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Hello, everyone. Time for our weekly roundup of articles at the intersection of building information modeling (BIM); artificial intelligence (AI); and the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) space.  Here goes:

Turner Construction is proving that BIM is not the wave of the future; it's the present. Turner's team is building the new Sacramento Kings stadium and they're using handy tools to do it. In addition to a standard BIM model, Turner is using drones and land rovers to survey the progress of the project, combining the real-time progress with the original plan model to pinpoint trouble spots and quickly resolve issues. "By streamlining construction progress monitoring, and providing timely reporting, the project team has a much deeper level of transparency and improved communication." This improved communication also speeds up the overall work flow, saving time and money in the process.

This custom-built rover (left) and aerial drone (right) are the first steps in the BIM process for the new stadium. (Source: BDCNetwork)

BIM also played a substantial role in the recent expansion of SF MOMA. Architectural firm Snøhetta was tasked with, essentially, creating one building out of two. While a pre-existing structure gave the design team a solid base to build from, it also presented obvious challenges to integration. With the use of standard and 3D models, however, they were able to create a space that flowed seamlessly with the original structure: "There is no obvious visual shift as visitors move between the two buildings. From the outside, it looks like two buildings. But inside, it feels like one." The new museum is scheduled to reopen to the public on May 14.

An up-close shot of the long-awaited new SF MOMA building. (Source: Line//Shape//Space)

Building bridges is taking on a new dimension in Amsterdam. MX3D is currently creating the world's first 3D-printed bridge to span the Oudezids Achterburgwal canal. Unlike most 3D printers that can only move in fixed directions (up and down, side to side, or front to back), MX3D's robotic printers are omni-directional and can create components in open spaces as opposed to being constrained by a box. "The 3D printing robots are able to print out objects that are significantly larger than those printed using other 3D printing techniques by moving on a track specifically designed for them." The company also sees the potential for their printing robots in situations where work is deemed too dangerous for human workers.

How incredible is this robot sculpting molten metal in midair?! We've entered limitless possibilities land, it seems. (Source: Rapid Ready Tech)

Dassault Systèmes and HTC Vive are teaming up to bring virtual reality to industry. Their goal is to demonstrate uses for VR technology beyond just gaming. The HTC headset can be used with Dassault's 3DEXPERIENCE platform to create collaborative virtual spaces. "I can see this working to connect designers, engineers and manufacturers with efficient means to share their work to incorporate feedback into a design or explain different characteristics of an assembly or component." With this collaborative technology, members of a team in remote locations would be able to come together to troubleshoot problem areas or refine minute design details.

Soon, everyone will be walking around with one of these. (Source:Engineering.com)

Steve Wozniak weighed in with his vision for the future of AI at an innovation summit in Brisbane. He sees the potential for AI to go above and beyond its current capabilities. "We're just at the verge of where the machines may take off and go much further than even we humans could make them go." Such AI combined with 3D printers could make construction crews as we know them a thing of the past.

Steve Wozniak presenting at a conference in Brisbane and preparing the audience for the impending AI takeover. (Source: The Sydney Morning Herald)

For the time being, it still takes a human brain to make meaningful art, but we can always use fun gadgets to do it! Check out this video of "dancing drones" in Japan for a little inspiration. Have a great week!

Tags: BIM Construction Architecture and Planning Virtual Reality

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