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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 »

3D Repo Develops Mobile Platform for Crossrail

February 8th, 2017 by Susan Smith

British company 3D Repo, known as a multi-award winning provider of cloud software solutions for collaborative Building Information Modelling (BIM), has begun development on a mobile platform for Crossrail in the UK, designed to manage lifecycle assets. Among the company’s other solutions is a health and safety virtual reality app designed for the Zero Harm Health and Safety Training that is part of the Smart Motorway programme, to make highway and construction projects safer through improved training.

3D Repo’s cloud platform assembles previously disparate databases and information sources to form an on-site, instant access to both historical and real-time information, both of which are vital to the massive project.

“With the Crossrail project nearing completion we wanted to demonstrate a system that could provide a one stop solution for post-delivery asset management.  3D Repo application could deliver direct cost savings in terms of simplified management processes and transparency of work, at every stage of the project, from planning to construction and handover to facilities management,” said Harry Parnell, Head of Digital Project Delivery at Balfour Beatty and Project Manager in Crossrail’s Woolwich Station. “This is all digitally enabled by a simple web interface that is easy to deploy and easy to use.”

3D Repo makes possible the integration between information that is held within asset lifecycle management software such as the Crossrail Asset Management and Configuration System (AIMS). Using this system, users can get real time access to plant and system diagrams and operation and maintenance manuals, with data matrix ID labels and RFID tags scanned with a mobile device.

Project managers, stakeholders and maintenance personnel can all access different 3D views of assets using 3D Repo’s mobile platform. This allows them to select pertinent information installation and commissioning.

Pavol Knapo 3D Repo BIM Manager spoke with AECCafe Voice about Crossrail and the development of the mobile platform. The project is funded under the Crossrail innovation programme, Innovate 18, designed to lead innovation in the construction industry.

AECCafe Voice: How does 3D Repo BIM App integrate with (or does it need to) popular BIM offerings out there?

3D Repo supports number of file formats including IFC and BCF which are standard BIM formats and thus seamlessly integrates with any BIM workflow.

AECCafe Voice: Why would a team use it instead of asset management tools offered by CAD software companies like Autodesk and Bentley, when those are the predominant CAD softwares?

3D Repo is specifically designed for easy collaboration using the cloud so it is designed to work with more general asset management systems.  3D Repo is neutral platform and 3D Repo development team provides extra flexibility for development of custom features which typically large companies such as Autodesk don’t do.   Designed from the ground up as an open source, cloud-based solution, 3D Repo represents an open and accessible solution that eliminates many of the barriers posed by traditional systems.  In particular 3D Repo is affordable and offers a ‘way-in’ for small and medium sized companies who, when bidding for work, find the traditional software licensing fees prohibitive.

AECCafe Voice: What aspects of asset lifecycle management does 3D Repo BIM App offer that are not offered by existing asset management tools?

3D Repo does not compete directly with traditional asset management tools; rather it enhances them and offers additional features utilizing new generation cloud technology.  So at Crossrail for example, the asset’s labels and tags are not currently linked to the asset database.  3D Repo makes these labels/tags smart, creating an integration solution utilizing their BIM cloud technology and expertise.

AECCafe Voice: Who are the primary users of this app?

Architects. engineers, contractors, project managers.

AECCafe Voice:  Is there any need for translation with some of the historical information used on projects?

There is typically a need for translation of historical data on ongoing projects, but it varies from case to case.

 AECCafe Voice: How would users make use of this app in planning, for example?

Design team makes architectural and structural models and coordinate them in 3D Repo platform. Later on MEP consultants step in and add their part. The coordinated federated model is then used for tendering and contractor uses it for coordination on site.

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Categories: 2D, 3D, apps, BIM, building information modeling, collaboration, construction, convergence, Crossrail, engineering, field, field solutions, file sharing, infrastructure, integrated project delivery, project management, simulation, site planning

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