Building Information Modelling - 3D , 4D and Laser Scanning Service
Through a programme of infrastructure investment and development work, we continue to be a fore runner in the application of Building Information Modelling (BIM), 3D, 4D design, Laser Scanning and the latest technology accelerators.
However, our 3D capabilities aren’t limited to pure engineering. We are a founder member of The North West Centre for Excellence in 3D Visual Communication. Our understanding of engineering and plant operation coupled with our cutting edge 3D skills allow our models to be developed for a variety of uses. These include:-
- Photo realistic images for project planning and justification
- Interactive 3D walkthroughs or movies for operator training
- Interactive 3D walkthroughs linked to plant O&M manuals
We use 3D modelling as a design tool through various stages of a project, we input all necessary data relating to the civil, mechanical and electrical works, and extract from the 3D model piping isometrics, Piping Gas, Electrical layouts, tray routes, steelwork layouts etc.Frankley WTW 3D Model
The approach that we take whilst designing in 3D means all parties involved in the project can contribute. Throughout the life-cycle of the project, including handover and operation, the models we produce can be used for a number of purposes. This will reduce further the need to ‘double handle’ data, and reduce the risks of transposition errors when inputting data to a 3D model.
3D design works allow for proficient conceptual planning, enabling clients to gain a wider understanding of any design changes and the implications these may have upon cost savings, timescales and the environment.
4D is the linking of project construction programmes and 3D computer models within a specialist computer application to enable clear visualisation of a construction programme as an animated sequence. We use a package called Autodesk Simulate for this purpose which integrates the 3D model together with either Primavera or MS Project MPX format.
It is ideal if the Client can prescribe early on in the project life cycle that 4D is required, then by using an agreed Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) develop the programme and 3D model together. Each element of the 3D model is then assigned to an activity on the programme, the agreed WBS facilitates this process. By assigning individual elements to programme bars we have maximum flexibility and can programme to as much or as little detail as required.
At any point the animation can be stopped and the model interrogated by walk-throughs, fly-by's etc. It is possible at any point to extract image files of views within the model as jpeg images, for printing out etc which show the timelined progress to that date.Another option is to output the animation as a movie which can then be viewed on the appropriate media player.
3D Laser Scanning, also known as LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging), uses a very rapid laser beam to scan its environment. This generates an enormous number of points in the form of a Point Cloud. Objects can then be modelled or spatial data can be extracted from the point cloud.
3D Laser Scanning is perhaps the most exciting and rapidly developing method of collecting survey data. Dense point clouds comprising of literally millions of coordinated points are created within minutes. We are now able to capture data at a rate of up to 1 million points per second. With so many points being collected in such a short space of time, the duration a survey team needs to remain on site can be dramatically reduced. With scanning accuracy levels within +/ -2mm the geometrical accuracy of the design is greatly improved.
The advantages of laser scanning to traditional methods consist of;
- The reduction of site measuring time
- Far greater levels of detail being produced
- The elimination of return visits to site
- The ability to remotely measure objects (excellent for difficult and dangerous areas)
Using specialist software we are able to decide the amount of point cloud data to model and can model the entire plant if necessary or just extract the data required to complete the project specific documentation.