Augmented Reality (AR) is having a profound impact on the construction industry. In particular, Engineering Grade AR™ is taking the industry by storm. What is Engineering Grade AR? How does it work? And what benefits does it bring to the construction industry?
The Augmented Reality (AR) and Mixed Reality (MR) market is projected to reach a CAGR of 50.5% by 2029, according to Data Bridge Market Research. AR has been a game-changer in several industries, including gaming, healthcare, and retail. However, one field where AR is now having a profound impact is construction. AR technology is revolutionizing how architects, builders, and engineers design and build structures.
Engineering Grade augmented reality is a type of AR that has been widely used in the construction industry. This technology goes beyond the basic AR features, providing millimeter accuracy onsite to enable construction teams to build directly from the 3D BIM design models – turning the as-designed into the as-built.
In this article, we will explore what Engineering Grade augmented reality is, how it works, and the benefits it brings to the construction industry.
What is Engineering Grade AR?
Engineering Grade AR is purpose-built for construction by construction and technology experts. It’s termed ‘Engineering Grade’ due to its unbeatable levels of accuracy and precision onsite.
XYZ Reality’s Engineering Grade AR headset, the Atom™ achieves 3-5 millimeter accuracy onsite, with no drift, and avoids data lag. How do we achieve millimeter accuracy? The Atom’s patented technology, taps into the site coordinate system, enabling users to view holograms of BIM to millimeter precision. By overlaying BIM onsite, construction teams can detect errors, design deviations, and clashes in real-time and eliminate costly rework.
Currently, no other AR product geared towards the construction industry comes close to achieving this level of accuracy, with centimeter and inch accuracy, they fall at the first hurdle to be considered Engineering Grade AR.
Additionally, for AR to be truly successful and useful on a construction project it must be able to view and load complex 3D design models onsite. The computing power of the Atom enables large hyperscale models to be loaded in 30 seconds delivering a model vs real-world comparison in just one minute! With 1TB of storage, 16GB RAM, and the custom-optimized file format the Atom’s processing power surpasses that of ordinary AR, taking it to the heights of Engineering Grade AR to become an invaluable tool on all projects, particularly mission critical and complex schemes.
How does Engineering Grade AR work?
By using the site coordinate system, XYZ is able to anchor the models in the exact position in which they have been designed to millimeter accuracy. These coordinate points are marked using reflective targets. The Atom can then be used to set out, inspect and validate works, it can be deployed in all stages of the construction lifecycle – pre-installation, during installation and post-installation.
An XYZ Field Application Engineer (FAE) acts as the eyes and ears on the ground, supporting the construction and project teams for the duration of the project. The FAE will deploy the Atom onsite to inspect, verify and validate works, sharing real-time insights with the asset owner and contractor for unparalleled project-wide visibility.
On large-scale construction projects, it’s not uncommon to encounter thousands of clashes. One of the approaches that has enabled good design coordination and project team communication is clash detection. Traditionally detected through redlining, the Atom removes this long and complex process by enabling real-time clash detection and avoidance. With 16GB RAM and 1TB of storage, the headset enables users to layer and delayer large models to proactively detect clashes, dramatically minimizing rework and costly delays.
Additionally, the XYZ Platform allows project data to seamlessly flow between teams onsite and in the office. BIM data can be synced without the need for wi-fi, any issues and insights captured in the field will sync once a connection has been restored, this is crucial as construction sites can often experience little to no connectivity. XYZ’s proprietary cloud platform seamlessly integrates with Autodesk Construction Cloud, allowing users to assign tasks and issues to precise locations. All information captured by XYZ in the field will automatically be viewable in BIM 360.
What benefits does it bring to the construction industry?
The benefits of Engineering Grade AR in the construction industry are immeasurable. By enabling a level of accuracy onsite never before seen, XYZ has been able to reduce rework to less than 1%. But, that’s not all...
Improves consistency between design and construction – By working in 3D construction teams avoid the human error associated with translating 2D drawings onsite. Ultimately, the as-designed becomes the as-built.
Build from the most up-to-date design – Teams on the ground have the confidence that any design changes have been recognized and registered within the Atom.
Right first time attitude – Knowing the Atom achieves millimeter accuracy, teams avoid the nature of guesswork, and enable a culture of confidence and quality.
Superior data management – XYZ delivers real-time project insights without lag, results are instant and can be fed to all teams exactly as they’re happening.
Better communication – XYZ FAEs bridge the communication gap, by delivering thorough reports on a daily and weekly basis, combatting project uncertainty.
Unparalleled project-wide transparency – Asset owners and contractors have a clearer understanding of any issues onsite to enable better problem-solving.
Higher quality builds – By detecting clashes and spotting errors before they happen projects are delivered on time, on budget and to the highest standards.
Enhance sustainability – By achieving greater accuracy onsite, contractors cut down on material wastage and rework.
Adopting Engineering Grade AR enables you to protect your build with an added level of accuracy and quality control, boosting the asset owner’s and contractors' confidence that the project will proceed without incident.