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 »
Autodesk BIM 360 Layout debuts
October 30th, 2014 by Susan Smith
In a recent conversation with Jarrod Krug of Autodesk, he discussed the new BIM 360 Layout that has been added to the BIM 360 construction cloud platform.
Within BIM 360 is BIM 360 Glue and Layout, as well as Field. BIM 360 Layout removes common data exchange barriers and provides a seamless connection between the real-time coordinated model and the process of laying-out and staking points in the field.
“BIM 360 Glue is basically the pre-construction BIM management solution that has a cloud very robust web service component as well as a mobile app,” said Krug. “We have a web service and mobile app, and both mobile apps reside on iOS. More field data management, punch lists, commissioning tasks, safety check lists, are managed within BIM 360 Field. “The cool thing is there is a common database. When you start using cloud technology and connecting mobile you can leverage consistent data patterns for sharing information between the products.”
Autodesk’s latest product, actually a feature within BIM 360, is called BIM 360 Layout. “Going from the pre-construction aspect where we are pre-defining elements of a model and going out the next step which is staking out or laying out of those fields on the jobsite, are features of BIM 360 Layout,” said Krug. “BIM 360 Layout is an iPad app and all are available on iOS.”
BIM 360 Layout connects to TopCon LN-100 Layout Navigator, a very purpose built total station that connects to the iPad via wifi so it has its own closed network wifi. The field engineer can walk around staking out points in a full 3D model, a very immersive experience compared to other scenarios that are very tabular. “This is very model based and shows your view of the instrument as well as the prism in the model so you know where you are at all times,” said Krug.
Autodesk’s current client on the design side has AutoCAD, Navisworks and Revit that matches up with the point creation tool called Autodesk Point Layout.
According to company materials, here’s how the process works. First, the design model (AutoCAD, Revit or Navisworks) with field points created in the Autodesk Point Layout plugin are imported into the BIM 360 Glue web service. Then, point sets can be shared to project field crew(s) via an email link—that when opened on an iPad, launches the BIM 360 Layout app with the assigned point sets ready to be laid-out. Once the field points have been staked, verified or new points collected (all of which can be done while working offline), the field crew can sync the information back to the BIM 360 Glue web service once connected to the internet. The collected points can then be imported from BIM 360 Glue to Autodesk Revit via the Autodesk Point Layout plugin. Within Revit, a deviation analysis can be performed to assess if completed work by an MEP contractor is within the appropriate tolerance and not in conflict with components in the building model.
“When the current workflows take this rich model data to the field, there are a lot of challenges with exchanging data, such as prepping data file formats to be consumed by downstream apps or even devices,” said Krug. “With BIM 360 that has changed. With BIM 360 Layout, the workflow starts as a design model such as Navisworks, Revit or even AutoCAD where points are created using Autodesk Point Layout. Those are attached to that model. Let’s say you are a mechanical contractor and you’re attaching points to sleeves or hangar points for your duct. With Autodesk Point Layout, you upload to BIM 360 Glue web service where you have the capability to filter the point sets, and you can put those points in an email then receiving person opens the email on an iPad where he or she has the BIM 360 app installed. They can click on the link and open up the app, and after logging into the service, they would download the point set they’ve been assigned as well as the model, fairly quickly. They could store that model offline, as there is no need to be connected. Those points assigned to them are now available so they can go lay out those points.”
Another cool feature of the BIM 360 Layout app is that it has a nifty new way of connecting digital point location information with the physical world. The app running on an iPad provides a first person—immersive view of the building model as the user walks the jobsite. The prism and total station are represented in the 3D model as they are located in the physical world—giving the user an understanding of where they are in relation to the instrument, and the points to be staked.
Users will like the app’s intuitive digital model on the iPad that has audible alerts when increase in volume as you approach a point. BIM 360 Layout app also has a visual “bulls-eye” marker that changes from red to green when the user is within staking tolerance.
Categories: 2D, 3D, 3D PDF, AEC, architecture, AutoCAD, AutoCAD for Mac 2015, AutoCAD LT for Mac 2015, Autodesk, BIM, building information modeling, Cloud, collaboration, construction, engineering, field, field solutions, file sharing