The construction industry isn’t known for being early adopters of technology, but if you know where to look, that fact is quietly changing. Dan Frye, Layout Superintendent, spearheaded GLY’s efforts to employ terrestrial scanning on our projects. Terrestrial scanning, for those of us not quite in-the-know, is high definition surveying of an environment, interior or exterior, using a laser. The result is a data set, referred to as a “point cloud”, that can be imported into 3D modeling applications.
With just over a year of experience under his belt scanning everything from a high-rise lobby to the exterior of a large hospital, Dan has worked through the various bumps and idiosyncrasies that tag along with new technology implementations and developed a set of best practices to improve the process and the results.
Dan and Integrated Design Engineer Scott Myatich were invited to speak at the 2017 BILT Conference in Toronto, Canada to share the lessons they have learned performing over 3,500 scans in various environments. In Dan’s words, “Speaking about something I'm so passionate about completely energizes me and sharing our experience with this technology was ... simply put, awesome! I believe our topic was relevant, everyone was engaged in the session, and audience questions gave more life to the subject."
In addition to presenting, Dan attended the conference and came away with these Top 5 Takeaways:
- The keynote speaker, David Rendall, immediately grabbed my attention and left me inspired. A few words of wisdom that stuck: “Don’t focus on the stain of your kid’s shirt and miss everything else that is wonderful about them,” and “Don’t be afraid to stand out and not conform, everything in life is a fit.“
- The event was impressively well-coordinated. Each session allowed enough time for individuals to ask questions and later to connect with new acquaintances in order to keep the conversations going. The venue selection made the crowd feel small and accessible.
- The future of construction is [virtually] real. Several sessions centered on bringing our existing 3D models to life through video game technology and VR/AR technology—which really just blows the mind. Cool concepts that come out of this include using VR/AR for training/simulation or more thorough inspections of what we build both virtually and in real life.
- I look forward to meeting more general contractors at BiLT in the future! At the contractor luncheon BiLT shared their efforts to engage more of us and expand the construction related content. There's no time like the present to dive into technology that is potentially daunting. Time spent learning, testing and exploring the new and unknown will eventually pay off in the not-so-distant future.
- If you’re looking for an out-of-this-world challenge, sign up for the Mission to Mars. Participants will virtually design buildings and homes, transportation and so much more to eventually complete a virtual world experience on Mars.