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Why don’t surveyors use data directly from the BIM model?


Because they’re not familiar with Autodesk Point Layout, and they’re not alone.

BIM is becoming increasingly common in Québec, where we’re now seeing 100% model-based projects, from the preliminary stage to the final design. The 3D model is being used to identify conflicts between disciplines, to virtually view environmental problems, and many other applications. Project deadlines are even being determined based on the model, which helps with planning moves, changes, and impacts on the 3D model before these issues crop up on the worksite.

So far, so good. But, what about implementing the model on the worksite and verifying As-built surveys? The data are extracted from the model and applied to the drawings, and then extracted again from the drawings and sent to the surveyors. But, what if the surveyor obtained the coordinate information directly from the 3D model already being used by all other project stakeholders?

Autodesk Point Layout is an add-on software to Revit, Navisworks, and even AutoCAD—a series of features used to insert, create, and extract staked points directly in the 3D model. Here’s how:

Point Layout is used to import points surveyed in the field into a 3D model authored in Revit, Navisworks, or AutoCAD, and to view them in drawing or 3D mode. This allows the contractor, as well as all other project stakeholders, to view the results of the surveys.


The user can then insert the points (manually or by selecting them) on the objects or sections that he wants to implement on the job site. The originator of the request can then approve everything even before the surveyor loads the data into his instrument.


Finally, the surveyor (or the technician in charge of implementation data) extracts and exports the relevant data to a CSV file, which is verified and downloaded to the surveyor’s instrument for the field implementation work.

These three easy steps, done for years using 2D drawings, can now be done directly from a 3D model created in Revit, Navisworks, or AutoCAD.

We now have all the tools we need to allow surveyors to tap into the power of BIM by using 3D models, rather than generating reworked 2D data in implementing your projects.

Ready to use surveyed data directly in 3D model?

Contact an expert!

By Martin Côté

Expert consultant in Civil engineering

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