Sunday, December 23, 2012

Crane Path Optimization (without using Calculus.....yay!)

I know you've often wondered to yourself, "what's the best crane placement where I can make the most picks, while not having to move the cranes at all?"

OK, so maybe it is just me, but since we're there, we may as well take a look.  

We could do several optimization equations (ick) with minimum and maximum crane pick radii to minimize the overlap and maximize the total area covered.  That sounds really hard, and quite frankly, about as much fun as driving the Reliant Robin on the Circuit de Monaco.

Or, we could use Rhino and Grasshopper to (mostly) automate it. 

Open up Rhino, and set three points on the x-y plane.  Let one point act as an intersection between the two crane paths, and the other two act as base-points for the crane placement.  Open up grasshopper, and place three separate point parameters.  Assign each parameter to a point.  Then, use grasshopper to assign a vertical line at each point that extends to the height of your cranes.  

Now, all you have to do is apply a surface free-form revolution  battery to the lines, using the middle intersection point as the "profile curve" for each revolution.  

With shaders and some nifty algebra, you can determine the radii of each crane, and match them to your crane cutsheets that your superintendent gave you.  

There are a couple ways to do this, including using multiple intersection points and testing whether certain points fall within the paths, but we do have to keep some some secret sauce items to ourselves.  

Good luck and happy holidays   


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hollywood with a shot of Reality

Let's start with the obvious.  If a picture says a thousand words, what does an interactive model of building systems tell us? 

If you're unfamiliar with the term Hollywood BIM, see here, and here.  John Tocci and Laura Handler explain the concept very well.  

My goal is blend good, database informed BIM with aesthetically pleasing, well detailed additives that inform the viewer, and align their thought processes with ours.  

What you see above is a basic deliverable to our estimating team.  The graphic is straight out of Revit, as is the information.  

With the image on the same page as the QTO, it gives a degree of believably to the data.  With a common server setup, links inside excel can direct our estimators directly to the Navis .NWD for their own reference.  With Navis search-sets able to provide real-time QTO, our estimators can justify their quantities to themselves, the project leadership, and the client.

John Tocci talks about the model being the ultimate conflict resolution tool.  So far, we've been able to preempt several issues with a new curtain-wall system, and drive the total material costs down to a justifiable number.  

We do the same thing with all the glass on the building.  In addition to accurate material and wage QTOs, we were able to give project leadership a total square footage of all glass in the building for the window washing budget.  


Boston, MA

From the (previously occupied) desk of Gilbane's WRO_VDC:

We've been out of blogging commission for a while, and with good reason.  John Myers has re-located to Boston to coordinate the VDC engineering on a major Gilbane life-sciences project.  John Tocci is running the overall integration effort here, in an attempt to bring some West-Coast BIM to the East Coast.  

This blog is going to highlight the effort on the Boston job, as well as documenting a new approach to construction management with VDC deliverables as the communication media.  

With that being said, my name is John Myers, and welcome to the new site for Gilbane's New England VDC Region. (NENG_VDC)