News and ideas about Scaffold Designer

Carpenters Scaffolding and Solar Conference 2019

Visualize for Success: AR/VR Solutions in Scaffolding Design

Scaffolding visualization is the key to project success. From bidding and proposals in the boardroom to safety and assembly at the job site, the ability to effectively visualize scaffolding can have a major impact on your win-rate and profitability. 

Overly complicated proposals. Misunderstandings over project scope. Budget overruns due to scaffolding modifications. Scaffolding companies must overcome many costly issues to ensure profitability. 

Scaffolding visualization gives you a blueprint for success to help you overcome all of these obstacles. With today’s technologies, you have the power to bring your scaffold design to life in full augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR). 

As part of a panel of speakers, Avontus’ VP of Operations Andrew Smith shared valuable insights into scaffolding design software and its benefits at the UBC Scaffolding and Solar Conference 2019.

UBC Scaffolding and Solar Conference 2019
Avontus’ VP of Operations Andrew Smith at the UBC Scaffolding and Solar Conference 2019.

Learn how to visualize success with AR/VR in scaffolding from our conference recap below. 

Visualize for Safety 

When transitioning a scaffold model from paper sketch to the job site, information can get lost in translation. It isn’t easy to prescribe technical requirements of a complex structure with a two-dimensional illustration, let alone assessing its safety assurance.   

The communications gap between scaffold users and contractors can cause serious safety hazards, such as missing decks or open holes. And these issues often surface at handover, resulting in costly change orders and modifications. 

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3D Scaffold Model through Scaffold Viewer

Overcome the safety concerns with Avontus’ Scaffold Viewer. Simply upload your scaffolding model to have it visualized in a three-dimensional (3D) illustration. Scaffold Viewer enables a “virtual handover” and “virtual modification/variation” to catch issues before men and materials hit the job site, saving labor cost, equipment waste, and delay. You can review the scaffold model with the whole team, no more confusion and frustration over unclear project requirements. 

Visualize for Scope 

Scaffolds can sometimes take months to erect, which means a great deal of knowledge has to be recreated through work in progress. As the plan departs from the initial scope, the “field designed” scaffolding may not align with what you original priced, impacting your margin and risking delays that upset the customer. 

Are you struggling to deliver scaffolding that meets your customer’s expectations within the project scope? Let’s revisit your projects and ask these questions: 

  • Are we designing to our scope? – How to ensure the designs are accurate and attainable for building. 
  • Do we need to change our approach? – How to ensure an efficient workflow to maintain alignment with the project scope. 

Scaffold Designer helps you create a “living model” that is available from the first bid to the time of build, ensuring consistency with scope and pricing as the project progresses. Also, by eliminating the need for “field design,” you substantially reduce labor costs – one of the critical success factors in managing scaffolding projects. 

With Scaffold Viewer, the crew can take the design with them in their pockets at all times as well! 

Visualize for Sales 

Your customers aren’t scaffolding experts. They often don’t appreciate the creativity and expertise in your proposals, and instead, focus on price. This commoditizes your work, preventing you from capturing the full value of your expertise. 

We want to shift the “lowest bid wins” perception towards an emphasis on the value delivered through a well-thought-out scaffolding design. 

AR-enabled Scaffold Model by Scaffold Viewer

Enabled by augmented reality (AR), Scaffold Viewer renders your digital scaffolding sketch into an interactive 3D visualization in real life. The model can be scaled up or down to review from your mobile device. With this proof of concept, your customers can have full visibility into how the scaffolding looks even before it takes shape at the job site. 

From here, designers and contractors can simultaneously verify the work, capture any potential changes, and create variations to deliver successful projects based on requirements. Without guesswork, you can design and estimate scaffolding in a way that maximizes customer benefits – whether it’s optimizing material costs or labor efficiency.   

Visualize for Success: Win More Bids and Reach Greater Heights with Avontus 

Increased competition, ongoing commoditization, shrinking margins, and labor shortages in the scaffolding industry can easily put a damper on your profits.  

