Digital Construction Case Study – ISG streamlines BIM delivery
ISG is using the latest 3D modelling technology to boost its BIM capabilities.
The construction services company has introduced PointFuse laser scanning software to speed up workflows with rapid scan-to-BIM modelling whilst maintaining high levels of accuracy.
Traditionally, it could take up to three days to 3D model a single floor, but using PointFuse, ISG has reduced this to hours. The software has also increased the range of the point cloud outputs for applications including clash detection and visualisation.
PointFuse is a powerful modelling engine that delivers an automatic, precise and flexible way of converting the vast point cloud datasets generated by laser scanners or photogrammetry into segmented mesh models.
“Scan-to-BIM modelling was previously seen as undesirable by the construction industry due to the time taken to complete and the risk associated in doing so,” said Ben Callan, BIM coordinator in ISG’s UK fit-out business. “However, using PointFuse we have further improved our ability to push out point cloud data, accelerating analysis and modelling output and defining this output with improved tolerances and levels of detail. This ultimately enhances our BIM offering as a business.”
ISG had already recognised the benefits of capturing accurate site or as-built conditions using a Faro M70 laser scanner to capture and analyse point cloud data to support BIM delivery and 2D design.
Using PointFuse, ISG accelerated its 3D model output reducing the time taken to produce a model from between two to three days to just four hours per floor. Offering selectable geometry has also removed ISG’s reliance on the complete point cloud for modelling, allowing users to work with only the data they require for a specific application, creating additional time savings and efficiency gains.
ISG can also take sections from the generated mesh model, which can be instantly output for comparison with as-built drawings and scans, and output file sizes have been reduced from gigabytes to megabytes, making the data more widely accepted and usable.
“This accelerated modelling and reduced risk of error contributes to a direct reduction in costs when compared against traditional methods of modelling” added Callan. “The easy-to-use, easy to consume outputs are also paving the way for new applications of the data including existing versus design clash avoidance and checks of temporary works against required construction activities.”
Offering “selectable surfaces”, PointFuse provides a unique approach. Surfaces within the 3D mesh models produced by the software can now be identified, grouped and classified. This offers efficiencies that have not been possible when working with point clouds or traditional mesh models.
PointFuse also significantly reduces the file size of 3D models created from point clouds. In simple terms, the data density within each surface is reduced while still maintaining the fidelity of the model. This results in a significant reduction in model size making ongoing use of the model easier, faster and more efficient.