Tech Soft 3D has announced today that its HOOPS Platform is being used to power the Fieldwire BIM viewer app. Fieldwire is changing the future of construction with its productivity tools for the construction industry.
Fieldwire BIM Viewer
Fieldwire is another mobile-first, cloud-based construction management platform accessible via the standard modern web browser plus dedicated apps for tablets and smartphones on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems.
“We’re basically a one-stop-shop for the field,” explained Looly Lee, product manager at Fieldwire. “Fieldwire is the place where the entire project team – from the foreman to the project manager – comes together to collaborate and share information in real-time. Customers can view and markup construction plans, access important contextual documents like RFIs or submittals, assign tasks, view progress reports, and more.”
Fieldwire chose Tech Soft 3D and its HOOPS Platform to address challenges such as the growing use of BIM technology in the field and solving the need to view 3D BIM models on mobile devices on construction sites. There was also an important need to view data while offline from the Internet as construction sites do not always have persistent Internet access. To address these challenges and tight “go-to-market” market timelines, Fieldwire selected the HOOPS Platform.
“More and more projects are starting to use BIM, and we wanted to meet our customers’ growing need for that 3D information,” said Lee. “First and foremost, it was crucial for our BIM viewer to provide a high-quality user experience. It needed to be something that somebody in the field could effortlessly use without running into any hassles – because once you lose the user’s confidence in a particular feature, it’s really hard to gain it back.”
Revit and IFC Formats
During the evaluation process, Fieldwire ended up selecting HOOPS because Tech Soft 3D’s platform supported key BIM file formats like (.rvt) Revit and (.ifc) Industry Foundation Classes. Currently, Fieldwire users are able to upload IFC files that are processed behind the scenes by HOOPS Exchange, the leading CAD data translation toolkit. All the metadata from those files is retained as they are converted into two new file formats that are specific to the platform where they’re going to be used.
“One output of HOOPS Exchange is a PRC file that gets pushed to HOOPS Visualize, which we’re using to power our mobile applications,” said Lee. “The PRC format is ideal for giving our mobile users offline access to the model, as well as all the rich metadata coming from Exchange. The second output is an SCS file that gets pushed to HOOPS Communicator, which we’re using to power our web platform. The benefit here is that it’s a little bit more lightweight but, again, still retains all that valuable metadata.”
BIM on Fieldwire
Fieldwire had always supported robust 2D plan viewing capabilities, but solving the 3D BIM modeling viewing was a critical piece for growing the software’s user-base and solving current and future customer needs. It was equally important for Fieldwire to be able to view BIM models both through the web browser (giving it desktop platform flexibility) as well as on mobile devices even when offline. Some construction sites do not even have reliable LTE or 3G signals.
Now users can use Fieldwire’s BIM viewer to easily view and navigate a BIM model, gain access to high-level contextual data that 2D plans alone can’t offer. For example, users can click on surfaces on the BIM model (eg: a wall plane) and access data that is not generally on 2D construction drawings, like surface area and volume, or manufactures data.
“In the construction world, 3D models have largely been relegated to the trailer or the offices – they weren’t really accessible in the field,” said Lee. “Now, thanks to our partnership with Tech Soft 3D, our customers have this information in their back pocket, alongside their other important project information. That allows them to make more informed decisions while they’re out in the field, and helps us better fulfill our mission of being the world’s most trusted field management solution for construction teams.”