Monday, May 31, 2010

FW: > Quantapoint Laser Models vs. "Point Clouds" - The Difference is Clear - Meet Project Schedule and Budget, Improve Project Safety, Execute More Projects - Quantapoint (Looks like best one yet)


High Definition CAD Models – Automatically From Point Clouds!   

ClearEdge3D is the maker of EdgeWise™, the only software capable of automatically extracting truly editable 3D CAD models from ground-based laser-scan (LIDAR) data. With its patent-pending computer vision algorithms, EdgeWise is able to dramatically reduce the time required to create clean, accurate, as-built CAD models. Using this technology, even the most complex models can now be completed in hours, rather than weeks or months.



Conference Recap: SPAR 2010

March 1, 2010


EmailEmailPrintPrintReprintsReprints shareShare


Enlarge this picture

A scan of the hottest new products and the latest trends that captured the attention of attendees.

More than 775 people from 32 countries registered to attend SPAR 2010 in Houston, February 8-10. Despite a historic Mid-Atlantic snowstorm that snarled travel along the East Coast, conference organizers reported that attendance was up more than 20 percent compared to the previous year.

Anticipating the positive attendance figures, equipment manufacturers and software developers were eager to tout their latest partnerships and product offerings. AVEVA and Z+F announced a stronger technical and commercial partnership focused on delivering new levels of integration and productivity between laser scanning, detailed design and asset management. The two companies are working together to trans
form the efficiency of producing intelligent 3D CAD models from laser data so that the time and cost of producing intelligent AVEVA PDMS 3D models can be drastically reduced. They also aim to allow high-definition, photo-realistic laser images to be quickly and easily hot-spotted, linked to other plant data and accessed over the web in AVEVA’s asset information management solution AVEVA NET. “’As-is’ 3D models are becoming a popular method [of managing assets]; however for many this is still not viable due to the time and costs involved creating ’as-is’ 3D models,” said Derek Middlemas, group operations director of AVEVA. “Working with Z+F, AVEVA will offer a solution which significantly reduces the time and cost of producing ’as-is’ 3D models, making 3D models accessible to all asset management programs."

Montage of scan points (orange), EdgeWise polygons (white), and Revit Model (blue). Courtesy of GSA

ClearEdge3D announced the availability of a downloadable trial version of its EdgeWise software, which automatically extracts editable 3D CAD models from ground-based laser-scan (LIDAR) data, along with the upcoming release of a 64-bit version of EdgeWise later this month. The company also highlighted several noteworthy applications of the software during SPAR 2010, including the development of a Revit building information model (BIM) of the Chicago Federal Center by Ghafari Associates LLC. Ghafari’s laser scanning teams used a Leica 6000 phase-based scanner to collect 500 scans. As the scan data came in from the field, it was first registered using Leica Cyclone. Next, EdgeWise was used to automatically extract rectilinear, Revit-friendly .dxf polygons from the point clouds. These polygons were directly imported into Revit, skipping an entire manual modeling step that was traditionally one of the most time-consuming processes associated with scan-to-Revit modeling. Once these EdgeWise polygons were in Revit, the modelers could then either adjust their existing models (from the 2D plans) or build new features directly on top of the EdgeWise polygons. Finally, NavisWorks was used to validate the resulting Revit model against the point cloud. “EdgeWise allowed our team to significantly improve point cloud to Revit data and work flow efficiencies,” said Bob Mauck, Ghafari Associates. “The EdgeWise polygons from the 500 scans gave our team a quick way to create surfaces and model only what was needed—when it was needed—to support design-side delivery dates.”

Sonia Delgadillo, senior applications specialist at COADE, presented a technical seminar on how to easily build intelligent, specification-driven
3D plant models from laser scan data within the unified AutoCAD environment. The seminar addressed how the same 3D model can be used to automatically create deliverables such as fabrication isometrics, plans, sections, elevations and complete bills of material. Delgadillo also gave a a demonstration of the time-saving bidirectional link between CADWorx plant design and CAESAR II for pipe stress analysis along with CADWorx fieldpipe for Leica CloudWorx, which was developed for the back-office creation of accurate as-builts from point cloud data.


FARO Technologies Inc. announced the April 2010 release of FARO Scene 4.7, the latest version of its scan processing software for the FARO Laser Scanner. The new Scene 4.7 features more efficient point cloud handling and visualization due to the new 64-bit architecture, which extends the usable memory. The new version also incorporates “one-click” Web-share functionality. Scanned images can now be put on the Internet, thus enabling industries such as architecture, engineering and law enforcement to share scan information with customers, suppliers and partners without the need of additional software. The Web-share functionality is natively built into the FARO Scene 4.7 software, no additional software is required to publish the scan data on the web. The new software will be delivered with every FARO Laser Scanner, and current users of a 4.X version of the software will be provided with a free upgrade.

