Archivo etiqueta laser
”Jim your a go….” 2:40 PM, New Years Eve 2012. Text from our client; Mark at Looney & Associates
Our work window was January 3rd through January 9 2013. Travel arrangements and team needed to be assembled for flights in two days. The only thread holding this together was PKNail Pro.
Team members included individuals from Langan Engineering, Turis, TrueScan3d, LandAir Surveying and my company Interioreview. The Job: Survey and Document Floors 2-7 of the Royal Sonesta Hotel, 300 Bourbon Street. Include structure, electrical objects (Duplex, Com Ports, Thermostats, Wall Lights, etc) and Fire Protection. 450+ Rooms, Common Spaces, Administrative Spaces, +200,000 SF. 1 Week. From Blank Screen to Floorplans and RCP.
“This is innovative stuff…”, Greg Jensen, Langan Engineering
“…Boom, your done.” Brady O’Brien, Turis Systems
“This certainly opens the door for future teaming efforts, and we’ve already begun to push PK Nail on some of our interior projects – integrating it with scanning and traditional survey.” – Paul Fisher, VP Langan Engineering.
This project could not have happened without the participating firms willingness to deal with such a tight deployment deadline and with the excellent individuals that arrived in New Orleans. It also could not have happened, and I do have a horse in this race, without PKNail Pro and Revit. There was simply no other way to coordinate multiple personnel field surveying without both. We were able to deploy resources as needed since everything was being surveyed and modeled in real time. 4th Floor, South Wing, Greg get on it. Brian, 2nd Floor with Nico etc. This also allowed us to create a punch list in real time. Reflected Ceiling on 3rd Floor, etc. as all the files were compiled daily, if not more often into a central file. Although the deliverable will eventually be in 2D Autocad, all the initial documentation will be in Revit, so even though it was not part of the scope, we will be able to deliver a typical section through the building with only a small post processing effort.
Lastly, thank you to the good folks at The Royal Sonesta, New Orleans for treating us so well. They understand hospitality and have a great team.
More and more firms are relying on PKNail Pro for documenting buildings whether they need the final deliverable in Revit or 2D Autocad. PKNail Pro can deliver.
I was at the recent Autodesk University in Las Vegas and sat in the session for Reality Capture for Rapid Energy Modeling by Jess Miller who discussed the current technologies and work flows to document existing buildings digitally in Revit. As it stands the 4 available today are:
- Satellite Imagery
- Laser Scanning
- 123D Catch (aka Photofly)
- PKNail Pro
All of these technologies with the exception of PKNail, yes I do have a horse in this race, require a user to extract geometry from one program and draft in another. PKNail allows a user to survey and model directly in Revit. However, the most important task is choosing the right tool for the job and usually this is driven by the scope of the project/deliverable, what the model is going to be used for, and conditions and access of the building. First, let’s look briefly at the current technologies and how they work.
this requires getting oblique images from a source such as bing maps or Pictometry, that then can then be scaled and traced over in Revit. While it could be the least expensive of the methods it is generally a lot less accurate, requires something that allows you to scale the photos properly either on site measurements, existing plot plan, or CAD floor plan and any real details will not be included. This might prove to be an okay method to extract geometry for energy modeling but the model would end there, you could not use it to move forward with an architectural model. Additionally, it requires a sophisticated users knowledge of Revit through linking photos and extracting geometry.
This is generally done as a service, that is you hire a company who has a laser scanner to create a pointcloud of the building you need. Estimates range from $3-$5K per day to have someone scanning a building. I know from experience that I have been quoted almost $60,000 to scan the exterior and interior of a single story industrial building and that did not include the Revit model we needed. We would have to build that ourselves from the point cloud. However, if you need an accurate 3D data set of an existing structure it is an excellent resource. You will need to import the pointcloud into Revit and trace over it to create the geometry making it at least a 2 step process. There are some technologies available such as Imaganit from Rand Technologies that will allow a user to extract some geometry to Revit but it is still a manual process. I have seen excellent use of this technology is extensive exposed MEP projects, think boiler room or oil rig, or difficult and inaccessible geometry, such as the Capitol Dome.
is a program that allows you take pictures of building, send them up into the cloud and have them stitched together and served back to you as a 3D Photo model that you can then scale and extract geometry from. I have not had success using this product. I want to be successful using this product because I think it would be awesome but the few times I have sent something up to the could I get back something that looks like I am looking through a kaleidoscope. I highly recommend you take a look because as the technology progresses and computers get more powerful this will only get better.
