The first major Autodesk integration since the company’s acquisition of PlanGrid adds BIM functionality to the mobile platform.
PlanGrid, the mobile construction technology business acquired by Autodesk in November 2018, has launched PlanGrid BIM, a product integration with Autodesk Revit that enables users to immediately access Building Information Modelling (BIM) data, in either 2D or 3D, directly within PlanGrid on their mobile devices.
Autodesk says construction teams and facilities managers now can drill down into rich data in an easy-to-use 2D interface or 3D environment, empowering the field to build with greater accuracy, avoid rework and make decisions faster and with more confidence. Jim Lynch, vice president and general manager, Autodesk Construction Solutions, says:
“BIM has transformed the way architects and engineers design, and Revit is the industry standard during pre-construction. PlanGrid’s integration of Revit empowers its users to take full advantage of BIM beyond pre-construction with a wealth of data immediately at their fingertips. This joint initiative, the first of many following our acquisition of PlanGrid, will help Autodesk fulfill our mission to deliver a comprehensive, integrated platform that seamlessly connects the office, the trailer and the field.”
Architects and engineers who design construction projects using BIM create 3D models to act as a virtual representation of how complicated work should be installed and building assets should interact. Models are embedded with rich property data such as the height of a counter, material type of a wall or manufacturer details of a lighting fixture. But when these models are sent out to the field, they’re “flattened down” into PDFs, and the data is lost to the teams doing the physical work of building or maintaining facilities. This loss of data, coupled with a lack of 3D visualisation in the field, can lead to critical errors, lost time and rework.
PlanGrid BIM empowers construction and facilities teams to make better decisions in real-time, using the most comprehensive data available and a seamless transition between 2D and 3D. With PlanGrid BIM, Autodesk says users can see BIM data properties within familiar 2D drawings, or tap into 3D to better visualize assets within the surrounding environment — all from within PlanGrid’s software. Encompassing three core elements, PlanGrid’s new BIM functionality includes:
- BIM-enabled Sheets: Users can tap objects to access BIM data properties, such as an object’s dimensions, material type or manufacturer details, all within the familiar 2D environment.
- 3D BIM Viewer: With a simple tap, users can instantly transition into a 3D view of a specific object, even if offline. Includes features such as zoom and snap tools for taking measurements between model objects. Currently in open beta.
- Revit Integration: Sheets are published directly from Revit into PlanGrid, guaranteeing 100% accuracy of BIM data, as well as sheet titles and numbers; drawings continue to include PlanGrid features such as automatic callout detection and hyperlinking.
Tracy Young, head of PlanGrid at Autodesk, says:
“We know field workers and facilities teams need mobile solutions that can be used on the job site, which is why we built PlanGrid’s software with a mobile-first approach right from the start. We saw immediate adoption, and now more than 1.5 million projects around the world are using our technology. We’re now bringing our mobile-first approach to BIM, empowering teams to build right the first time. With PlanGrid BIM, we are not only helping contractors work more efficiently, we’re also enabling architects to maintain their design intent and owners to reduce lifecycle costs. We’re delivering on our commitment to building powerful and easy-to-use software for the field, and developing an integrated workflow with Autodesk products. We’re changing the industry, again.”
Autodesk says PlanGrid BIM is available to all PlanGrid users on iOS and web, with functionality in Android and Windows to follow in the future. Features to be added in the future include integration with other design and project review software such as Autodesk Navisworks, two-way synch to update the master BIM model with data from the field, and the ability to generate tasks, RFIs and punchlists from model data.