Autodesk and Topcon Show Future of Construction at ConExpo 2014

Categories: Construction

By Jarrod Krug, Autodesk industry marketing manager for Autodesk BIM 360

Held every three years, ConExpo is a massive construction industry event happening this week in Las Vegas. More than 130,000 industry professionals from all over the world attend, eager to hear what nearly 2,500 exhibitors have to show-and-tell about the latest products, services and technologies for the construction community.  Autodesk is here at the show in a big way as part of our drive to transform the construction industry through the adoption of BIM.  With day one under our belt, I can share a snapshot of all the cool demonstrations were staging.


Autodesk  booth at ConExpo2014

Our primary purpose here is to showcase seven of the core construction-centric applications that span the Autodesk Building Design Suite, as well as Autodesk BIM 360 cloud and mobile solutions for field collaboration and execution.  Notably we’re staging a demo in collaboration with Topcon to illustrate today’s capabilities for connected workflows between the office and the field utilizing robotic total stations for construction positioning.  To do this, we’re showing Topcon’s LN-100 Total Station in action within the context of an Autodesk BIM solutions-based workflow.

To help grasp the gist of the joint Autodesk and Topcon demo, imagine you are a building contractor faced with doing more with less—squeezing efficiency and profit wherever and whenever you can.  Your current processes of bringing architects’ and engineers’ designs to life at the jobsite is based on using paper-plans, stringing tape and laying batter boards to define key elements such as edge of slab and formwork locations.  While these processes have served you well historically, clinging to the past will inevitably leave you vulnerable to the competition.  The Autodesk and Topcon booth experience at ConExpo is designed to show contractors how to make the most of technology and increase efficiencies—doing away with paper and tape for field point creation.

Here’s a step-by-step tour of our joint demonstration: First, visitors are shown how to take design files from the architect or engineer in Autodesk Revit or AutoCAD to create field points using the Autodesk Point Layout Plugin.  Once created, these points can be easily exported to the Topcon LN-100 handheld controller.


Topcon field controller with Magnet software

Next the Topcon controller display will show attendees how to physically layout and stake these points using the laser positioning technology within the Topcon LN-100 Total Station.  This process involves directing a Topcon prism (guided by the LN-100’s laser) over a specially printed carpet for the floor of the Autodesk booth that features the 2D plan view of the building components represented in the AutoCAD or Revit design file.  From here, the field points represented in the Topcon controller software will guide you to a specific location on the carpet for field staking.


Layout carpet created to help simulate, real-world conditions for layout

What’s the big message?  It is all about creating jobsite efficiencies by helping contractors more easily connect office based output to field based implementation.   These efficiencies reduce contractor error and re-work while speeding-up the overall installation process.

In addition to our demo with Topcon, visitors are seeing the latest Autodesk BIM 360 Field and Autodesk BIM 360 Glue applications in action on Apple iPads. These demonstrations are highlighting the flexibility that cloud-connected mobile solutions can provide for building construction contractors.  From model collaboration to commissioning and handover workflows, the Autodesk BIM 360 platform of cloud solutions allow contractors to leverage field efficiencies like never before.


Shown here is screen capture from Autodesk 360 Glue for iPad