this is an add in to Revit that allows you to create real Revit objects, driven wirelessly from laser range finder (Disto D8) and from measurements in the field. That is measure wall, press a button and the wall is created directly in Revit. This is the only software that works within the actual BIM software so there is no need to translate or extract geometry. PKNail Pro automates current workflows and data capture and allows a user to finish the model on site. It excels at creating dimensionally correct 3D models of the both the interior and exterior. However, if you need a lot of exterior detail you may want to pair it with another of the technologies to create gutter sweeps, cornice work, etc. if that is needed on the project. PKNail also recognizes any Revit wall so you could another technology/method to create the exterior and use PKNail Pro to capture all the interior fit outs.
What it boils down to is what is needed based on the scope of the project and your budget. Choose the right tool for the job and don’t limit yourself, because who wants to use a hammer when you need a screw driver, or use a jackhammer when you need to hang a picture. I’ll work on my metaphors, you work on capturing reality.
I cannot pronounce much more than it exists as I have not had my hands on one, and the video included below seems to use it mostly for layouts, not for data capture. NAFTA Leica_3D_Disto_Word-Flyer1.0 . However, when Pointclouds seem excessive from a data and price perspective, and one needs to determine points on inaccessible or complex geometry, this could be the aspirin (does anyone take aspirin anymore) to that headache, or for that matter doing complex ceiling systems or even reflected ceiling.
So what’s on board besides the laser? Camera with 8x Zoom so you can see far off points and DXF input and output and while there is some more stuff that seems to be the most important and data transfer to anything else is via USB stick. Why not include bluetooth as almost every laptop, netbook and the new iPad comes with it and seems a glaring omission. How about if it came with an ‘app’ for iPad and Android instead that could drive instead of its own proprietary piece of hardware.
I wonder if you can move it around in the same room because most rooms I know of are not completely open with shots available to every point you needs, and how you would coordinate points for integrated output? There is some software available called ‘Room Scan’ but have not seen enough of it to know.
MSRP is set at $7995 so up to surveyors, etc to think if it is worth the price tag.
With PointKnown’s introduction of PKNail and PPLT (Point to Point Laser Technology) utilizing a Leica Disto and Rand Technologies recent press release announcing the ability to manipulate and manage laser scan, point cloud data within Revit the opportunity and tools to capture existing conditions continues to grow. Combine that with the growing need to capture existing conditions for energy modeling and retrofits and you can see an industry emerging, not just using it for special circumstances but start capturing existing structures in 3D/BIM for uses that range from space planning, facility management, energy audits and beyond.
While it has been reported and analyzed that some of the biggest frustrations, time sinks and expenditures is that lack of interoperability between software, and redundant efforts between disciplines, that is creating the same thing, many times for each discipline the advent of BIM authoring tools like Revit, and ways to combine and work with them can help firms and individuals reduce rework and create more opportunities for their design and construction work; looks like a win all around. And with these technologies firms can start on existing structures in BIM and Revit and have all the benefits.
So some individuals at Autodesk got to see our ‘handcrafted’ videos available at our PKLabs YouTube Channel and got in touch. Ani Deodhar, a Program Manager in their Sustainability Group, explained to me he had a mandate to come up with the best work flows across all of their product lines in order to energy model existing buildings. They have been working on geometry extraction in the labs and anyone who has seen the Photofly demos can attest, this looks very promising. However, our goal with PKNail was always to capture dimensionally correct space and do so with a minimum of software knowledge so PKNail can be leveraged across an organization rather than with a specialized few. I am not knocking any process just pointing out that if you want to move a pallet, for example, it would be nice you could just do it rather than find the guy or gal with the forklift license and then ask them to move it, and then hopefully you get it right the first time. Maybe not the best metaphor but you get it, the more people that can do something, the more of whatever ‘it’ is you can do.
On site at Autodesk Waltham and using PKNail we were able to survey, measure, build in real time the shell of the building in Revit in less than 3 hours. Then depending on what level of detail, and features you want in the deliverable you may want to spend sometime in the office. However, when we left we knew we had all the key dimensions and information and the model itself was built. This was done at a level needed for energy modeling and we only modeled from the exterior but PKNail allows you to create interior layouts, floor by floor as needed as well. It was then ported through Revit CEA to create an energy analysis of the building.
