Monday, November 20, 2017

Leica BLK360 for Revit MEP Design to Fabrication - Part 2 Plumbing Design

Leica BLK360 for Revit MEP Design to Fabrication - Part 2 Plumbing Design

I've decided to convert this three-part series of posts into a four-part series. Part 3 will be HVAC design focused on the coordination of plumbing and HVAC in the duplex condominium units. Part 4 will be the overall documentation of images of the finished installation.

The following will focus primarily on the plumbing design of the condominium project. The series images below consist of the completed plumbing Revit design. All items used are Revit fabrication parts for a complete plumbing design. (We will be adding hold-rite hanger brackets and additional copper stub out detailing as we progress forward with the design.)

Crawl Space Laser Scan:

Our initial setup utilized a series (four) of Milwaukee lights that illuminated the finished crawl space for us. Then we proceeded to move throughout the crawl space in a grid-like fashion. Once completed the scan we post-processed by registering and indexing the scans in our office. We then aligned them to the original set of laser scans that we had loaded from the previous post. Below is a video of the completed laser scan with some of the plumbing fabrication parts included.

A Digital Plumbing Construction for Future Fabrication:

The images below of the laser scan and coordinated Revit fabrication parts are for a final deliverable for our fabrication team and plumbers. The cut lengths are accurate and the quantity of plumbing fittings is detailed out for accurate estimation and ordering. All have been established through a series of excel spreadsheets that are fueled by the Revit schedules and assemblies.
View the completed model and fabrication sheets here (click the link below):

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Leica BLK360 for Revit MEP Design to Fabrication - Part 1 Initial Scanning

Condominium Duplex in Bozeman, Montana - SQ FT. ~4,000SF
Total Scanning Time: ~1 Hour and 45 Minutes
Total Transferring/Registration/Index Time: ~1 Hour and 30 Minutes
I'm posting this primarily for others that are in the market for one of these scanners, who are looking for feedback/information from someone that is not trying to sell one of these units, and for people who are interested in how our firm is effectively utilizing it. This post will be a three-part series. The second post will follow with coordination of the plumbing and heating system in Revit and the final post will have a follow-up with images of the installed system.
Videos of Finished Product:
ReCap Point Cloud:

Revit Point Cloud:

Harvey's Plumbing & Heating has recently invested in a BLK360 scanner for MEP design coordination. In the past, our field technicians would report various dimensions and pictures from the field to our internal design department. This was how as-built conditions were reported to the office and it was not fail-safe or entirely accurate. This is now a thing of the past thanks to the scanner.
One of the most challenging situations we had was getting all the necessary dimensions, without human error or simply forgetting a dimension, to the office. The stud locations all vary because they're not always installed exactly as the drawings show. Framing is generally never drawn and always varies from stud to stud. Beams and other variables aren't always in plan documentation. Our intent with the scanner is to superimpose the point cloud to the plan set, and this will ensure all our fabrication drawings are accurate and increase the efficiency and installation times.
This has now been alleviated with the BLK360. We are able to scan quickly ~3.5 minutes per scan, transfer to a 10.5" iPad Pro, and then batch process and index scans in Autodesk ReCap Pro. This process is rather tedious in terms of initially understanding the most effective process, but ultimately effective through a series of recent firmware updates and software updates and field studies.
The best approach so far, when using the scanner, has been to follow this list:
1.) Map out a route on a floor plan initially that you intend to take and scan.
2.) Push the button on the unit, wait for the unit to scan, and then once the unit has turned green proceed to your next location. (Do not rely on the iPad in the field.)
3.) Make sure your location and path of travel are within eyesight of one another. i.e. if you're entering a room it's best practice to scan in a doorway first and then proceed into the room.
4.) When finished begin transferring all scans from the onboard wireless hot spot (included internally to the BLK360) to the iPad on your drive home from the site.
5.) Register and Index all scans on your office computer. All scans should be transferred (depending on the size of the building) by the time you get back to your office.
As an initial case study and for field practice, we decided to take one of our duplex condominiums (~4,000 square feet total). This series of units is replicated several times and allows us the max potential for effectively utilizing the scanner for as-built documentation and eventual plumbing/h.v.a.c. fabrication in Revit. The intent is that all documentation will be within the point cloud. It's also important to note that the scanner takes a 360 panorama in each room.
Here is the link to the entire scan set and field photos that are uploaded to A360:

Floor Plan

Zoomed in Stud Locations (Laundry Room)

Framing Models

Elevation of Point Cloud:
To be continued in a second post with all fabrication drawings and integrated design from Revit.
If you have any questions. Please don't hesitate to ask!
Brian Nickel
‪Design Manager

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Autodesk ReCap Pro for Mobile and BLK360 Firmware Update 09/25/2017

Several new enhancements have been made to the ReCap Pro for Mobile App. Go download it now! All these enhancements are recommended to run on the BLK360 Firmware 1.0.3 and on the newly released version of ios11. The firmware update is available here. The steps to install are included in the download.

Here is a list of the enhancements provided through the iPad app store:

Friday, June 23, 2017

Onshape: Design. Fabrication.

Generally, I'm an Autodesk user. I've utilized Fusion 360 and absolutely enjoyed it in the past. However, at this point in time Fusion does not allow users to build sheet metal components. In the future, there is slated a launch in July and the details can be read here:

The downside is what do you do until an update that's been anticipated for months is finally released? Well, the answer is to find another solution! That's where Onshape comes in.

Onshape makes it easy!

Below is a case study of where Onshape came in handy for a prefabricated panel and awning for a tiny shelter.

Proud to be a part of this initiative for the HRDC Housing First Village of Bozeman, and grateful every day for the support Harvey's Plumbing and Heating has given me towards my education at Montana State University.
The panel below was fabricated using OnShape, a plasma cutter, and a folding machine. This panel is being installed in three pieces for the awning on the tiny shelter we are building for the community. Harvey's Sheet Metal fabrication shop is a full-service sheet metal fabrication shop that has generously donated their time and machines for the initiative of the project. Pacific Steel and Recycling of Bozeman donated the steel for the project. This is a great example of the community coming together for the intent of providing shelter to those who need it. This is a great example of the community coming together for the intent of providing shelter to those who need it.

Sheet Metal Fabricated Panel


Awning Piece 1 of 3:

Awning Piece 2 of 3:

Awning Piece 3 of 3:

Check out Onshape at this website.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

What Revit Wants New Web Location!

What Revit Wants new blog is up after being spontaneously removed by google through blogger. Below is the link for everyone's reference. It appears Luke was able to backup most of the blogs history! Thank you Luke!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Revit 2018 Extensions Available!

For anyone looking for Revit 2018 Extensions and Updates go to the "Updates and Addons" section of your accounts and download to your hearts content. Thank you Autodesk for making these readily available, quickly!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Shared Coordinates - Slack Channel has a new slack channel called Shared Coordinates! Message Bill Debevc for more information. You can reach him on linked in, twitter, or through his BIMThoughts website! Bill describes it's purpose below:

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Section Cut: A Curated Collection of Design Culture Bookmarks

For anyone looking for a running collection of the greatest architecture resources on the web. Check out This website has been a great resource for new ideas, technology, or virtually anything in relation to the profession of architecture for the past several years throughout my journey through architecture school. I thought my bookmarks collection was large, and this put mine to shame. A great way to save these bookmarks across all devices would be to install Google Chrome and to log in with your google account. Great way to ensure all the content of this website and all other interests are streamlined and accessible on the go. Below you can find a link to the Google Chrome installer.

Google Chrome Installer