Rugged Tablets Are Making BIM Accessible to Engineers

4 Benefits of Rugged Tablets for Construction Site ManagersConstructing buildings, plants, and monuments is a labor intensive construction process that starts with the input of architects and engineers. While Building Information Modeling (BIM) has improved traditional building design, keeping the BIM up-to-date typically requires professional survey crews, specialty service providers or in-house teams with specialized equipment to measure the as-built state of a project and do a model update.

Now, any engineer can use rugged tablets with 3D technology to document the as-built state of a project. Instead of senior engineers being deployed to inspect and measure a site, non-specialists to quickly gather this information and transmit it to the senior engineers in the office, freeing up their valuable time.

A single device can be used to capture and geo-reference 3D data. Fast, accurate construction validation can be accomplished using a 3D RealSense camera to capture data and generate georeferenced, high-resolution photographs that are easily integrated with CAD, BIM traditional survey and tripod-based laser scanning.  

Measurement precision accuracy is vital for the safety of engineers, construction workers and the public as it is crucial to map the fiber optic cables, gas lines, and other sub-level utilities equipment. Sub meter accuracy to centimeter level accuracy measurements can be retrieved in real-time with 3D RealSense camera software to deliver the most accurate digital measurements available for underground utilities.

Revamping or restoring an existing structure can be complex and dangerous for engineers who only have outdated 2D drawings or no blueprints at all. Rugged tablets with 3D technology can capture current assets to produce design documentation and generate CAD BIM models.

Using rugged tablets with 3D technology for BIM processes limits risk exposure, both physical and financial. The shortened project cycle times can get infrastructure up and running quickly despite change orders, and expedite payments for contractors thanks to real time verification of task completion.

Highly accurate digital measurements can be utilized along with digitally verified photographic images and rapid IT system data transfers to assist in mitigating discrepancy risks – particularly in the case of underground or buried utilities assets that may not be properly documented. 3D and 2D images with data can establish the condition of the assets before and during implementation, and key points isolated to address the emergent issues and provide proof of proper action.  

Rugged tablets with 3D technology and RealSense cameras used to implement and maintain BIM allows companies the opportunity to leverage a single investment over and over, increasing efficiency and productivity while protecting stakeholders’ investment.   

Construction Contractors Can Now Leverage BIM With Rugged Tablets

Using-Handheld-and-Mounted-Rugged-Tablets-for-ConstructionBuilding Information Modeling is one way that design firms are able to deliver projects on time and within budget – but in contrast, construction firms have been slow to adopt leveraging BIM in the field. This is mostly because keeping the BIM updated and accurate can be a slow, lengthy process requiring extra man hours from already overworked staff or the input of hired-in specialists with equipment capable of the task of assessing as-built project states and updating the BIM for the project to move forward.

The effort required to keep the BIM updated in order to accurately reconcile field changes, track and rectify errors, arrange equipment substitutions and acquiesce to scope changes demanded by the owner has simply been too time consuming. However, newly developed rugged tablets equipped with 3D scanners and software can now be deployed to provide survey-grade positioning accuracy in instantly captured data that is then delivered digitally.

Best of all, this process can be accomplished by non-specialists – a broad range of construction workers may now use the durable, effective, simple to operate mobile devices in the field. By documenting the as-built state of a project, the BIM can then be kept current, and all of its advantages and benefits leveraged to keep the project rolling forward:   

Specialists not Required

While professional surveyors are still needed to establish survey control networks, the subsequent as-built documentation can be completed by construction workers with basic training in the use of the 3D RealSense camera equipped tablet to improve efficiency and shorten schedules.

Single Device Data Capturing and Geo-Referencing

3D point cloud data and HD images are easily captured and shared for better coordination with subcontractors. Captured data can be integrated with CAD, BIM traditional survey, and tripod-based laser scanning. The user can also generate georeferenced, high-resolution photographs without switching devices.

Precision Measurement Accuracy

Using rugged tablets with 3D RealSense camera and software coupled with Real Time Kinematics from GPS, GLONASS and GALILEO satellites, even non-specialist workers can quickly and effectively generate sub meter accuracy to centimeter level accuracy measurements in real-time. This is particularly important for construction in areas with underground utilities.

Construction contractors who use rugged tablets with 3D technology for BIM can deploy non specialist workers to generate high accuracy measurements in the field, capture data and display or transmit it in various formats, simplify retrofitting, and mitigate risks for their men in the field and their stockholders in the boardroom. It’s the next big positive change for the construction industry.