When creating PKNail we wanted to make things easier on ourselves. The product grew organically from our architectural surveying business. When you’ve repeated the same task enough times, or if you missed a crucial step or measurement that would require you to back to the field, etc. you think there must be a better way. Just like when you make the jump from 2D to 3D you thought, there must be a better way to communicate with my clients, coordinate views, coordinate disciplines, and here it is. Revit is increasingly becoming that better way. Use it however you want, it’s a tool, you can use it communicate visually with your clients if that’s what you need it for or use it to coordinate construction; your choice but it helps. PKNail allows you to quickly and accurately capture existing buildings digitally, either just the exterior for energy modeling or to start your as-built documentation.
On a recent conference call to discuss our pilot with Autodesk, one of the attendees said something like this:
“So you simplified the GUI to automate the tasks you need when surveying and allowed for the wireless capture of data to minimize key stroking”
Well, I don’t know if I would say it exactly like that, but yeah, that’s what we did, and I added that we created a workflow and process that squeezes the surveying knowledge of our organization into the software so people can be a success right out of the box. We wanted to take something simple, point and shoot distance meters, very simple and marry it with something that can be infinitely complex, 3D BIM authoring tools as in Revit, and in turn try to make that simple. Measure a wall/build a wall, window, levels, etc. We call this PPLT (Point to Point Laser Technology). So until we got robots doing this stuff we can never take away the human element from what we do, and so, let’s make just make it easier, faster, better, much like the $6 million dollar man.
It’s been a haul and it starts with a quote from Irwin Jungreis one of the founders of Revit who I spoke to early in the process, ‘we never intended Revit to have an API,’ he said with a smile. ” It was supposed to be so good it would never need 3rd Party applications.” “WHAT?!” you say. I believe Irwin at the point understood the original hubris of that statement but then again I spoke to him after they sold out to Autodesk. “So what” we thought and we continued to forge ahead with an API that had as much horsepower as my old Puch moped. Thank you Autodesk for your continued efforts in beefing up the API but it has been a bear.
PointKnown is getting closer to releasing the commercial version of PKNail; it’s building surveying software. PKNail was programmed behind 7 years of building surveying experience. Our intention was to:
- Automate many of the rote tasks when creating existing conditions surveys of a building
- Create repeatable work flows
- Increase speed and accuracy by linking measurements directly into Revit
We understand surveying can be the bane of some people’s existence and it is a necessary evil to almost all projects, that is having accurate information to start the project. While we never considered it a bane or evil but when we would put on lunch and learns and dog and pony shows we usually got one of two reactions. One, where have you been my whole life I hate surveying or two, will you sell us the software because we do all our own measuring. We get it. And building in real time, in the field makes thing easier and building inside a familiar platform, and one that you will be designing or working in anyway makes you more productive right out of the box. I look forward to your feedback, comments we’re here to work with you. And to summarize my last statement in the video, ‘We’re much better at designing surveying software than making videos,’ but even comments on our production and lack of directing talents are welcome. Thanks for reading. – jim
While I don’t usually take the time to pump my own gas with this blog I wanted to share the complete reversal in our deliverables over the last year. It used to be, way back at the end of 2008 that we delivered most of our building surveys in 2D AutoCAD format, now we would build in 3D, normally in ADT but our clients wanted 2D AutoCAD. From a surveying perspective a 3D object oriented universe worked better for us because essentially all the views were coordinated, that is build it in the floorplan directly, it is represented in elevation correctly. Anyone who has keyed up a plan in 2D knows where I am coming from, which if you are here reading this, means you know what I am talking about. Now, however, the bulk of what we do is deliver as-builts in Revit. The GSA requiring BIM has a lot to do with it, I believe, and Autodesk being the biggest player in the US means Revit becomes the default. Whether you like that or not does not matter, that’s the reality.
Recently we have performed as built surveys at Phillips Exeter and Emmanuel College and we were field testing our laser to BIM technology, PKNail. It was created to capture typical conditions quickly and accurately. If you wanted to capture the Capitol Dome, I would suggest laser scanning, for capturing most situations Point to Point Laser Scanning (PPLT) should work just fine. PKNail converts measurements directly into a Revit workstation-wirelessly, measure a wall that wall is entered into Revit, encounter a door, window, Fire Extinguisher Cabinet, sink, if you can measure it, it can be placed quickly and easily into the model.
