In honor of the latest release, we are sharing our best BIM 360 Layout tips and workflow tricks sure to please all the BIM 360 Layout and Autodesk Point Layout fans out there.
WARNING: this is a product deep dive, so roll up your sleeves and get ready to learn!
Here’s what we’ll be covering:
BIM 360 Layout - Tips and Workflow Tricks
- ‘Collect Mode’ – A common workflow for “as-builting”
- Elevation Filter
- Double Tap – Collect and Save
- Prismless Measurements and Collect
- Layout Distance Tool
- Line Offsets
- Add Point - Edit Coordinates/Azimuth, Edit & Delete
- Deviation Report
- Plumb and Auto QA Tools
- Isolation, Hiding of Geometry & Properties
Autodesk Point Layout 2018 – Tips and Workflow Tricks
- Navisworks /BIM 360 Mode
- Connect Points
- Surface and Point Cloud Analysis
- Create Coordinate System Tool (Revit/CAD)
- ‘Parts’ Point Creation in Revit
- Fabrication Hanger Points in Revit
- Compare/Importing Points from BIM 360 Glue/BIM 360 Layout
- Point Sets in BIM 360 Glue (Web)
- Settings – Point Roles
- Autodesk Point Layout Register/Unregister and Licensing Mode
Let's dive in!
BIM 360 Layout – Tips and Workflow Tricks
- Collect Mode: This tool allows the user to stakeout ‘as-built’ or new locations (real-world). There will be no ‘Towards/Away/Z’ information in the Collect panel, the point list will minimize, and any points selected in the model or list will be prompted with a ‘Points Unavailable For selection’ message. To Access Collect Mode press and tap the blue Layout on the top of the point list and this will switch it to this new mode. To return to Layout/Stakeout, either hit cancel or retap the Collect/Layout button.
- Elevation Filter is an extremely useful tool to be able to cut down or ‘slice’ a model based on elevation. Select the Filter then Select elevation and use either the slider or enter elevation values. Ex. 95’ – 120’. The model will be elevation cropped from the top, bottom or both.
- Double Tap - Collect & Save: a very important step in increasing productivity is a simple way to both collect and save a point you layout or verify. A user can simply double tap on the Collect Panel (hit anywhere in white or blue area), and the point will collected with a status of done and the next point in the list will be made available. If sorting by ‘Nearest’ as well this helps the user fly through the collection process and sort the points by what’s closest to them.
- Prismless Measurements and Collect: a user that is connecting to the Topcon DS200/200i, PS, GT or Sokkia SX, IX or the Leica iCON 50 & 60 have the ability to collect and shoot points via reflector-less or prismless workflows and use this for setup or elevation benchmark as well. The user needs to hit the Prism selection in robot controls and switch from a prism to prismless measurement. From here, the user can collect points using the total station scope (including red laser) and use this measurement method for the Plumb tool and Auto-QA tool both discussed later.
- The Layout Distance tool is an incredibly powerful way to measure between model points, real world to real world locations and model point to real world locations. Select the Ruler/Measure Button at the bottom of the Screen and hit the Layout Distance Icon (robot with ruler). Once this is activated, you can either select points or lock to a prism or shoot prismless to a location. Follow the instructions and the top of the screen to finish these measurements. You will notice the Collect Panel T/A/Z information has been replaced with Horizontal, Slope and Vertical Distances between the points selected or collected.
- The Line Offsets tool allows the user to select two or more points in the model and stake along a line that is drawn connecting these points. Within the Collect Panel the Offset and Along distance along that line is added and helps a user who wants to collect along a line points for layout or verification.
- A common workflow is the addition of points via the Add Point tool. This is used for both adding points to geometry (one at a time) or adding a Control Point and entering the respective NEZ/XYZ coordinates. When adding points to geometry you snap to corners, edges or intersections via the magnify glass and then enter the point information fields. Also at any time you can edit point information by clicking on the point in the list and hitting the pencil/edit button on the far right on that point in the list. Swipe from left to right on the point in the list to delete that point. Azimuth or offset can be accessed while in the edit point, collect save or add point dialog screens. Azimuth can be 0,45,90 etc. in relation to Project North and then enter the distance and elevation offset (Ex. 0 Azimuth, 3’ offset, 1’ Z would be a 3’ offset to the North and 1’ up in elevation, or 90 Azimuth, 5’, 0 Z, would be a 5’ offset to the East with no elevation change.)
A simple Deviation Report is available when selecting your profile icon in the top right and going to ‘Deviation Report’. This Form will show Design Point #, Staked/Collected Point #, and the respective Error or difference in X,Y,Z. There is an additional option to ignore Z changes and the ability to set a Tolerance Filter. When using the tolerance filter remember to keep it in the same units’ format ex. 0’0&1/8” or .125.
- Plumb and Auto QA Tools: when a user is working in Prismless mode with the Total Station, there are two new workflows available for Layout and QA/QC. When performing layout on the slab/floor/deck, the user can select a point from the model or list and hit the Plumb button to mark the layout location on the floor or ceiling with the laser dot (reshoots XY and ignores Z). When a user is verifying point locations, they can filter the point list down to desired QA points and press and hold (long hold) on the Turn button in Robot controls. This will turn on the Auto-QA tool which will automatically turn, shoot and collect the points in the list using the prismless measurement from the total station. At the end of this workflow the user will the see the number of failed (if unable to measure ex. Shot is in the air or off highly-reflective surface) or successful shots and can also use the Deviation Report to view a summary of shots.
