Construction remains one of the least-digitized major industries, in part because AR (augmented reality) technology requires extensive user engagement for optimal functioning.
AR construction tools allow workers to instantly measure and compare physical construction against infrastructure models in real-time, helping eliminate errors while saving both time and effort for teams.
This article will look more in-depth at augmented reality in construction – benefits and limitations in the industry, and how tools like XYZ Reality’s Engineering Grade AR™ are revolutionizing the construction sector.
Table of Contents
What is augmented reality?
First, let’s quickly go over what AR is. Augmented reality enables the integration of the real world and virtual imaging or other sensory information. Different from virtual reality, AR allows the user to view the virtual image mapped over the real world. This has the potential to enhance the construction process from the design phase to the post-construction phases.
We will look at some of the benefits in the following sections.
3D Design Visualization
3D design visualization helps designers convert their vision into tangible products quickly and cost-effectively, saving both time and money along the way. From prototype creation to communicating with clients, 3D visualization allows designers to pinpoint flaws early and make adjustments without incurring additional redo costs for two-dimensional blueprints.
On construction sites, AR-powered site navigation devices assist workers in positioning themselves appropriately within their physical environment. Monitor the status of construction projects with 3D conflict detection to reduce clashes between existing and newly built objects and monitor any ongoing clashes by monitoring status through conflict detection software.
On-Site Project Planning
Building something of enormous scale requires extensive preparation. Construction planning encompasses outlining each step necessary to achieve your facility design and final plan.
Once work processes have been identified, it’s time to develop a project schedule. When doing so, it is critical that consideration be given as to which steps require management or stakeholder approval and who will be held responsible for obtaining them.
At this stage, it is also necessary to establish what are known as “precedence relationships” between work activities. These consist of sequences that must take place in a certain order for the completion of your project.
Failing to properly specify precedence relationships could render your entire plan impossible to implement; formal scheduling methods and computerized programs will detect such errors quickly. Furthermore, having access to GPS technology-based workforce management solutions may help keep crew members accountable at job sites – helping your team stay on schedule!
AR technology continues to advance and can now be utilized on-site to perform various functions that benefit all project stakeholders. BIM and VDC (virtual design and construction) coordinators can use AR to compare real-world measurements with digital models of space to quickly detect architectural discrepancies that need attention, helping reduce costly rework.
Construction workers can utilize AR to double-check work in progress and ensure it’s being laid correctly, which can be especially helpful on complex projects where it may be hard to visually verify that all lines of pipe, wiring, and conduits are aligned properly.
Safety inspectors can use AR to perform risk analysis safely without visiting any dangerous locations or training on dangerous machinery – a vital tool in an industry where even minor mistakes could lead to severe injuries or fatalities.
Augmented reality can bring many advantages, yet it also presents its share of obstacles. AR requires a stable internet connection to broadcast to team members, restricting its capabilities on construction sites. However, more flexible applications now feature offline modes for an improved experience.
Virtual walk-throughs of projects can also prove extremely helpful for spotting mistakes before they turn into costly rework, saving time, and resources, and ensuring the structure meets design specifications.
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Field workers may initially be skeptical of using new technologies, especially if they feel uncertain about how it will impact their work or what effects it could have on a project. As construction evolves and innovation leaders showcase AR for construction applications, more field workers may open themselves up to adopting it and reaping its many advantages.