Lastly, if the deliverable is 2D CAD, exporting views from Revit to AutoCAD sheets is a snap. Here’s a long winded Autodesk treatise on the subject or well, it looks like I will need to update with a screen capture video the quick process but the resulting CAD contains some of the meta information collected in 3D, such as 30″ Door, rather than creating anonymous objects. Next post will follow in short order with a sneak peak of some of the features and the connectivity between Revit and a Leica Disto enabled by PointKnown surveying software.
Thanks for tolerating some self promotion.
There is a virtuous circle afoot and it’s not just how you spin social networking to acquire traffic it is sustainable retrofits and if you wonder what’s the next big thing, what gets us out of this economic tailspin, or at least malaise too many data points are starting to point in the sustainable retrofit direction. ARRA (American Relief and Recovery Act) money points that way, the President speaks about green jobs, Autodesk is hyping it and I am being constantly contacted from firms wanting to use our technology, PointKnown , to augment their green building practices. And the best thing about it, it makes sense, unlike pets.com which use to ship dogfood to you via fedex.
Here are some stats, most of them gleaned from an Autodesk Paper, (from the I read it so you don’t have to category).
Approximately 75 percent of buildings globally will be either new or have undergone significant renovation by 2035 (1)
About 150 billion square feet of existing buildings (roughly half of the entire building stock in the United States) will need to be renovated over the next 30 years. (2)
A recent analysis estimates that green building retrofits in the United States represent a $400B market in the next 20 years. (3)
(1) http://www.architecture2030.org/ (2009)
(2) American Institute of Architects (AIA) COTE (2009), Ecology and Design: Ecological Literacy in Architecture Education.
(3) Pike Research (2009), “Energy Efficiency Retrofits for Commercial and Public Buildings,” Executive Summary.
That means work up and down the line from surveying and modeling buildings, through energy analysis, the design process through constrcution. But the reason it makes most sense is that there is viable and real ROI not just from the environmental benefit but also from the energy savings. Autodesk’s argument, while self-serving, provides some valid points.
• Supplement energy benchmarking by providing numerous design alternatives to users.
• Democratize the energy and carbon footprinting process by making it accessible to a wider audience of practitioners.
• Make modeling faster, cheaper, and more likely to be used.
Autodesk’s work flow utilizes image modeler to be imported into Revit for modeling. While personally am not a big fan of introducing another piece of software into the workflow I can see where some people will be more comfortable using photos, etc. to create geometries. PointKnown takes a different tact in utilizing PPLT (Point to Point Technology) to define objects directly into a Revit work station. That way a user can further leverage their existing software, draft in a familiar platform, and leave with a dimensionally correct model. At the end of it you can choose to leave the generic walls, windows, etc. in place for gbXML export, or energy analysis, or begin the process into defining the elements. Your choice, but you have a dimensionally correct model in the field, with no intermediate translation step. Now to get technical PPLT is best used for planar surfaces that have minimal variation, that is a wall, that’s straight, but then again typical conditions dictate most surfaces of walls be straight or are at least intended to be. And for energy analysis this could be a powerful tool to jump start the modeling, and actually make it ‘Rapid’
Public Beta Open in January : Capture as builts in Revit in the field: #Revit #BIM #asbuilt #laser #pplt
We will be opening up our beta to public testing in January and we are asking for volunteers. Our product PKNail allows a user to use a hand held laser, Disto D8, and measure and build Revit models in the field. The measurements are transmitted via bluetooth to a mobile workstation which allows the user to quickly and accurately captures a building geometry and features. On board intelligence allows users to determine wall thicknesses, wall angles, toggle accuracy, attach notes to objects and more.
PKNail was developed by field surveyors and software engineers to help the AEC Community quickly and accurately capture a building’s geometry in Revit. This tool used alone of in conjunction with HDLS (High Definition Laser Scanning) can let you start any project in BIM / Revit. Proven ROI in as little as one project, and speed gains from measuring to model of over 200%.
With the majority of construction projects happening in the built environment, and in cities like Boston almost 80% done in the built environment start them in BIM and help everyone downstream.
This a powerful tool in capturing as builts in Revit and beta testers will be eligible for a substantial discount when purchasing.