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BuildingPoint Mid-America Preserves History with Modern Technology

The BPMA Team found new ways that we could use our tools and experience to help document historic and prominent locations.

After a couple of months trying to find a way that we could leverage our Trimble tools to help in an ethical or social way, we were approached by the Architecture & Design department of a local St. Louis area university. It started as a simple and benign demonstration of what Trimble scanner is and how it works. Then we explained how to utilize the data and spent some time sharing and coordinating the data.

Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation with BPMA

This team of students, and one highly motivated professor, were doing work to document every detail of a Frank Lloyd Wright house near the Purdue University campus in Indiana. After we met with them a couple of times in St. Louis they asked if we would be interested in joining them on a project site visit.

Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation with BPMATwo of us made the journey up there and we took both the new Trimble X7 as well as the TX8 laser scanners. We spent a total of 4 hours on the premises capturing both interior and exterior scans of every room, every exterior elevation and a few of the unique interior and exterior elements. Our team then took that data and processed it all into a complete document that the students could use to recreate this beautiful structure electronically. Their team is still deep in the process, but they’re creating some magical data. After we returned home we completed the same process on another Frank Lloyd Wright house located in a park in our own St. Louis County.

Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation with BPMAWe completed the scans and refined the data at no charge to the facilities or the local university. We did this for a couple of reasons. First, we got to be part of a behind the scenes tour of these amazing houses. My Architect grandfather would have loved to have been there for that. In addition, this data is going to be leveraged to make certain that the design and craftsmanship of these works of art can be maintained for future generations to witness as well.

Special thanks to the teams from the Kraus House and the Sumara House.

Corey Bell
General Manager
BuildingPoint Mid-America

Introducing the Trimble X7 Laser Scanner

The Trimble X7 design is unique in both form and function, integrating a survey-grade servo drive with high-speed scanning, automatic self-leveling and an integrated camera system to deliver exceptional reliability and productivity in the field.

Trimble X7 Laser Scanner Features

The Trimble X7 is a high-speed 3D laser scanning system with new innovations to simplify adoption, increase efficiency and provide confidence in the field. Features and benefits include:

  • In-field registration
  • Image capture
  • Full auto-calibration of range and angular systems with no necessary user interaction
  • 2 Year standard warranty
  • No Annual calibration required (integrated into the workflow of the hardware)
  • Automatic & manual registration, refinement and reporting from the tablet
  • In-field documentation
  • Compare model and scan data in the field
  • Surface analysis tools for horizontal or vertical surfaces
  • Lightweight and agile
  • Export: TDX, TZF, E57, PTX, RCP, LAS & POD files

How is Trimble X7 Self-Leveling Different from Other Scanners

Trimble X7 ScreenThe Trimble X7 self-leveling technology provides both full automation for quick setup and survey-grade accuracy, a performance combination not found in other systems. The scanner achieves survey-grade tilt compensation if the instrument is setup within a working range up to 10° from either side of its vertical axis for upright and upside-down scans. Other scanners either can’t achieve survey-grade accuracy or must be manually leveled within a working range of less than 1 or 2° to achieve survey-grade accuracy, requiring more expertise and time in the field.

Trimble X7 in the Field

What’s unique about the Trimble X7 integrated camera system?

The X7 integrates three cameras aligned to the mirror assembly, each with a specific field of view to enable faster and more productive image capture than systems with a single camera. The operator may capture 15 images in 1 minute or 30 images in 2 minutes for scan colorization and high-quality panoramas. The scanner can apply white balance corrections for indoor and outdoor settings, or the Perspective field software can automatically apply corrections when lighting conditions vary. There is also an HDR option to achieve a higher range of luminance in extremely dark or bright environments.

Trimble X7 Cameras

Want to Learn More about the Trimble X7?

For detailed information about the unique design and technical innovations of the Trimble X7, download the complete white paper from Trimble.

Technology “Flattens” the Concrete Curve

Pouring and placing concrete for flatwork or vertical elements of a building has always been one of my favorite construction processes to watch be installed.

All the hours spent digging, scraping and proof rolling the ground, then establishing building corners installing below grade utilities, installing reinforcing steel, forming areas to contain the concrete pour. Then pour day happens, these activities most often occur in the wee hours of the morning or sometimes during the midnight shift. All to create optimal mix times, chemistry, and atmospheric conditions.

The concrete is poured out from trucks and buggied or pumped into place, then trade workers scurry to place, level, flatten and shine that concrete floor. Then after the concrete is setup a test is done, to determine how flat and level (fF/fL) the floor was installed, typically days later.

If it is not installed in accordance with the spec the floor must be replaced, be ground, or have a topping placed on it. No doubt the floor will be compromised for future use over the life of the building. Over the course of my life I have heard many remarks about inferior flatwork, yet I never witnessed someone identify a true mechanism to fix it in a proactive manner.

Trimble X7 Laser Concrete ScanTrimble X7 Laser Concrete Scan Results

That is until now. In 2020 Trimble came out with the X7 Laser Scanner. It has been incredibly disruptive in the market because of its capabilities and versatility. However, the software version 5.8 of FieldLink now adds in the ability to view floor data live while crews are working. Cycle a scan of the pour in less than 4 minutes, process it on the device, and have a map with layout markers of high and low areas of the floor within 5 minutes.

Then get out and “cut the bumps” then trowel the floor and scan it again, this time running a fF / fL analysis with a report to document the condition of the finished floor. This device will “flat out” change how concrete floors and shafts are placed and documented for years to come.

Corey Bell
General Manager
BuildingPoint Mid-America