Leica Geosystems HDS and INOVx announced a partnership to jointly develop advanced software
for converting laser scan data into intelligent plant models. Integrated products will be based on Leica Cyclone software and INOVx RealityLINx software. Availability of the first integrated products is planned for the second quarter of 2010.

3D Laser Mapping highlighted the portable version of its StreetMapper mobile mapping system, developed in conjunction with German guidance and navigation specialist IGI mbH and technology company Riegl, along with recent deliveries of the StreetMapper system in China and Lithuania. In China, the device has already been used
for high precision mapping of the Peking University Campus, 3D modeling of road tunnels in Beijing and highway surveying for road construction and network planning. Operated by Tecdawn HT and its partner, Eastdawn IT, the StreetMapper system, was also used as part of a project to assess, analyze and manage public safety and security ahead of the 11th National Games of the Peoples Republic of China. In Lithuania, the State Enterprise Transport and Road Research Institute’s Road Survey Division is using the system to help evaluate the condition of the road network, plan road repair and reconstruction projects and provide additional information for economic justification of proposed works.

Topcon’s IP-S2 mobile mapping system coupled with the Velodyne HDL-64E S2 high-definition LiDAR scanner.

Mobile mapping was a major attraction during the conference, with numerous systems on display outside the convention center. Among these was Topcon’s IP-S2 mobile mapping system coupled with the Velodyne HDL-64E S2 high-definition LiDAR scanner. This combination offers dual-frequency GPS and Glonass tracking; a high-performance, six-axis MEMs-based IMU; vehicle odometry and tracking information from dual external wheel encoders; a 360-degree horizontal field of view and 26.8-degree vertical field of view; a user-selectable 5 to 20 Hz scan rate; the ability to generate more than 1.3 million points per second of high-accuracy, high-density information; and up to 120 meters of range.

Riegl's VMX-250 mobile scanning system offers high performance in a compact design.

In addition, Riegl showcased its VMX-250 mobile scanning system. First introduced at the INTERGEO Exhibition in Karlsruhe, Germany, in 2009, the VMX-250 has now entered commercial production and is available to be shipped worldwide. The system consists of two Riegl VQ-250 “full circle” laser scanners, which combined can achieve 600,000 measurements per second, enabling an extremely fast, efficient and highly accurate 3D mapping of highways, streets, railroads and other areas. The system configuration includes the latest modular IMU/GPS unit for an extremely lightweight, compact design. (The unit at SPAR was installed on a small car.) The technology’s echo signal digitization and online waveform analysis capabilities reportedly provide excellent multi-target detection, even of 3D data of objects that are obscured by fences or vegetation. According to Jim Van Rens, president of Riegl USA, the technology is the first all-digital scanner on the market. "The integrated data acquisition, calibration, and processing and georeferencing software combined with the completeness of information provided by the system offers substantial time savings in post processing," Van Rens said, indicating that a 1:1 field/office time ratio is achievable.

While the mobile mapping equipment was impressive, attendees noted that software development in general continues to lag. “It appears that the focus is primarily on modeling and surfacing instead of on analysis and processing, which is where development is needed,” said Clay Wygant of WHPacific, one of the early adopters of mobile mapping technology. “I know of some firms that are piecing together 11 or 12 different programs to produce their deliverables, but it really shouldn’t be that complicated. There are still a lot of opportunities
for improvement.”

John Russo, AIA, president and CEO of Irvine, Calif.-based Architectural Resource Consultants, said that he noticed a substantial amount of lingering skepticism about mobile scanning in general. However, both Wygant and Russo believe that additional success stories will help spur technology improvements and open new markets.

The Scan to BIM track with its focus on real applications was one of the most talked-about sessions of the conference. The GSA is driving many BIM laser scanning projects, but a number of architecture, engineering and design firms are also paving the way. Other areas of interest included scanning
for transportation and infrastructure, historic preservation, and industrial applications.

"The technology is advancing so fast, yet it is never fast enough,” noted Russo. “The consensus seems to be that more needs to happen to automate the post processing of scan data.”

Did you attend SPAR 2010? What did you think? Share your thoughts on the conference below.



Friday, May 21, 2010

STRIP REFERENCING & Exporting from Revit to CAD (AND back) V1.0

This document outlines the processes of
  • Exporting Revit to CAD
  • Matching Revit output in CAD
  • Detailing in CAD to reimport to Revit
  • STRIP REFERENCING (For Reimporting to Revit)

Cad Export Process (After bare-bones & Materials are assigned)
Revit Icon> Export> CAD Formats > DWG

Select set to export (Or Insession)

Select sheets/views to filter in the list. Sort by name to itemize everything by drawing type and its name

Set up CAD Layer naming (If not already set)

This may require selecting one of the read-only layer exports and resaving it under a different Name. Revit ADDS ALL LAYER NAMES from linked drawing files- to prevent this list from becoming too large we made it read only.

