Building on my earlier SLAM post, we’ve been utilizing the combination of SLAM and PKNail Pro to great success. Recently we completed over 300,000 SF of office tower in Wilmington, DE with the total time on site coming in just under 12 hours, yes that’s right 12 hours. The scope of the project included BOMA reporting and CAD, and while the parking garages were not initially part of the scope, we walked the garage with SLAM so had a 3D database in case it was needed in the future, and in this case, it was needed in less than a week and we did not need to revisit the site, saving the client both time and money.
Process: Walk each floor with SLAM, create 3D database by floor. Build out interiors, sample floor, with PKNail Pro, capturing typical window assemblies, doors, plumbing objects, wall thicknesses. Back office included the combination of surveying data, creating spaces within Revit and exporting both spreadsheet data, CAD and plotted floor plans.
SLAM technology. SLAM, besides sounding rather cools stands for ( Simultaneous Localization and Mapping). And this is is an evolution in the creation of point clouds. Why? SLAM technology allows a user to walk through space, and in essence, create a continuous point cloud of an entire space. Previous technologies require a machine to be placed on a tripod, and continually set up in different locations. To get a full ‘picture’ of whatever you are scanning separate scans have to be ‘stitched’ together, which is not as automated a process as you might imagine. While Leica continues it onslaught of proprietary products and continuous scanning with its Pegasus systems, SLAM is based on open standards and researched extensively through the robotics industry. Off the shelf technology in the form of Hitachi Lasers, Rasberry Pi Processors and the like will start to open up new devices and allow new manufacturers to enter what has been a highly technical and closed field.
While SLAM devices do not have the high fidelity of HDLS, it does allow for some pretty excellent data collection that is typically at a level needed for most building documentation, leaving highly specific / detailed tasks for the more heavyweight scanners, think exposed and extensive MEP, physical plans, historic documentation/reconstruction. Personally, using SLAM devices in combination with our PKNail Pro allows us to move through spaces quickly, efficiently, accurately capturing building geometry with both systems and creating dimensionally accurate Revit objects on the fly with PKNail Pro. This allows us to get in and out of space with minimal interruptions, and allows for quick turn around which is great for building owners/investors through due diligence, BOMA calculations or looking to repurpose/reprogram a building. Recently, we were in and out of 300,000SF of tower in Wilmington Delaware in less than 36 hours.
While SLAM allows for the quick collection of data, interpreting, understanding the data and turning the data into usable documentation still remains very much a craft process. Too many times I have seen a product, such as a Revit model, turned out by groups who fail to understand how building are put together and designed which eventually turns into a product that confuses and confounds the people/architects who need to use it. In the next post I hope to dive into this process vs. product a bit deeper.
Pointknown was tasked with capturing Ocean Spray’s HQ, over 160,000 SF of Office Space and Labs over 3 Floors set on hundreds of acres of woods and bogs in Lakeville, MA. Because of the nature of the building and deliverable we were able to capture the bulk of the features and geometry directly with PKNail Pro, allowing us to measure and model in real time in the field. Interior Wall Partitioning, Bathroom Layouts, Windows and Doors. After the geometry was completed we placed the acoustical tile grids, and placed objects directly with the Revit interface.
For surveying and documenting buildings having a set of tools allows a provider to offer the right solution set to your clients. Not everything’s a nail so carry more than a hammer. We first developed PKNail Pro because we needed another tool set in the field, and started offering it commercially because clients asked us if we would provide it. Does it do everything, no; it was intended and designed to capture typical conditions very well, and quickly by turning measurements directly into Revit based objects, walls, windows doors, locate / place wall based objects from plumbing to electrical to fire protection and it does that very well.
Quote of the Project Upon Early Arrival and Hearing Barking/Howling: “No…those aren’t dogs, those are coyotes.”
We recently delivered a Revit EB (Existing Building) Model of 18 Tremont a historic 12-story, 202,000-square-foot office with ground-floor retail in downtown Boston. The building was acquired by DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners in October 2015. Pointknown, with its partners, created an exterior HDLS (High Definition Laser Scan) and Revit model of the exterior as well as the elevator lobby, and stair cores. After creating the base Revit model the Pointknown Team utilized PKNail Pro , a point to point, direct to Revit, reality capture tool, to document interior wall partitioning, doors, and bathroom layouts. Using the combined technologies helped us tremendously in speed and accuracy, and the database functionality of Revit allowed us to assign spaces/offices and run space calculations a lot easier than polylining spaces. We were then able to produce formatted documents, floor plans, sections, space calculations for the owners / investors and delivered the model for the designers.
In my experience through a dozen plus years of the topic, these issues are best discussed and defined at the outset whether you’re outsourcing the work or doing it yourself.
- What is the initial use of the model?
