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Construction digital twins pioneer Cupix today announced an integration with Autodesk’s BIM 360 construction management platform. This is intended to streamline construction workflows that weave up-to-date information about the construction process into Autodesk planning tools.
Cupix’s move builds on a prior integration into the Autodesk PlanGrid platform for construction planning. For the vendor and its customers alike, such integrations into the Autodesk environment are a key to bringing digital twins to wider markets. As a mainstay provider of tools for organizing architectural, engineering, and construction management processes, Autodesk will likely influence uptake of digital twins in these key sectors.
“We believe the 3D digital twin platform will come to be seen as a new IT pillar — in the same way ERP, BIM, CRM, and groupware are relied on to improve corporate-wide productivity,” Cupix CEO and Founder Simon Bae told VentureBeat.
He said Cupix’s goal is to simplify the process of capturing real-time data about construction progress using low-cost cameras. This allows remote contractors, managers, owners, and architects to virtually walk through job sites, create new requests for information (RFIs), and assign them based on what they see and learn in the virtual walkthrough.
Streamlining digital twin workflows
Cupix’s special sauce lies in reducing the time, cost, and effort needed to capture up-to-date spatial data in a 3D digital twin for construction. This complements other tools that generate 3D walkthroughs from drawings.
“To date, construction remains largely a 2D industry and one that hungers for technological innovation,” Bae said. “We believe 3D digital twin technology, and CupixWorks in particular, is a game-changer for customers.”
Importantly, Cupix allows non-technical users to capture a 3D representation of a job site using a consumer-grade 360-degree camera, rather than high-end cameras or lidar, components that can cost tens of thousands of dollars. With the Cupix approach, teams can update scans daily rather than waiting days or weeks for a fresh scan.
Benefits go beyond the act of data capture because traditional 3D scan data eats up a lot of bytes.
“You can easily end up with several gigabytes of data after scanning just 10,000 square feet of space,” Bae said. Cupix has focused on reducing data requirements while preserving enough fidelity for everyday use cases, he indicated.
Cupix has particularly focused on improving the user experience and workflows in the construction industry. Bae argues that other 3D scanning platforms, such as Matterport, focus on wider sectors, with different requirements. Although they may provide high-resolution imagery at a low price, it can be time-consuming to complete regular 3D scans of an actual jobsite, making them less useful when it comes to frequently capturing data on job site views during construction, Bae maintains.
“We believe that the Cupix approach will deliver to customers the collaboration, confidence, and control they need to stay on time, on budget, and on target,” Bae said. That is important if digital twin technology is going to fulfill its promise of bringing digital transformation to construction.
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