BIM 360 Blog

Autodesk Point Layout – Improving Your Field Layout Process!

27th September 2013
Posted by Anthony Governanti
Autodesk recently announced the launch of a brand new solution being added to the Autodesk Construction portfolio; Autodesk Point Layout. We’ve had a lot of excitement building up around this powerful solution that enables construction professionals to use BIM coordinate information in the field. I’d like to provide some more detail on the capabilities Point Layout offers, and challenge you to start looking for ways to use BIM beyond the desktop and design based planning tasks you are using today! It’s all about Control One of, if not the most challenging aspects of construction layout using survey-based workflows, is the establishment and then use of control for the site. Many specialty trades use their own assumed coordinates to locate their stakeout information, and often times, architectural and engineering models are also working from an assumed or arbitrary location. This makes the coordination of the various models, and subsequently the physical location of the layout information, very difficult, and often error prone. Autodesk Point Layout eliminates this problem by making it very easy to establish and share control points for the project. 1 Here we have the grid lines for our project viewed at the foundation level. As you know, often times the project team will select a common location that will exist throughout the project, like a main column or a building corner, to reference as a base point. Then from there, all stake out and layout information is done from that common location. This is a good practice, but has obvious limitations such as; multi-level considerations, accessibility to the location at all times (often columns get covered up by architectural finishes), inconsistent naming or grid line coordination (one trade has it as A,B,C,D; another has it as D, C, B, A) etc. where Point Layout makes this easier and more accurate is by the creation of control throughout the entire project, and the ability to configure that control however needed. Let’s take a look. 2 Here we have the control points dialog that allows us to define a prefix, number, description and role for the points. This means we can easily filter and find our control when working in the field with the layout information on our total stations and data collectors. Note the ability to create the point in many ways; single points, multiple points, specific coordinates (great for when you know the location of a site point or a northing, easting and elevation to use) as well as on the grid. I’ll use the grid option to establish control throughout this level on the column grid line intersections. 3 Easy and simple! And if you do get coordinates from the “real-world” either in state plane or a surveyed site coordinate, you can tie that into your existing control and align your project to it with just as easily. Creation of Points Next, we’ll move to managing our spectacular Building Information Models to create the layout information needed in the field to accurately and efficiently. We start in our model, for this example we’ll use Autodesk Revit building design software, with a design that has structural elements, as well as the HVAC systems modeled with their hanger locations. 4 Using the Point Layout creation tools, we can specify a point type, a description as well as use filters to automatically select the element types we need to add points too. We quickly add the point information to the model elements, and can see the results here: 5 Pretty cool right? “What else can we add points too” you ask? Well, how about walls? 6 Note the ability to place points (automatically mind you) at different critical locations on the walls such as the track center, the finish center, the finish face or the track face. Ok, this is really cool now – so what else? Floors: 7 Conduit & pipe stub-ups: 8 You get the idea I think! Very powerful capabilities for quickly and accurately adding the layout and staking information you need for the field to a model. For now, that’s probably enough to throw out there, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. I promise I’ll cover more in future topics soon. If you are interested in more today, please visit the Autodesk Point Layout products page for complete feature descriptions, as well as to hear what users and firms like yours are saying about it! Thanks for the time! Anthony
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