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Using data integration to create a 3D clash detection process

Arup is an independent global practice that offers services for all aspects of the built environment. The firm is responsible for the innovative engineering of world-renowned projects such as the Sydney Opera House, the Øresund Link between Denmark and Sweden, and the Beijing Olympic venues.
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This work was done in collaboration with Safe Software partner 1Spatial Group Limited.

Arup reduces human error and prioritizes structural integrity by automating 3D clash detection

What is clash detection? It’s a method for design inspection that identifies if two parts of the building interfere with each other (for example, plumbing and ductwork). It can lead to considerable cost savings because of the reduced construction errors and interruptions.

Eight engineers at Arup were tasked with manual 3D clash detection of underground utilities affecting the route in preparation for the Sydney Light Rail System expansion.

How they made it possible – no code required

Arup created an FME workflow that integrated existing data from GIS and CAD sources and used pre-built FME tools to build custom formats to integrate survey & design data from 12d solutions (12da and 4d). The automated data transformation process outputs clash detection to both a 3D solids model and a web interface.

Arup saved a significant amount of time using FME, and utility assets owners were so pleased with the high-quality output that they requested the enhanced data to improve their internal systems.

“FME really helped to reduce the manual workloads significantly, allowing engineers to focus on other elements of design.”
Richard Bartholomew
Senior Consultant, Arup
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