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Compare with a 3D BIM model

BIM overview

Cupix’s 3D tour of a construction project site can be an as-built photographic record and provides immediate visual benefits of ensuring project progress is as-designed and in-date. Together with a suite of other tools, you can not only measure dimensions but compare a 3D BIM (Building Information Model) file with hundreds of as-built panoramic photos from any camera angle. Plus, since the Web Player uses a live 3D BIM model rather than CGI (Computer Generated Image), you can dynamically explore properties of BIM elements, measure as-designed dimensions and change the visibility of layers as you compare with as-built 3D tours, which can give you actionable insights.

How to bring a BIM file into Cupix?

Upload BIM files to the Asset Library

You just need to upload a BIM file to the Asset Library and Cupix server prepares an online viewer for it. Our online BIM viewer contains all layers, hierarchies, and properties of all BIM objects allowing you to explore BIM model structure as you compare it with a 3D tour.

Supported BIM formats

Cupix supports native Autodesk Revit, Autodesk Navisworks, Trimble SketchUp files, and the IFC neutral format.

  • IFC
    IFC is the software-neutral standard BIM format, and most BIM software can export an IFC file. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Industry_Foundation_Classes
    Also, it is a light-weighted file than RVT or NWS formats, and so please use this format if you want to strip out all detail information from native RVT or NWS files.
  • RVT Autodesk Revit format
    RVT is the Autodesk Revit native format. Please note that we don’t support linked models imported from other Revit projects. Alternatively, you can use Navisworks NWS format if you want to compare a 3D tour with a consolidated 3D BIM model containing all 3D CAD objects.

Tip: You can compare a 3D tour with various project phases defined in Revit software. Please save the Revit model at desired Views and upload them to the Asset Library separately.

  • NWS Autodesk Navisworks format
    When you want to allow project subcontractors like MEP (Mechanical, electrical, and plumbing) firms to compare 3D tours with a BIM, NWS format is the best format because it can hold all CAD models.
  • SKT Trimble SketchUp format
    SketchUp is the most popular and easy-to-use architectural design software, and SKT is its native format. At the time of writing, up to SketchUp 2017 format is supported.

Align 3D tours to the BIM coordinate system

For the 3D tour-to-BIM comparison, a 3D tour should be represented in the BIM coordinate system. In other words, it must be aligned with the BIM model in terms of the scale and the X, Y, Z origin point.

Section origin in the BIM coordinate system

As explained in "Add a floor plan drawing in the Web Player" and "Compare with other 3D Tours", you can use a floor plan drawing or any photo as the reference image for aligning a 3D tour into the BIM coordinate system. Please keep it in mind that the default global coordinate system rendered in the 3D view mode is the same as the BIM coordinate system.

  1. Insert a floor plan image by clicking Floor Plan Image: Choose button in the Layout tab.

  2. Align the floor plan image with the BIM coordinate system first.
    Arrange the X and Y translations, the scale, and the rotation angle of the image using the Transform Image tool to match it to the BIM model.
  3. Optionally, lock the floor plan image to prevent unintended changes.

  4. Align a section on top of the floor plan image as explained in "Compare with other 3D Tours"

  5. Adjust the Elevation of the section The Elevation is the vertical position of a section in the BIM coordinate system.

Tip: To scale the floor plan image easily, you can use the dimensioning tool. First, measure a dimension in the Drawing view after a floor plan image is inserted. And then set the real value (known from the BIM model) of it using the Scale menu which is available by right-clicking the dimension.

Now, you are all set and ready to compare 3D tours with the BIM model.

Note: How to change the origin or orientation of a BIM

There may be a case when the BIM object is located far away from its origin (0,0) point, or the orientation is not aligned with the axis, which possibly may make the 3D tour alignment hard. In such a case, you can change the origin and the orientation of the BIM model using the Set Origin tool in the BIM model viewer.

 The BIM model viewer can be opened by clicking the Preview button on a BIM file in the Asset Library.

Set up the comparison list and share the result

After a 3D tour is aligned to the BIM coordinate system, add 3D BIM models in addition to 3D tours in the Comparison List of the Publisher tab share the 3D tour. Please refer to "Compare with other 3D Tours" for more details about sharing a 3D tour.

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