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Building 3D Models From Geo-technical Data

Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Virtual Reality (VR) are two of the main directions in the BIM-strategy of the Swedish Transport Administration. Starting from the year 2015 it is a requirement to use BIM even in tenders. In order to meet these requirements WSP developed their own product Open VR – a data platform for visualization, communication, planning, designing as well as a tool for documentation of new and existing environments.

Geotechnical analysis is an important part in most of the projects and affects the economy, the projects time frames and further projects design greatly. Availability of good quality basic data is a requirement to succeed in a project. Inaccurate and late delivered rock and soil 3D models cause the problems at the design stage. A completely or partially automated process for creating 3D soil models using geotechnical database and models presentation in Open VR would provide both economic benefits and reduce the amount of repetitive work in the CAD environment.

One of the biggest issues is to combine data coming from different sources and therefore clear standards on how different fields of technology should prepare their information are needed. The goal of this master thesis is to develop a guideline how to prepare geotechnical objects for Open-VR.

Firstly software that could be used for preparing geotechnical data for Open VR were identified and described. Three products were chosen: NovaPoint, Civil3D, Power Civil. After that data were processed using the software chosen for comparison. Geotechnical objects (3D models of soil layers and 3D boreholes) were prepared for Open VR using these three products. The results were evaluated. Finally a guideline for preparing geotechnical data for Open VR was written.

This guideline can be used not only for preparing the geotechnical data for Open VR but for any other product which can be used for the model coordination (for example, NavisWorks etc). This guideline can be used in any geotechnical project where geotechnical data of Swedish standard are used. This guideline can be used as it is in order to create 3D models of soil layers and rock surfaces with help of Civil3D. In case that another kind of software should be used, this guideline can be used as a basis, because the workflow is the same, but some correction can be done concerning what “button should be pressed”.

Recommendations were given depending on the project requirements and application area. Taking into account that WSP decided to not continue with NovaPoint and use Civil 3D and Power Civil instead, then it is recommended to use Civil 3D when it is necessary to create soil layers using field investigations. Results of 3D modelling can be used in NovaPoint, loaded to Open VR and, if necessary, even be imported into Power Civil.

Power Civil can be used in large-scale projects where advanced 3D modelling is required or when all other area of technology use Power Civil for project design. Even though NovaPoint does not have priority at WSP it should not be out of the game, it can be very useful in projects where the usage of BIM is a requirement. Considering that NovaPoint has good communication with GeoSuite and can produce smart 3D models it is recommended to have a license of NovaPoint at WSP in order being able to follow software development.
Source: KTH
Author: Azaronak, Natallia

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