Start with a MVM (Minimal Viable Model ), volumetrically correct and add detail from there. Interior designers will need different detail than someone implementing CAFM tools, then will an architect adding an addition or an adaptive reuse project. Custom windows, Wall Types, Beams, Fire Protection, Molding, etc. can all be added later so don’t pay for what you don’t need.
- What technology is being deployed?
There are a variety of technologies out there, what are you or your vendor using? How much experience do they have. Do not be afraid to ask for or create a technology road map and ask for demonstrations, experience, and documentation of previous projects. Technology and data capture can be and should be quite different for a 1000 rooms in a hotel vs. a theatre with non-orthogonal walls, balconies, and lots of trim detail. Will it be HDLS (HIgh Def laser Scanning), PPLT (Point to Point Laser Technology or P2P), Photogrammetry, Hand measuring and graph paper? There are price considerations to be had with each.
- Architectural Intent?
Hard to believe this makes into the top 3, however, you need to discuss how you want to deal with non-conforming issues. For example, less than a .3 degree deflection of a wall in plan view will cause +6” over 100 feet. Who cares? Do you? It’s important. As non-ortho connections in Revit cause model errors, something in new construction Revit wants you to avoid, however when modeling existing not every building was built perfectly square. Would you rather see the building modeled with regards to architectural intent and have any non conforming issues annotated or do you want it modeled as it exists.
There is a lot of confusion in the marketplace with regards to laser scanning and modeling existing conditions as there are no standards in place, nor certifying boards for anyone doing this work so until that day happens the onus is on the consumer to ask the questions and help manage the process to get the model they need.
Co- Founder / CEO Pointknown
Pointknown provides services and software for documenting existing buildings in Revit. We also offer consulting to set up your own projects through enabling technology or project management.
Like a ship that has long passed ripples from Apple’s long held strategy to combine software and hardware has finally come to shore in the AEC marketplace when Autodesk recently announced a ‘collaboration’ with Leica. This shatters their long held belief that they would “never partner with software.” Straight up from the copy on their splash page.
“Smart integration empowers our customers to construct more efficiently and more accurately by making design and reality fit together.”
I have to say this has been a long time coming because if anything Autodesk is excellent at marketing and mostly sort of listening to their customers and marketplace something Leica is beyond woeful at. They are a classic engineering company who makes great products and convinced of their products greatness believe it will have a market. I wonder if they have ever in their existence put together a customer focus group. While Autodesk continues to partner and acquire multiple companies in the 3D and Built Environment space Faro, Leica’s main competitor, acquired Kubit in March. Trimble now owns Tekla, Sketh Up and Gehry Technolgies .
What does the Leica / Autodesk union mean? I would think at least when you need to export point for layout, instead of just picking a generic export you would then export to Leica’s family of products as an option. Perhaps Cloudworx and Recap combination, as I would believe if you are firing up a Leica scanner, their would have to be some link directly to the Autodesk family. Is this friendly oligopoly good for the industry. Well when Windows dominated the marketplace people argues their monopoly was good as it provided a defacto standards, just like Rockefeller argued Standard Oil’s position of owning everything allowed for efficient pricing.
Pointknown / IR captured and modeled the Saks 5th Avenue Flagship building over the summer. The building, located at 611 5th Ave NYC, was just refinanced and according to the New York Times valued at $3.7 billion dollars. That’s over $1 billion more than Royal Hudson paid for the entire company last year. The survey and modeling teams used a variety of technologies including LIDAR, its own PKNail Pro and Revit from Autodesk worked throughout the night so not to disturb its clientele and associates. Working through Rob Siegel, now the Design Director at Gensler Pointknown / IR created a full exterior model, shell and cores including the mechanical penthouses. Said Rob, “This is one of the best models we’ve ever seen.”
Pointknown and its sister company IR (interioreview) creates software for the capture and modeling of existing buildings, and provides the same as a service. It uses best in class technologies, whether off the shelf or custom software it designs itself. The companies are entrusted with documenting buildings like Saks 5th Avenue, the Royal Sonesta in New Orleans , academic building on UMass and Phillips Exeter campuses to your home. This December it will be continuing its work as part of the Phase III renovation of the Chicago Hilton. What can we help you with?
We are still at the bleeding edge of the 3D capture technology. Even though LIDAR has been around since the early 60’s, commercialization of it remains small. Its projected market for 2018 is $515 million. What does that tell me? That’s ridiculously low. For perspective Facebook’s market cap is around $200b, EA Sports, the game producer for ubiquitous gaming technology is around $12b. Those are single companies not an industry. The total market for LIDAR, that is 3D capture of real objects is going to be $515M in 2018. Something else needs to happen to bring 3D to the main stream, and what’s happening now is the introduction of light weight inexpensive 3D sensors from a who’s who of technology companies. A partial list and by no means exhaustive.
