img(height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=2939831959404383&ev=PageView&noscript=1")

New AR app for construction teams

Words:
Stephen Cousins

TwinBIM overlays a 3D BIM model on the real world

The first commercially available augmented reality app for construction enables architects to check design intent against on site delivery and visualise fit out and refurbishment designs inside existing buildings.

TwinBIM, developed by Danish firm Dalux, is an expansion of Dalux Field, the most downloaded BIM app for smartphone and tablet in Nordic countries.

The app merges the virtual and physical worlds, overlaying a 3D BIM model and drawings on top of the regular view of reality. The augmented environment updates in real time as users walk through environments, and incorporates a number of interactive features.

TwinBIM is principally intended as a snagging tool for construction teams. However, it offers a number of other benefits to architects, says Torben Dalgaard, co-founder of Dalux: ‘Architects can demonstrate to building owners that their design intent, and what was planned in BIM, is being delivered correctly on site. It is great for developing new floor plans for existing buildings because it enables users to visualise systems, furniture and equipment inside the actual space. This can help demonstrate to end users and the client what is possible.’

TwinBIM is built on Google Tango, Google’s augmented reality computing platform that enables mobile devices to detect their position relative to the world around them without using GPS or other external signals.

123

The software scans the surrounding physical environment and creates a 3D map. Users must pinpoint their position on a 2D plan, then press the ‘3D mode’ button which automatically aligns BIM geometry over the physical world. They can then walk freely around the space as visuals update in real time.

‘It was important to us to minimise the number of seconds that elapse between the user taking the phone out of their pocket and seeing the AR world on screen,’ says Dalgaard. ‘The alignment process and anchoring the virtual to the physical world is important to make the AR environment functional and believable.’ 

The system is a cheaper alternative to head-mounted AR displays, such as Microsoft HoloLens or the Daqri Smart Helmet, and costs nothing for existing users of Dalux Field. In addition, mobile devices offer advantages on construction sites in terms of safety and spatial awareness.


 

Latest

Career academic with particular expertise in housing, who volunteered for the Archdiocese of Liverpool and chaired the precursor of ARB

John Nelson Tarn, 1934-2020, career academic with expertise in housing

When Knight Architects was asked to replace a river crossing lost in Storm Desmond, winning local support was top of the design brief

Knight Architects consulted locals to bridge difficult decisions

Studio Polpo isn’t your everyday practice. It’s there to spot ways it can improve its community, working with a network of architects, clients, and often opportunist ideas

Sheffield practice is there to spot ways to improve the local lot

There’s much more to see nowadays at Museum Boijmans van Beuningen – the Depot reveals both behind the scenes preservation and doubles the views outside

Museum Boijmans van Beuningen’s Depot basks in the limelight