Designing with accurate measurements
Author: Cornelia Dietz
Great design starts with the designer’s inspiration and accurate measurements. Falk Flöther, leader of CADFish and partner of Vectorworks knows this. Flöther worked as a CAD specialist dealer for Vectorworks, a CAD and BIM software provider, and founded his own company, CADfish, to distribute Vectorworks’ solutions in the region of Graz, Linz and Western Austria.
Flöther develops entire workflows for his clients providing CAD services for the architecture, landscape and event industries with integrated, complete solutions from the initial on-site measurements to the finished plan. This is where the Leica DISTO™ S910 comes into the picture.
Flöther initially tried the DISTO™ S910 with the tripod adapter FTA360-S and the tripod TRI70 to carry out distance measurements while working on his company building. The precision surveying laser distance metre provided the consistent workflow with multiple precise measurements in 3D he was looking for.
Capturing multiple measurements in 3D
Flöther usually measures challenging dry construction and facades with different room heights, several slopes and joints. The DISTO™ S910 radically improved the efficiency of his common measuring tasks. Flöther enjoys the simplicity of the device; he can measure from one single location and operate the laser distance metre without studying manuals or videos.
“Once the device had been positioned centrally in the room, it was aligned horizontally and rotated three times by 90° to level the device 'mathematically'. Then, with the help of the micro-adjustable stand adapter and Leica DISTO™ Point to Point function, measuring started by pointing to the selected surfaces in the building,” explained Flöther. “Once the last point had been recorded, the 3D point cloud was saved on the device as a Drawing Exchange Format (DXF) file. Pictures of the surveyed points were automatically saved alongside, making it easy to control the quality and check the surveyed data later.”
The DISTO™ S910 connects to compatible mobile apps with Bluetooth and exports the DXF files over WiFi, allowing to start post-processing immediately after measuring to visualise and manage data.
From the field to the office
Connecting the Leica DISTO™S910 to the computer and moving the DXF file straight into Vectorworks, a 2D and 3D CAD and BIM software, using the drag-and-drop function enabled Flöther to adjust the working planes of the imported 3D points, create tables with construction elements and more.
“You can adjust the working planes of the imported 3D points with three clicks, and then a simple rectangle or polygon can be plotted on the selected surfaces,” said Flöther. “To update tables, all I have to do is right click on the table that I have created for the dry construction elements and it updates. With one click I have all the dimensions, and they are always up to date. All of this works equally well with distance measurement units, for example, in corner profiles.”
To visualise data in an easier way, the CAD expert plots different surfaces or panelling with different classes of a polygon. For instance, Flöther plotted the dry construction surfaces in green and in grey.
Using DISTO™S910, Flöther collects precise 3D data from simple or complex surfaces and transfers easily any measurement into Vectorworks with 3D points available in DXF format. Precision surveying tools just like DISTO™S910 can provide an efficient solution also for CAD software users who need accurate measurements visualised in a smart way for designing.