Strip everything off the 'tail' of the file name so the project number (and building identifier if necessary) are the only  elements left to use as a prefix. Revit will add a "-" after this prefix.

Make sure the [ ] Xref views on sheets is unchecked. This places all elements with the sheet in one file.

*If files and borders are to be xrefed for continuity- editing in CAD must be done to setup the xbdr files and other base files.

You can then use Renamer to further clean up and refine the file names (If you have several to do at once) A preset for Bay Pines exitst here:
S:\Healthcare\3683a-00 VA Bay Pines\2.0 Drawings\2.4 Revit\4.0 Publish\4.3 DWG\4.3.1Renamer_Presets\03683a-00-VA_BAY_PINES-new.rnp

Mass-renaming of files should only be attempted by those who are certified to use it. If you have any questions or need someone else to clean up the DWG file names contact Ron Allen (

When exporting to CAD Revit creates PCP files containing the pen weight information. As there are a number of customizations that occur in Revit between differently scaled views. (Need validation - Test  to see if the best option to maintain visual fidelity may to use the PCP file for the sheet layout.)

On exporting from Revit [  ] xref views on sheets should be selected to create separate drawing files to reference back into Revit.

Detailing in cad is intended to enhance the elements in those files using the elements as markers and locators when Revit resources are not available and CAD is the only resource available or is an only option.

Under no circumstances should the original location or base points in the drawing file be changed or the elements relocated in the file. The base points should ensure critical for re-referencing will match when the CAD files are brought back into Revit. (Need validation multiple tests to verify  origin-to-origin matches back up in Revit details)

If STRIP REFERENCING is not being used- this sub-section can be skipped. To use STRIP REFERENCING (for bringing the enhancements back into the Revit views:
  • Renaming utilities should be avoided as this will upset the link reference back to the original Sheet references exported from Revit to CAD.
  • Open an individual detail file
  • Save the file back out appending "-CAD" to the end of the file name. (IE "03683 - IDT3‑1G-301T - CASEWORK-CAD.DWG"
  • Move all the line work and hatching from the file away from the original location- this will be used for quick reference and eventually deleted.
  • XREF the original detail file (ie "03683-IDT3‑1G-301T-CASEWORK.DWG") back into the drawing as an overlay

Detail over the elements using:
  • The layers exported by Revit
  • The line types exported by Revit
  • The hatch patterns exported by Revit

Avoid the use of:
  • Masking regions
  • AEC Objects
  • Objects requiring proxy elements in earlier versions of AutoCAD. Proxy objects don't always translate. Keep it simple.
  • Match text styles, heights and dimension styles if possible

The "–CAD" version of the file should x-reference back into the CAD sheets at the same origin point in model space.

The -CAD version of the file should also reference back into the Revit drawing detail as origin-to-origin. This will bring in the additional detailing from CAD over the Revit detail. Because the views were exported as x-refs from Revit- the titles of the CAD files should match the view titles in Revit.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

NOTE:: Revit Bug- Wall sweeps are not cut by objects in a joined wall.

Revit Bug -  
Wall sweeps will not cut in joined walls...   So when a window is hosted to the exterior wall(shown below) the sweeps on the interior wall do not cut around the opening. Doors and windows hosted to the interior wall in the example cut the sweeps.
So for now for the upcoming submission- if you run across this come find me so we can work out a solution on a case-by-case basis.
If sweeps are not used (i.e. the wall materials are split) everything cuts ok- but doesn't always clean up that well
(Although the 64 bit version seems to be much better at joining than the 32bit.)
The same wall sweeps are cuttable when the cutting object is hosted.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

FW: Corning's E. Asia CTO talks about what's next after Gorilla Glass

This is cool- very cool- this is good tech!

Owens corning created enough glass for LCD screens last year to cover a complete 4 lane DOT highway from Seattle to Boston along the I90 route.

There is information linking to the next generation of Fiber that is not susceptible to bending- allowing information to travel at the speed of light opening up new worlds of bandwidth for the Governments 100G to every house initiative.
The time frame for getting 100 Mbps connections to 100 million homes was undefined, although Genachowski called this a “2020 vision."
Verizon and sprint already offering connections to these networks in Orlando and Tampa...

Friday, May 7, 2010

Engineers Demo Smallest Room Temperature Laser

Engineers Demo Smallest Room Temperature Laser

( -- One step closer to 4 billion nanolasers in three-inch semiconductor wafer. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering, demonstrated a micron-sized laser - less than one-thousandth of a millimeter on each side - that can operate at room temperature.

Wow- so we can spread out CPUs to dissapate heat and GIAN speed- eventually forming complete optical processors.- expanding beyond the limitations of electricity and electrical circuits.