Bentley opens door to 3D modelling from your phone

Infrastructure professionals will soon be able to instantly model the real world using the camera on their phone following the latest acquisition by construction software business Bentley Systems.

Photo 3d modelling

 Digital images are converted to a 3D mesh scaled to the photo resolution

The acquisition of specialist digital photography firm Acute3D by Bentley Systems means that digital photography rather than expensive specialist laser scanning techniques can now be used to capture and convert real situations into scalable 3D models.

Greg Bentley, chief executive of Bentley described the acquisition as being “more exciting” than any other in the company’s 30 year history for its ability to at last put “reality modelling front and centre so that it can be part of every project and every asset”.

The ability to create a 3D model using digital photographs means that the gap between the real infrastructure on the ground and the data in digital models used by designers, constructors and asset managers will be more effectively bridged using this software breakthrough.

“We started with laser scanning and point clouds and that is integrated into our design and construction modelling and, in fact, many of our users now start every project with laser scanning and point clouds,” said Bentley highlighting the growing demand for so-called reality modelling across the sector.

“But the bridge is a better bridge if it does not have to start from rare and exotic observations that you might not have to hand,” he added. “Laser scanning is useful but you have to do it with a laser scanning device and specialist equipment and personnel.”

Photographs to 3D mesh model  The Acute3D software automatically converts any digital photographs into 3D meshes, scaled to the resolution of the photograph so that the closer you are to the object photographed, the greater the resolution of the mesh allowing either whole cities to be photographed and modelled or individual objects.

Any overlapping digital image can be used – from the camera on the phone in your pocket through to more sophisticated digital SLR cameras mounted on cars or on aircraft of unmanned UAVs.

And while the technology is not in itself new – it uses the same basic techniques currently seen on mapping such as used by Google – the key to the Acute3D solution is the ability to automatically output to a 3D mesh which is measurable and interfaces with design and construction models.

“There are two breakthroughs – first is that there is no laser scanning – it’s what is in your pocket or on your UAV,” explained Bentley. “But the other breakthrough is that the output is not a point cloud that is dumb and bulky but is a mesh in the same medium as our design and modelling environment.”

Data alignment

Reality modelling processes observations of existing asset conditions using data from conventional survey, laser scans, from digital photographs or a combination of all. However, for the output to be really useful to infrastructure professionals it must align with the data in the design and construction model.

Until now the only way to achieve this was to laser scan and create a point cloud model which is converted to a mesh to interface with the design and construction modelling. While still useful, the downside to point clouds is that they generate large data files and specialist equipment to is required to create them.

Acute3D research work has taken the state of the art of photogrammetry forward and the business was recently rewarded at the French “most innovative start-up” Awards. A free version of the software is available on Acute3D’s website.

The smart 3D capture product has emerged from a “think tank” of 25 man-years of research at two major European research institutes, École des Ponts ParisTech and Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs)

The use of UAVs for surveying is already becoming increasingly common across the industry. However, as Bentley explains, this new technology also enables the technique to move towards inspection by creating output that can be measured and interrogated as a part of the digital design and construction model.


BIM_Shanghai_DisneylandIn 1599, British stonemason Robert Smythson undertook the creation of a rose window—one of the most iconic design elements in architecture.

His sketch for it encapsulates ideation typical of the time before architects and builders had so neatly divided their roles. What’s telling on that yellowed paper is the seemingly little distinction between the idea, the description of the design, and the built result.

So much—and so little—was communicated in that drawing. It wasn’t really created as instructions for the stained glass maker, the other masons, or any number of participants who actually did help in its ultimate creation.

The Future of Architecture: Building a 21st-Century Rose Window for Shanghai Disneyland. Now fast-forward to this century. The way things are imagined, designed, and created is much different, having evolved in response to the demands of the modern age: a lot more materials, systems, players, requirements…the list is endless.

For architecture, it’s been a major move from those Renaissance drawings to the “birth” of architects to 20th-century CAD to 21st-century BIM and the upcoming “Era of Connection.” Architects currently contend with code constraints, client demands, fast-and-furious deadlines, new technology hurdles—and it’s only going to intensify as the industry transitions to more and more global projects.

Take for instance the new Enchanted Storybook Castle at Shanghai Disneyland, an intricate and complex architectural design from the world-renowned Imagineering team. And, just as Smythson did, they are creating rose windows—among many incredible ornamental designs for Disney’s largest castle yet.

