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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Bring your (BIM) Data to work day

Google just had a 'Take Your Parents To Work Day'.  How do you explain to your parents exactly what you do at work.  Well, yesterday, we had a take your 'data' to work day.  One of our BIMmers brought in a 16GB file of point cloud data from a school project.  I've got just one thing to say, and that is that point clouds are way cool.

Now for the bad news.  Autodesk, is there any reason why Revit and Navisworks can't open Faro fws and fls files created in the 5.1 version of Faro's Scene LT?  Why exactly did I have to spend 45 minutes finding some obscure forum that told me to download their SDK file and copy the DLL files from Windows\winsxs to the Autodesk software program directory?  That's just not right.  And, after all of that, it still wouldn't open in Revit.  Only the raw fls files would open in Revit.  Of course, there's no stitching capability in Revit so trying to manually line up files was a real pain.

Now, let's talk about Navisworks.  I'll bet you that when I get to the office, Navisworks still won't be done importing the Faro fws scene with 17 point cloud files.  It was taking about an hour a file to import into Navis.  I can't wait until Euclideon releases their software so maybe this won't be so painful if we ever get a real job that requires point clouds.

We finally figured out a way to convert the data to another file type that worked much better for Navisworks and the file was in color.  Imagine the pain of having to figure out a workflow and process for something you've never done before and what a painful learning curve it is when you have to wait hours for the results.  This sort of stuff really requires a superfast computer well above and beyond what a standard super powerful Revit machine can handle.  You'll also need a bigger hard drive as these files are massive.

Coolest thing of the day was when my boss happened to be in our department, saw the 3D point cloud, sat down and started moving through the 3D model.  Nothing has ever impressed me more.

I can't wait until our next bring your BIMa and Data to work day.


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