- Intel Real Sense Technology
- Project Tango from Google
- Structure io
- Kinect from Microsoft
- Meta io
- Autodesk 123D Catch
- Acute 3D
- PrimeSense – Acquired by Apple
And from the way back machine:
Pong, the granddaddy of all video games was arguably the first commercial/consumer success of the gamification of a piece of hardware and its enveloping logic, in the case of pong it was TTL (Transistor – Transistor Logic ). So what’s important to note here is the players now involved in the introduction. Intel, Google, Microsoft, Apple…….. We have the introduction of the hardware and their SDK packs for developers. The next stage will be most interestin; .the software, the games, the apps, the big easy. The other technology beyond these new sensors and LIDAR in most use; photographs. Right now I see in the market a lot of people taking pictures of statues or people, turning them into a 3D Digital object and then maybe printing them out on a 3D printer, I don’t see that as a viable business model, personally I don’t want a 3D printed object of anyone I know and to me it borders on ventriloquist dummy creepiness. However, we need to go through these stages to get to whatever breakthroughs and or commercial successes there will be in the future.
3D printing is moving rapidly, if not into the mainstream, into real uses. The 3D printing market is estimated to be $16.2 billion in 2018 comapred to $2.5 billion in 2013. That is 30x the expected LIDAR market. Why? Companies are printing machine parts (cars, airplanes, etc.) there is movement toward biological printing of food/meat and body parts. So really the mass customization of things where before making one of anything could cost thousands of dollars. I recall prototyping parts through CNC machining or SLA cost at a minimum hundreds of dollars and for bigger parts easily thousands and up. At back to school night this year they had amakerbot set up in the High School lobby and would print out key chains with your initials for a $5 donation. Holy What? Really? How about 3D printing a partial titanium skull to help someone after the original was smashed in an accident. But 5 bucks for a custom printed 3D object?
So what’s the next step in the 3D scanning world now that people can start getting them in their hands for hundreds of dollars, opposed the LIDAR systems that start around $50K. You and your friends scan your house and drop it in as a map pack for Call of Duty. 3D virtual tours of the Louvre. 3D estimating of car damage…….I’m really not sure but I am sure there will be plenty of people working on it. Making the capture and use of 3D easy, that will be the magic trick. Why you might want to is a bigger question. What do I need 3D data for? For real estate? Who is ever going to buy something without physically seeing it. To quote a commercial broker when I was doing some biz dev, “I get them in the car and show it to them…” Remember the broker business is intensely personal so A) they want technology to help them not replace them and B) I am not sure having great 3D imagery is going to sell it. Maybe as part of the tenant fit out allowance they get 3D Design services, or as part of the negotiation you show them what it could look like with their allowance…..I would be really interested in what people think about this subject beyond it’s cool.
For something cool, check out the video posted for Mok3 above, Yonald and his cohorts had figured out a way in 2003 to take pictures and turn them into 3D environments., the world is still catching up.
Project : Chicago Hilton
Location : Chicago IL
Client : Hilton Worldwide
Interioreview / PointKnown was hired to survey/document 7 Floors of the Chicago Hilton and deliver in 2D .dwg format. Include all rooms, hallways, bathroom fixtures, comm ports, and duplexes, light fixtures, soffits, HVAC Supply and Return.
Hardware : Disto D8
Software: Autodesk Revit : PointKnown PKNail Pro : Autocad
Over 10 Years Capturing / Modeling / Drafting Existing Conditions
Survey Common Spaces with PKNail Pro Directly into Revit. Place all hallways, doors, common spaces. Assign spaces/rooms to team members. Measure / Model in real time, placing walls, doors, windows (with correct glass location), wall based objects directly in Revit in real time with PKNail Pro. Wireless Connectivity between workstations allowed instantaneous updates to model and team members. Punch list updated as the property was measured. Team left site with 90% of the model complete. Export Revit to Autocad. QC and line clean up in Autocad. Deliver.
Software | Services | Consulting
Location : Amherst, MA (University of Massachusetts)
Client : Finegold Alexander
Interioreview / PointKnown was hired to survey/document and create an Architectural Revit model using generic components to accurate represent the building. Accurately locate and model interior timbers, chapel and steeple. Include all classrooms and offices.
Hardware : Faro 330 : Disto D8
Software: Autodesk Revit : PointKnown PKNail Pro
Scan and register pointcloud for exterior, chapel and timbers. Import pointcloud to Revit model architectural objects included in the scan. Measure and Build direct to Revit using PKNail Pro, extents of building footprint for quality control to compare with pointcloud data, and measure and model all rooms, offices, and classrooms. Include Kitchen and Bathroom layouts as they occur through out the building using PKNail Pro to place all wall based objects (Toilets, Urinals, Sinks..)
PointKnown Captures Existing Buildings
Software / Services / Consulting