“Undet really understands the needs of people who work with different CAD platforms.” said Judd. More importantly, the Undet developers have created a universal output file format so that any file generated in Undet works seamlessly in ARES Commander, Revit, SketchUp, and AutoCAD. This is an incredible time saver when moving model files from one software to another.
For Simon Judd, Managing Director of Precision Air Surveys in the UK, there are many reasons for standardizing on the Undet point cloud modeling package in his company. The most compelling is the flexibility Undet gives him in using a variety of CAD software products and working seamlessly with professionals across the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) sector.
Based in Hove, England, Precision Air Surveys specializes in surveying and modeling the built environment, typically delivering CAD files to architects and engineers designing the restoration, refurbishment, or building additions for existing structures like schools, hospitals, and homes. Deliverables often include 3D building information models (BIMs), 2D floorplans and facades, and exterior terrain models.
“We pride ourselves in using the best technology – or combinations – for the job,” said Judd. On any given project, the firm might deploy drones to capture rooftop details and topography, terrestrial laser scanners for façade and interior data, and traditional total stations to tie into the local geodetic network. Regardless of where the data comes from, Judd uses Undet to derive deliverables from the point cloud.
ARES Commander has become Judd’s primary CAD software, but like many others in his profession, he is finding himself turning to all the CAD tools at his disposal depending on the needs of a project. And this is where Undet proves invaluable.
For modeling facades, 2D floor plans and building structures, Judd sticks with ARES Commander. But for more involved 3D modeling, he turns to SketchUp, or he chooses AutoCAD when more intense 3D solid modeling must be done. And when an entire BIM must be delivered, Judd goes with Revit.
“There is a separate Undet plugin for each of these products,” said Judd, explaining that each Undet version was developed individually to fully leverage the functionality of the CAD package that it’s plugged into.
For CAD professionals like Judd, this file interoperability also facilitates sharing deliverables with business partners and customers, regardless of the CAD software they use.
In addition to compatibility and interoperability, Judd prefers Undet for its ease of use. As an early adopter of the plugin about five years ago, he taught himself to use it and says the software is just as quick to learn today. The ease-of-use advantage relates to the way each Undet plugin is designed for seamless use in each CAD software.
“If you’re working in your favorite CAD package, you don’t really have to learn something new.” He marvels at how many relatively complicated processes, such as “slicing, dicing, cutting and colorizing data sets” and instantly changing the point cloud scene view can be accomplished with a mouse click or two. And easily isolating building elements from the larger point clouds with Undet makes for a faster work experience because the computer doesn’t have to process such enormous data sets.
Today, Judd is trying out the new Undet Browser in the Undet for AutoCAD, Ares Commander and Revit 2022 editions. The new Browser makes it much easier to view the point cloud in the CAD model so you can identify the nearest scan position and find an object in the point cloud. Simon Judd’s initial reaction to the Browser is positive.