Digital Aids to BIM – Software/Hardware – Orthograph on the iPad

The versatility of the iPad2, has been extended for building survey purposes, for the use of architects, facilities managers, real estate owners and building accessors, by the introduction of OrthoGraph Building survey software by ProFM.

The software delivers ease of use, which for this application scenario is vital, as the suggested use requires the “surveyor” to be mobile, YET ACCURATE. Traditional means have comfortably delivered mobility, but have been lacking in the accuracy department. Lets take a look at the functionality:

I have chosen to use the landscape/horizontal mode of the iPad (portrait is also available).

Landscape orientation, offers a constant view of the building hierarchy with show and hide functionality on the left side. Next I have selected to draw a freehand shape of the building or room, with a wall width, height and offset side. I have selected automatic dimension display, to gain immediate feedback on the sizes I have sketched out.

Using the inspector function, I can “examine” the attributes of any segment of wall I have created, as shown by this pop up menu.

Next I decide to accurately enter by numeric value the lengths of each wall segment. The model is being adjusted accordingly by the software.

Each “corrected” numeric entry I make is highlighted in red as a segment and it’s corner nodes are changed from red questionmarket circles, to green ticket circles, so visually, it is very easy to see which dimensions I have entered (probably in accordance with my on site survey process).

Next, I switch to the elements tab at the top, where I can select element types such as doors, windows and objects. I start with a double door. Insert it and then use the “inspector” to review its settings.

After insertion of several doors and windows, I proceed to checking the positioning of these doors and windows, by performing numeric entries of “setting out” dimensions, from corners I have previously verified (green ticket circles) by my onsite survey. You will note the same green visual circles for the nodes of the doors and windows, with accompanying red dimensions.

Now to create a second building. Using the building hierarchy on the left, I create a new building and stipulate it’s relationship to the first. Again I use the sketch tool. This time I draw very poorly and get a “skew” edged building.

Using the nodal adjustment tools under the drawing tab, I am able to simply drag and snap the node to correct the “skew” edge.

This is followed by articulation of this larger building, again by use of tools from the drawing tab. Adding radiussed edges and extrusions.

Insertion of doors and windows follow. With object aswell, as per the pop up object selection menu.

The “inspectors” used in the following images, show various elements of the project, including the buildings, being analysed for accuracy, whilst still on site.

No need to find expensive errors on return to the office, requiring yet another site survey “expedition”…brilliant!

The Orthograph “model” that is created, can be exported directly to ArchiCAD, with all 3D and data attributes (BIM) included in the export process.

Note that attributes such as floor level and height are available for input, via Orthograph, whilst still on site. This means that split level surveys are handled comfortably.

Take a moment to watch the full demonstration video from ProFM at the end of this post.


About bimblogsa

Registered Consultant, BIM
This entry was posted in Architecture, BIM, ifc and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Digital Aids to BIM – Software/Hardware – Orthograph on the iPad

  1. Pingback: real BIM projects…yes they exist | Life, BIM and nuclear science in Southern Africa

  2. Francis says:

    Unbelievable time saving app, definitely going to get it. We do a lot of as built surveys & always have to make frequent trips back to site to reconfirm measurements that don’t ‘tie up’ love the archicad export too, that seals the deal for me!

  3. Hella says:

    OrthoGraph gets 3D showing in the video: If that will be so, then another + for OrthoGraph. I like using the intuitive user interface of OrthoGraph as is now on my iPad. It took some time to understand the basics, but after the first steps it became very useful.

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