As Innovation continues to reshape the construction industry, modern AEC workflows eschew paper plans, in favor of BIM software, laser scanned point clouds, and UAVs.
Despite the proliferation of these incredible technologies, there are plenty of people who still believe that it is solely reserved for the mega-size, nationally based AEC firms. But that is simply not the truth.
There are plenty of modern-day digital tools that are a good fit for both large companies and small operations alike that are amazingly affordable. One such device is the Leica BLK3D Imager.
The Leica BLK3D is a small, hand-held 3D camera and digital measurement tool that allows users to leverage the awesome power of photogrammetry – the science of making measurements from photographs.
With a BLK3D in hand, you can snap a picture and measure both lengths and/or areas in that image with great accuracy.
This action is made possible through combining multiple measurement sensors including built-in stereo cameras, software, and on-device edge data processing. Every image captured is a complete and precise 3D measurement file.
So, what additional software is needed to use a Leica BLK3D Imager?
At least not at a basic level.
The BLK3D is ready to use right out of the box without any additional subscriptions. The 3D camera ships with BLK3D Mobile Basic software.
What is BLK3D Mobile?
BLK3D Mobile is the proprietary software preinstalled on the BLK3D Imager. It allows users to capture and measure 3D images.Even new users feel right at home with the app’s intuitive functionality and user interface. Many find it familiar to many smartphone apps.
Here’s a list of some of the powerful functions available through the mobile app.
Laser Assisted Capture - Use the Laser Assist during Reality Capture to simplify the capture process.
Picture Brightness in Measure - Image brightness can now be adjusted during or after capture. Use the slider to set the perfect level of brightness to make measuring easier.
Autonomous Measurement - Automatic Edge Detection will identify and measure up to four most prominent lines in a 3D image. You can trigger this function multiple times to add more measurements to your images.
Improved File Management - Easily access exported files from the new Exports folder in Organizer. From there, you can open, sort, rename, and delete any file, and share files to any app installed on your BLK3D.
Optional BLK3D Mobile Software Upgrades
To enhance the mobile experience even further, there are various upgrade options available for advanced users to increase productivity and efficiency.
Mobile Sketch & Document allows users to sketch a new plan or work with existing plans on their BLK3D. With a wide variety of options for sketching rooms or uploading PDF/JPG plans, dimensioning interior spaces and photo documentation make this option extremely valuable for field work. This subscription also allows you to work with your plans on BLK3D Desktop with no additional subscription required.
Mobile Publisher Subscription allows users in the field to capture & share measurements with anyone, anywhere in a matter of seconds if they have a hotspot connection.
Images are uploaded to BLK3D Web and can be shared with a unique hyperlink with anyone, anywhere with no license required for the recipient. 3D Images are opened in the web browser of their choice and can be measured and exported almost instantly.
Mobile Autodesk BIM 360 Subscription is for existing users of BIM 360, this option is a fantastic way to enrich BIM 360 Docs with measurable photos. Users can bring collaboration to a new level by assigning issues with actionable information.
Anyone with access to the BIM 360 project will have the ability take measurements in BLK3D Web, without any need for local software installations or licenses. For General Contractors, Subcontractors, Architects & Consultants, the BIM 360 integration brings field conditions to decision makers.
Upgrade to BLK3D Desktop Software for Even Greater Functionality
Leica BLK3D Desktop Base is a desktop extension of the mobile software which runs on Windows-based PCs. It allows you to organize, measure, and work with images created on the 3D Imager hardware.
The 1-year BLK3D Desktop Base Subscription includes organizer, measure and working with plans.
You can pick up in the office where you left off in the field and transfer 3D images to the desktop and continue to add other measurements and further organize projects.
Measure distance or area in 3D with the aid of the same advanced snapping algorithms that are built into the BLK3D itself.
The BLK3D Desktop keeps projects organized and can export measurements as CAD drawings, JPGs, or PDFs.
Leica BLK3D Desktop Base software optimal system requirements:
1) Desktop or laptop PC running Windows 10 or 8.1 (previous versions are not supported)
2) 4GB-6GB RAM available
3) Mouse with scroll wheel for efficient zoom & point selection
Optional BLK3D Desktop Software Upgrades
Desktop Publisher Subscription is like BLK3D Mobile, except that images are published within BLK3D Desktop, this option is ideal for users who prefer to work with their 3D Images primarily in the office.
Inside of BLK3D Desktop, a simple right click on a 3D Image in Organizer will allow users to generate a unique link to the photo. The links can be shared or embedded almost anywhere for use by anyone with a web browser and internet connection!
Desktop Autodesk BIM 360 Subscription allows users of BIM 360 to access their projects and manage their 3D Images. It is like the Mobile integration; users can enrich their issues with measurable photos to ensure smooth and efficient collaboration between project stakeholders.
A Powerful Way to Capture and Measure Jobsite Data
No matter if you tap into the enhanced desktop apps or simply use the BLK3D camera right out of the box, you will greatly benefit from the results that it provides.
Large firms and sole proprietors alike can easily justify the investment by saving many hours on each jobsite and capitalizing on the amazing accuracy of the measurements made by the simple snap of a picture with the Leica BLK3D.