Overlay imported 2D drawings into your 3D Site Plan with
| 4 minute read

Construction projects are extremely complex, with many moving parts needing to be orchestrated in able to deliver success for the end client. How a contractor identifies and manages project risk in the pre-construction phase can be the difference between success and failure. In the past, it was often difficult for preconstruction professions to clearly communicate their site logistics plan and explain to the client how this plan will handle the identified project risks prior to commencement of live construction. It has traditionally been difficult to make the client understand how will look throughout the major milestones of construction through to final completion. Advances in 3D, 4D (time), and 5D (cost) modeling solutions such as the web-based, have made it so that builders, architects, engineers, and project stakeholders can walk through a virtual model of the construction site before a single shovel is put into the ground. When doing these exercises, the greater the accuracy of your model, the more confidence you will receive from your project stakeholders.

The 2D drawing overlay tool in cmBuilder allows you to easily import, overlay, and view the 2D design plans of your construction sites and utility maps directly on the 3D model viewer. This feature gives you increased accuracy by allowing you the ability to quickly check measurements relative to plan drawings, identify surrounding conditions, check underground utilities, and position resources in precise locations.

The site logistics cost modeling capabilities in cmBuilder can also improve general conditions/requirements cost management functions as every single temporary resource placed in the site is itemized and tagged with its cost and duration in the timeline, providing rigorous cost planning and transparency for the client. In the project-pursuit phase of construction, 3D, 4D, and 5D modeling is a game-changer with the ability to simulate multiple construction site logistics plans and get immediate feedback on the estimated costs and construction schedule impacts. The greater the accuracy in the models, the higher the chance of you winning the project!

But wait, what if you don't have a model? Not to worry, cmBuilder to your rescue! You can use our in-app massing tool to quickly sketch the outline and assign it the number of floors required. See it in action here. Et voila - you have a 3D model with all boundary constraints built in to plan your construction site! cmBuilder's Overlay Drawing tool can be used to seamlessly allow 3D modeling on the web with the 2D reference of your construction site. Here's a step by step to how it's done:

How to Add 2D Overlays to Your 3D model?

1. In the project set up - click on overlay drawing.

2. Import the drawing for alignment or references. You can store these, and refer to them at any point. You can also import multiple drawings for the same model.

3. Align the drawing so it fits the map tile and other elements like 3D models and resources. This can be done in three ways:

a) One Dimension - Select a dimension in the image and type a value. The image will maintain proportion and scale to fit the typed value.
b) Free Positioning - Select a control point of the image and drag it to scale, resize, or rotate freely.
c) 2-point Alignment - Select 2 points on the image and 2 points on the map or a previous image. The image will resize and rotate to align the points respectively. (shown below)

4. Select the same points on the map.

5. Define the transparency for each drawing as required, the default value is 70%.

6. Hide/show, delete, edit, add drawings according to your need.

7. Use the drawings as a reference to align your building with greater accuracy in accordance to the exact dimension and locations on x and y axis.

8. View and adjust site resources and their logistics.

9. Position these elements in relation to the drawings in the 2D view mode.

10.Measure dimensions of the resources with respect to the to the drawing gridlines and building model.

Tip: Position drawings using the same manipulations as the previous resource to perform faster!

You can then save and export this as a PDF after aligning the drawings on to the model and use it during the construction phase of site planning. Share it with clients and transform how they experience construction site logistics plan in the project pursuit phase!

3D modeled projects can achieve better costing, better lead times, and better safety and stability—and it only gets better when you use!

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