But the ideation and execution of their windows are unlike anything done before.

Like Smythson’s more than 400-year-old creation, the Shanghai rose windows share the ideation start with a sketch. The similarities end there, though. Beyond the sketch the idea was quickly translated into a parametric window object in BIM, allowing the design to be easily adjusted without rebuilding the component multiple times as it was refined. Each adjustment took just several minutes as almost none of the previous modeling effort is wasted. Wonder what Smythson would make of that?

What’s even more telling is the decision-making and collaboration to get the window fabricated and installed. The close collaboration of stonemason and field worker working side by side is replaced by a myriad of technicians, material suppliers, fabricators, and installers whose last project might have been a skyscraper or a hotel. A global network of businesses converge on a single site in China to make that window happen.

For Shanghai Disneyland, architects in the United States could evaluate and iterate with builders on-site in Shanghai via the cloud. Real-time updates were made with digital suggestions along the way. It’s an amazing example of what is happening now and an incredible preview into what will be seen in the Era of Connection with regard to design work and relationships.

Design via Infinite Computing and Each Other.Today the intertwining of digital and human collaboration has transformed how ideas are originated, decisions are made, and reality is created. Construction crews at Shanghai Disney Resort, as well as the Imagineers both at Walt Disney Imagineering Shanghai and the Imagineering team in Glendale, Calif., are continuously connected by the digital network. Their work is now empowered by infinite computing power (think cloud) that helps architects and builders to evaluate alternate—and perhaps even better—suggestions for complex problems that they may have never dreamt of discovering or vetting.

Take a moment to think of the evaluation of designs. Computers and cloud-enabled, reference-rich algorithms are good at supporting design decisions in two ways. First, measuring quantitative characteristics of an idea (how much material? how much carbon? how heavy?) as information that supports design decision-making; and second, accelerating iteration. Computer-supported alternatives mean you can generate more ideas, examine more avenues, and take more provisional risks on the way to an optimal answer.

Preparing for the Next Relationship Shift. In the new Era of Connection, imagine designing a building where a computer tells you “that doesn’t fit” or “you can’t connect that with human hands” or “you can’t get a paintbrush into that corner.” Or, in the case of a rose window, “that pane is too big to manufacture.” This is simple but potent stuff that will help anyone make incredibly empowered and better decisions—and save a lot of wasted time and money.

Then you have the outstanding questions. How are ideas originated? How are they evaluated? How are they selected and synthesized into results?

As seen over time, the answers to these questions always radically shift. In the future, the digital will have a larger, and more accurate, role for design and supplying those solutions and supporting human designers to do what they do best—create new ideas.

The rose window began as an oculus at the top of a dome in Roman times, then to its familiar Gothic form. The evolution of idea generation, decision-making, and construction collaboration can be seen clearly from the methods used to create a rose window in 16th-century England and a modern 21st-century Chinese princess castle.

Who knows what the next rose window might be? Perhaps it changes color with different times of day, or even transforms to tell a different story during different seasons. Only the designers and builders in the Era of Connection will tell.

How BIM Modeling is Beneficial for Building Construction Projects

Why do you think professional building information modeling services are critical for your Construction Company, engineers and architects?

While the benefits are32986A-Building-information-model1 innumerable, what matters most is to have all significant data during the development of the building and managing the same to complete the project in an economical and timely manner.

BIM gives the information and ideas on construction details and management of building and has become a vital tool in the pre-construction or planning of a facility as well as during the course of construction.

Building information modeling or BIM can be defined as a technology which is used for developing accurate, high quality and digital 3D models of a building project. The BIM software’s are proficient in developing an effective and detailed building design that helps the AEC (architects, engineers and contractors) professionals to perform several pre-construction, construction and post-construction related tasks in an effective manner.

Building Information Modeling can benefit Facility Management and the benefit comes from integrating a BIM model with a facility’s maintenance management system. Building Information Modeling can also benefit in space management.

How BIM helps to increase the business profit?

  1. Access to a better project scheduling and forecasting
  2. Elimination of design interferences in a significant manner
  3. Better quality and quantity estimation for the perfect construction project
  4. Better facility management of the structural project
  5. Save time and reduce project cost
  6. Minimizes rework
  7. Increase productivity
  8. Helps marketing
  9. Improves client relationship
  10. Reduce safety risk

BIM Junction stands as one of the most reliable Building Information Modeling solution providers in the field of building design and construction industry. The use of BIM technology has become the vital part in construction industry these days, as it detects conflicts and solves problems.

