This past weekend I was fortunate enough to participate in an even dubbed as: “AEC Hackathon”. For those of you familiar with it, you know how much fun that is. For those of you not familiar with it, let’s just say its a TON of fun! It’s a three day event (really more like one and a half), starting on Friday afternoon we all got together for the first time to pitch project ideas and form teams (…and drink beer). I ended up meeting a lot of familiar faces as well as some less familiar and eventually formed a team called “DunIt”. Other members of our team were Jonathan Schumacher and Mike Schwab.
The idea was to build a web based tool for Project Managers in AEC Industry. This platform would allow PM’s that are not familiar with Revit software ability to view the model and comment it up. It was quite a challenging task for a team of three (3) people and about 16-18 hours of time to work with.
Given that this was meant to be a project management tool and all information contained within it needed to be secure, it included a security features like log in/password or editing right restrictions.
Here you can see all of the projects that you participate in or can request access too. From there you can access specific projects:
In a project window you would get access to view the model in 3d using previously developed application called “va3c viewer”: http://va3c.github.io/viewer/revit2.html This app was developed during annual AEC Technology Symposium and Hackathon organized by Thornton Tomasetti. You would also be able to view the building elements and tag them with Comments or simply mark them off as completed if it was a construction administration phase. The neat thing about this approach of a web based model viewer is that you can access your projects from anywhere. As great as the model viewer is, the real idea was to get that model viewer and add ability to interact with it a little more than just seeing it. What DunIt gives the user is the ability to add comments and push those back to the model manager, architect or whomever is generating the revit content. In this case I was the Revit content manager and it was my responsibility to get the model out to the team (Jonathan and Mike) and get their comments back in.
This wouldn’t be a complete post, if I didn’t mention Dynamo. Since I am not a Computer Scientist and the extent of my programming knowledge ends with some basic Python scripting on top of Dynamo I had to make it happen out of Dynamo. That’s what’s great about Dynamo is that it can fairly easily access the model and extract some information from it. I spent most of the Hackathon mining the information out of the model, and getting it pushed into the DunIt server via Json format. Once we, had that part of it working I went to work on importing the data back to Revit, and have to say that were fairly successful with that too. Mike and Jonathan made sure that all of the comments added to the project via the web interface were then serialized into Json string and I could access them from Dynamo.
Also, special thanks to Elcin Ertugrul of TT Core, for helping with va3c exporter and even building a special version for Dynamo!
Of course there were other people there and an array of great projects:
This draws the inspiration from the Google’s 3D scanning project called Tango. https://www.google.com/atap/projecttango/#project I am not sure of their names, but the two guys on this team put together some nifty point cloud data processing app that allowed them to use this hand held device from Google and put together some really nice point cloud models. They were then able to create a Revit model from that point cloud, all in fraction of time and cost that a traditional point cloud scanning takes/costs. Awesome!
This guys put together a robot that could be controlled from a cell phone and mange punch lists on a job. Their demo was pretty cool, basically having one guy drive the robot around the office, come up to an issue item, snap a picture and then add some comments to it before leaving for another one. WOW! This could be pretty cool in the near future.
This team comprising of Elcin and Ana from Thornton Tomasetti’s CORE Studio, and William from Case, Inc had a great idea. It was to create an app that would allow you to virtually experience the construction site using Google Cardboard. They were able to view and select items from the model using Google Cardboard. That was pretty cool!
This team put together a web based and cell phone app for viewing and editing a flowline schedule. Using this app one can see what tasks are in what completion phase, easily being able to figure out what is on time and what is lagging behind. Hopefully an app like this can save people time and money.
All in all it was a great weekend!