads and ProjectWise. 

AECCafe Voice: Will survey data and as-built conditions be processed so that they can be used with the i-models? If so, how will this be accomplished?

Parkman: Survey, design, and as-built data can reside in MAGNET Office during the construction process. You merely have to click Save As i-model to produce the desired output.

Anything that is in your active MAGNET Office session is written to the i-model, which is then brought into the OpenRoads design environment or sent out to the field for inspection/review with OpenRoads Navigator.

AECCafe Voice: Will the user be able to work disconnectedly with their i-models in the field where necessary?

Parkman: i-models have the distinct advantage of being used in online and offline scenarios. For example, i-models created from OpenRoads or MAGNET can be used in the field with the OpenRoads Navigator app. Users only need to be online initially to access the i-model through ProjectWise. Once you have connected to the i-model, a local copy is cached on your mobile device to support the offline workflows. When the user is back online any additions related to the i-model can be sync’d to ProjectWise.


AECCafe Voice: Can you describe a typical workflow involving the round tripping of data from and to MAGNET and Bentley i-models?

Parkman: A typical design-to-construction workflow consists of delivering 2D deliverables, which are then manually recreated into 3D models by the contractor. This can be a labor-intensive process with a high risk of data loss. By enabling the handling of direct integration of 3D models via these exchange points, linear assets and surfaces can be brought directly into MAGNET and then augmented accordingly for construction purposes, saving time and money. i-models are generated from OpenRoads in ProjectWise with this information as a publishing step or through continuous automation. MAGNET users can work directly with the i-model to search and import data directly into a MAGNET project to complete a wide array of design-to-construction workflows. Users simply access the i-model via ProjectWise directly from MAGNET Office.

Capturing as-constructed 3D details for future design reuse can be very challenging. Most  as-built data is captured as a post process and can be delivered as a model that the owners can use in the future for any rehab work. With this new capability, the final as-constructed points, linear details, and surfaces are brought directly into OpenRoads to compare the original design intent to the as-constructed conditions. This allows users to better understand design-to-construction deviations as well as provide an accurate model for downstream rehab work. MAGNET users can create i-models directly in ProjectWise, which OpenRoads and other Bentley design modeling applications can consume. Within MAGNET Office, you can simply save the active session as an i-model into ProjectWise.

AECCafe Voice: Will this capability be made available as part of a subscription package? How will Bentley propose introducing this to its users?

Parkman: Bentley offers this new capability within the latest editions of OpenRoads, ProjectWise, and MAGNET Enterprise, and covers it under the existing subscription models that are already in place based on previous editions.

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Categories: 2D, AEC, AECCafe, architecture, Bentley Systems, BIM, building information modeling, Cloud, collaboration, construction, engineering, field, field solutions, IES, IFC, infrastructure, mobile, site planning, sustainable design, TopCon

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