Autodesk’s newest software promises to make work easier and more accurate in the field.

Autodesk Point Layout -- the product of the company’s recent technology acquisition of Colorado-based Get The Point -- sits on top of Autodesk design apps and allows for automatic point creation from BIM and CAD models.

The information can be taken out to the field and automatically transferred to a robotic total station for layout, providing contractors and subcontractors laser-guided pinpoint accuracy for the placement and verification of building elements—all on their tablets.

Data can also be relayed from the total station back into the model to capture and maintain real-world conditions for as-builts, as well as quality assurance and validation.

By replacing manual layout techniques, Autodesk Point Layout not only improves field accuracy and productivity, but ultimately speeds construction, which makes it easier to complete projects on time and on budget.

“Typically, when you are working with subcontractors, you are relying on a tape measure and drawings to make sure that what goes out to the field is correct,” said Cody Taylor of Rogers-O’Brien Construction, who was one of the first clients to use the point layout software almost three years ago. “Now we can export our survey coordinates from what we have built into the model out to the field with seamless integration and precision.”

Rogers-O’Brien, like other busy firms, struggled to leverage the 3D modeling and coordination done in-house to get accurate information out into the field.

“This product helps bridge the gap between the office and the field and helps lighten the load of our field engineer,” Taylor said.

Mark Fritts, senior product manager at Autodesk, said the software increases productivity in the field.

“Unlike the manual process of dimensioning that has been around for centuries, one person can now layout more points of data and locations in a day than they ever could before and with fewer crewmembers,” Fritts said. ”It’s extremely efficient.”

The software extends the Building Information Modeling (BIM) workflow further into the field from the early stages of design all the way through project delivery and building operations. The accuracy of the point layout reduces the need for reworks, which increases overall productivity, said Fritts. And it requires a whole lot less manpower.

“This technology has been around for a while in the civil survey space, but now we are really taking BIM into the construction model and bringing it to that next level of a building—the wall folks, plumbing, HVAC, etc. The benefit has been tremendous.”

An added benefit is improved construction site safety, as fewer people are required onsite and for a shorter period of time.

“We have a field engineer who is a big believer in old-school methods. He likes to take his pen, paper and calculator and manually insert his XYZ coordinates into AutoCad,” Taylor said. “We raced once and it took him six hours to do what I did in 30 minutes with the software. It was a real eye-opener.”