Using 3D machine control on smaller construction sites – easy, fast, and cost-efficient
3D machine control systems are commonly used in large projects nowadays, but they are becoming more common on smaller construction sites too. In this blog post, we provide tips on how to evaluate whether to use a 3D machine control system in your project, what are the costs of it and how you can order machine control models.
3D machine control should be used wherever a surveyor is needed
In 3D machine control, machine control models a.k.a. 3D models, play a key role. The system compares the blade’s position to the position of the model and guides the operator in achieving the desired level. In other words, the 3D models allow the driver to do his job efficiently, and in the right order without unnecessary waiting times.
Machine control suits best on construction sites where something new is being produced. As a rule of thumb, you should be using 3D machine control wherever a surveyor would be needed.
A 3D model can be made from a single surface or the location of the wall footing on a small construction site e.g. when building a detached house, for example. In addition to surfaces, a rainwater line, pipeline, or light pole can also be modeled in 3D.
Ordering machine control models is not complicated
As the Xsite PRO 3D system supports open standard file formats, (.DXF and .XML) nearly any designer is able to produce the models in the correct format.
Ordering machine control models for a specific project can be quite simple. First, you will need the basic information: What kind of a contract it is, when will the contract start and when is the deadline. Then you’ll need source data i.e. materials that are used to make the 3D model. It can be bid documents in CAD format, map images, or a foundation plan.
Once the source data has been delivered, the modeler can create the models and transfer them directly to the customer’s system wirelessly or manually via USB-Drive.
The time needed to create the models depends entirely on the project. If the construction site has different layers and several surfaces, normally the designer creates the most urgent models first to get the construction site up and running.
The responsibility for making machine control models is usually defined already at the bid stage. It is common practice that the machine contractor is responsible for the production of 3D models, depending on the size of the site. But of course, these practices vary by country.
The number of the models is also up to the contractor. Someone can do the work with just a background map, but if you want to get the most out of the benefits of machine control, you want to use more than one model. On a construction site for house foundations, it could mean models of foundation bases, construction trenches, pipelines, and the finished surface of a yard.
Costs and benefits of machine control models
The cost of machine control models depends on the source data and what is included in the machine control model. For this reason, the models are usually made on an hourly basis and the price is project-based. In small contracts, it takes less time to create models, so the cost is lower.
It is beneficial to use 3D machine control even on small construction sites also from a financial perspective. As an example, when using machine control on a detached house site, all unnecessary waiting is left out which saves money in the long run. Also, the surveyor’s visit to the construction site can cost more than site models.
Benefits of using machine control and machine control models
Reduced material costs, e.g. 5 centimeters of saved cutting can save an enormous amount of money.
Modeling costs are significantly lower than measurement costs.
Work can be done faster, easier, and in the right order more independently.
Better information management: All parties involved in the project have access to the necessary information.
The turnaround time of the contract is halved compared to the traditional way of working.
No site visits are needed.
On house or road construction sites, the masses can be taken directly into place with the help of models without using topsoil as intermediate storage and with fewer steps.