Some of the prominent benefits of the building information modeling with BIM Junction are:

  1. Outstanding quality as well as perfect documentation of construction process
  2. Cost effective and quality final product
  3. Adaptability to the International Building Information Modeling Standards
  4. Easy transfer of old AutoCAD drawings to Revit
  5. Creative and innovative ideas
  6. Efficient and effective work flow

By BIM Junction at


MicroStation is the world’s leading information modelling environment explicitly for the architecture, engineering, construction, and operation of all infrastructure types including utility systems, roads and rail, bridges, buildings, communications networks, water and wastewater networks, process plants, mining, and more. MicroStation can be used either as a software application or as a technology platform. A single, comprehensive application for 2d and 3d design and engineering, MicroStation is used by engineers, architects, GIS professionals, constructors and owner operators to design, model, visualise, document, map and sustain infrastructure projects. MicroStation is intuitive, versatile, highly interoperable and boasts additional development capabilities. As with all Bentley solutions, MicroStation has support for editing and reading Autodesk’s DWG format. MicroStation is a CAD software product for 2- and 3-dimensional design and drafting, developed and sold by Bentley Systems. The latest versions of the software are released solely for Microsoft Windows operating systems, but historically MicroStation was available for Macintosh platforms and a number of Unix-like operating systems. MicroStation is the platform architectural and engineering software package developed by Bentley Systems, Incorporated. Among a number of things, it generates 2D/3D vector graphic objects and elements. Current version is MicroStation V8i. More info on this link below>>>>>>>>>>”

Newly launched NBS BIM Toolkit

newly launched NBS BIM Toolkit which you may find of use :-

Launched as a public beta the toolkit “offers users a Digital Plan of work and a new unified classification system”.

All deliverables in the Toolkit are arranged by Uniclass 2015 the new unified classification system.

Uniclass 2015 provides a means of structuring project information essential for the adoption of BIM level 2.

The link below should help to answer any queries you might have :-

The BIM Toolkit project was initiated by HM Government’s BIM Task Group and funded by Innovate UK.

Development was provided by NBS in association with the BIM Academy, RICS, Microsoft, BDP, Mott MacDonald, Newcastle University and Laing O’Rourke.

Support was provided by APM, BIFM, CIBSE, CIOB, ICE, IStructE, RIBA and RICS.


A report produced by BIM 4 Manufacturers and Manufacturing has revealed widespread adoption of BIM by manufacturers. More than 40% of the 188 individuals who completed the survey have already invested in BIM and a further 50% intend to in 2015.

However, 10% of those that completed the survey reported that they have no plans to invest in BIM.

For the companies that have invested in BIM 58% consider it to have definitely been a worthwhile investment, with 25% saying that it is possibly worthwhile and a further 17% responding that it remains to be seen.

Terry Rowbury, member services director at the British Electrotechnical and Allied Manufacturers’ Association (BEAMA), said: “BIM is here to stay and manufacturers who engage with BIM will be the winners in the long run. Collaboration and data sharing through BIM will result in more efficient design, construction and use of buildings and their internal engineered systems.

“Manufacturers are very well placed to help this process as they know the characteristics of their products in detail and can ensure their data is consistent in its richness and availability. All manufacturers need to get on board because BIM will be the main way to do business in the future.”

The report reveals that motivations for manufacturers investing are varied, with 41% having done so to create commercial advantage, 27% making the move in response to customer demand and a further 12% to get specified. A further 7% invested in BIM as “it is the future”.

For those who have not invested in BIM cost was seen as the major barrier with 77% stating this as the reason not to invest.

Manufacturers are most heavily promoting their products on their own websites (56%), with 34% only making the content available on request. A further 45% of respondents are making their content available through the libraries or clouds available, such as BIMstore, NBL and BimObjects.

The most widely used software was reported as Autodesk Revit (73.8%) with three quarters of respondents not planning to offer additional formats.

Neil Thompson, principal BIM integrtor, Balfour Beatty, explained the need for manufacturers to adopt BIM: “We deal with many manufactures, and we expect to see the same level of graphical and non-graphical data from them as much as our clients want to have from us. If it helps Balfour Beatty deliver better projects, it will no doubt enable manufactures to deliver better products.”

Read the full report here