How did Redstack's scan-to-BIM services and point cloud rendering help Asytec with their design work at Westfield Tea Tree Plaza in South Australia?
The move towards building information modelling (BIM) may be slower in Australia than other parts of the world, but a few pioneers are pushing ahead. One notable example is South Australia's Asytec, which recently used Redstack's 3D scanning services for a project at Westfield Tea Tree Plaza in Modbury.
We spoke with Brad Nancarrow, managing director at Asytec, to learn more about the Tea Tree Plaza project and his experience with Redstack's 3D scanning services.
Asytec and Tea Tree Plaza project
Over the last 20 years, Asytec - short for Assembly Technologies - have been Automation Specialists. They consult, design, build and maintain special purpose machines and robotics to solve manufacturing challenges. They offer full automation solutions, supplying turn-key solutions with innovative designs and quality workmanship. While Asytec have focused on the manufacturing industry for many years, their design and engineering capabilities are also valuable in the building and construction industry as you will see on this Tea Tree Plaza project.
Asytec was brought on to the project by the builder, Knox Construction, for design work on structures supporting the voids - large openings in the concrete slabs between the two storeys in the shopping centre. While Knox wanted to replace all the balustrades and supports around the voids, Asytec completed the designs for affixing the balustrades and handrails to the concrete around the voids. Once Asytec completed the plans, they were passed off to another subcontractor, RJ's Welding, for fabrication and installation.
Benefits of 3D laser scanning
In order to complete the design work, Asytec needed accurate plans of the existing structures. The slow way of getting this done would be with hand laser measuring devices, cross referencing everything against reports from a structural engineer and the architectural drawings to see if there were any discrepancies between the existing build and the original site plans.
Instead, Asytec opted for the modern and efficient method - using Redstack's laser scanning services to generate a point cloud model of the work site. "We had to have a very fast turnaround; that's why the point cloud needed to be done," Brad Nancarrow explained.
Generating a point cloud through laser scanning turned out to be a major time saver. Brad went into Tea Tree Plaza after trading hours one night with Redstack's 3D scanning specialist and finished all the necessary scans in about five hours. After just a few days of processing, Redstack sent back the required point cloud models.
The Redstack experience
With the point cloud files, the team at Asytec were able to create the designs for Westfield Tea Tree Plaza much faster, more cost-efficiently and with less disruption for the client. The job was made even easier thanks to some customisation from Redstack.
A laser scan generates a point cloud of the entire work site, but Brad and his team only needed certain areas around the voids. Redstack were able to supply trimmed the point cloud files to suite Brad's requirements. This level of support is in keeping with Brad's other experiences with Redstack.
"I've been dealing with Redstack for over 20 years, a long time. The support and everything else is good, so we've stayed with them," he said.
Brad noted that, in the future, he will likely use 3D laser scanning again as the service saved time and money. The one thing he would do differently is opt for a photorealistic rendering instead of the point cloud though.
"From a visual point of view, you're just constantly looking at points. The photorealistic rendering is more of a visual thing to aid you with the design. You can physically see the face a lot clearer," he said.
"It costs a bit more, but I'd say it's worth the money from a designers point of view. When the project came together, the investment in laser scanning paid off. It went very well. The feedback I got from RJ's was that the voids went together millimetre perfect," Brad said.