- Isolation, Hiding of Geometry & Properties: a common Layout workflow is hiding of geometry, isolating a floor or wall (isolation includes surrounding/connected geometry) or finding out properties. This is done by doing a long hold on an object until it turns blue and selecting the appropriate popover. To undo, reselect the object with a long hold and turn off the respective mode.
Autodesk Point Layout 2018 – Tips and Workflow Tricks
- Navisworks /BIM 360 Mode - Autodesk Point Layout 2018 allows for full editing capabilities when using Navisworks with BIM 360 Glue models. You can Add, Edit, and Delete points. When a BIM 360 Glue model is opened in Navisworks, Point Layout will connect to Glue and download any points stored for the model. (If using a merged model, both points from the individual models and those stored directly against the merged model will be retrieved). All Native points (Those points originally created in Revit, AutoCAD, or Navisworks (Local model mode)) will be hidden automatically, and only points stored in BIM 360 Glue will be shown. Ability to set the shape of points added, choose between 6 shape types. "BIM 360 - Save Points" is visible when in a BIM 360 model. Limitations when using BIM 360 Mode in Navisworks: Points shown on screen are not actually part of the model, and they will not be displayed in the selection tree. You can select the points by clicking in the viewer; however windowing selection will not work. Doing an Unhide all will redisplay the original native points. Locate Duplicates and Renumber points will only affect newly created points. In order to retrieve any new/changed points since original retrieval from BIM 360 Glue, you must close and reopen the model, or close and reopen the Point Layout screen.
- Connect Points – In Revit (and with line work in CAD), the user has the ability to import existing field conditions or as-built points. You can connect points dot to dot with walls, pipe, conduit, cable tray and model lines. For example, if you are connecting underground facilities, you can specify to connect points with pipe. Note: Pipe/Conduit does need to be already placed in your project prior to using this tool. This tool will also connect the pipe/conduit based on top or bottom field collection and select the appropriate size/diameter.
- Surface and Point Cloud Analysis – A Point Layout user in Revit has the ability to create surface ‘heat’ maps with a deviation legend when analyzing both Point Clouds files as well as Total station files (CSV or BIM 360 Layout points). This tool is commonly used to verify floor flatness, slab lever +/- or verify slope/drainage. Point cloud analysis is based upon the geometry/surface you select so you can verify/isolate multiple structural categories (columns, slabs and ceilings.)
- Create Coordinate System Tool (Revit/CAD)- You can create a new shared User Coordinate System (UCS) using two known points and entering the respective XYZ values for these points. These points will commonly be grid intersection or offsets from grid intersection. This commonly done in Revit to create a State Plane coordinate system to import control and match jobsite coordinates the surveyor is working in.
- ‘Parts’ Point Creation in Revit – Point Layout provides the ability to mark parts created from Revit walls, floors etc. This adds the ability to mark the individual building components and the ability to mark by material.
- Fabrication Hanger Points in Revit – Users in Revit that work with the Fabrication Hangers/ MEP Fabrication Parts tool can now automatically mark the hangers for the building systems. If hangers are removed or relocated on the project you can run the tool again to update the points for any changes that may have occurred.
- Compare/Importing Points from BIM 360 Glue/BIM 360 Layout – Both abilities of CSV file format (from any Total station source) or BIM360 Layout points synced to Glue can be retrieved and used to compare deviations or import/update point locations.
- Point Sets in BIM 360 Glue (Web) – By hitting the Layout icon on the left side of Glue Web, you can filter out a point set and create a new category for the user of BIM 360 Layout to filter by. This is common filtered by description and type so a quick filtered set of Control points and sleeves, or all points between 1000-3000 can be quickly filtered into a set. A notification email can also be sent when a new set is available.
- Settings – Point Roles – in AutoCAD and Revit go to Settings – Point Roles to be able to create new custom Point Roles while working in Autodesk Point Layout and these will be custom fields for BIM 360 Layout as well.
- Autodesk Point Layout Register/Unregister and Licensing Mode – When you go into the Autodesk Point Layout Folder after installation, you can select your licensing mode and select appropriate products by selecting Point Layout Plugin, then working in the Register/Unregister and licensing mode screen.
If you have further questions or need some advice please see the BIM 360 Layout/Point Layout Forum. Further help while in BIM 360 Layout can be found at the Help/? located at the bottom right of the screen when the app is open.
BIM 360 Layout iOS app can connect to Topcon LN100/PS/DS/GT/Sokkia SX/IX* (w/RC) hardware, Leica iCon50/60 via a bluetooth bridging device. To connect via bluetooth, select the appropriate total station on instrument selection in BIM 360 Layout and hit the reset bluetooth bridge button on Settings.
For more information on the products and purchasing information, visit the BIM 360 Layout page.
To access BIM 360 Layout, please get a trial to BIM 360 Glue, of which BIM 360 Layout is a component.
BIM 360 Layout iOS app is available in the Apple app store.