Scaffold Designer is the key to combating these issues. It gives you a powerful tool to increase differentiation, address customer needs, and deliver added value. Such visualization capabilities with Scaffold Viewer, among other technology tools, ensure project deliverables and alignment from start to finish, helping you to reduce risks and increase efficiency. 

Gain a competitive advantage with high-tech solutions like AR and VR for scaffolding design and visualization. Contact us today for a free demo of Scaffold Designer and Scaffold Viewer. 

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The Evolution of Scaffold Design

From high-rise buildings, or historical sites, to far-off places, scaffolding has always been a critical component to aid infrastructure improvements and expansion.  

We’ve come a long way since the early days of scaffold construction. As an industry innovator, we are proud to present the new evolution of scaffold design. Here, you will learn about the use cases for augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and interactive 3D in scaffolding.

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Bringing Your Vision to Life with Augmented Reality

To design safe and reliable scaffolding, you need the combined efforts and skills of numerous people: engineers, designers, estimators, and builders – as well as the building owners. Communicating an accurate scaffold structure to everyone can be a challenge, particularly with more complex drawings.

Historically, one of the most common planning methods has been to use a set of printed drawings. But visualizing a three-dimensional scaffold on a two-dimensional illustration is difficult. It’s all the more challenging to communicate to the scaffold team, including the building owner, the potential issues like electrical or piping obstructions. Failure to do so can cost you both time and money.

What if there was a way to conceptualize scaffolding from drawings? There is. Welcome to augmented reality, or AR.

Imagine a world where you look at a building façade and are able to simulate the proposed scaffolding in real life. Enabled by AR technology, you can now turn the job site into the construction site with life-size scaffolds. As you walk around and inspect the digital scaffolding, you can easily verify its structure and safety measures before building it. By removing guesswork, you can ensure that the scaffold is built and handed over as designed.

 

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Off-site inspection of scaffolding design is also possible with AR technology.

For example, you’re attending an important sales meeting to present a scaffold design for a building renovation. It has all the qualities that will benefit the construction crew – elegant design, cost effective, and simple to construct. The problem is, the client is not familiar with scaffolding, which limits him from visualizing your design and fully understanding the benefits that you are proposing. 

So, you lay out a large printed drawing of the plan in front of them and, voila, the drawing comes to life. Through your smart device, the scaffold structure appears on top of the drawing. Your client can now see your design in all its glory. You know right then that you’re going to get the job.

This application is also AR enabled, but it’s scaled down to a smaller model for mobile 3D viewing.

 

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Freedom to Imagine with Virtual Reality (VR)

As an extension of scaffold design software, a VR headset allows you to view the entire structure and access obstacles before the scaffold is built. With this ground-breaking technology, you’ll get a full idea of the scale of your scaffold and be able to interact with it digitally.

 

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Wearing the VR headset, you can virtually fly up the stair tower and float right at the overhang to make sure the painters can access the other side of the pipe for painting. It’s only one of the many use cases of virtual reality. It puts the design in perspective in a way that’s unattainable for people in print.

 

Interactive 3D: Mobility at Its Best

 

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The possibilities with a 3D model are endless.

For instance, while out of the office, you want to check if there is a cantilever in your design. Simply open up the app on your smart device to review the mockup. Once you are there, fly up to outside at the 6th level and confirm that you have indeed added the cantilever and there’s a double layer of bracing, just like you expected. This is an interactive 3D view.

 

Putting it Together with a Shared Design

scaffold softwareYour scaffold team has a copy your drawings, and that’s only the beginning.

In reality, it takes lots of review and evaluation when working on-site. For example, there might be a complex area that requires a lot of section cuts and elevations.

With our Scaffold Design software, you can work closely with the foreman on the jobsite to easily make any necessary modifications to the scaffold. There’s no need to shut things down for redesign work–the job is ready to go once you are happy with it.

During the toolbox talk, the builders then view the design on a tablet and fly around the scaffold with the foreman to clarify the details. Having the virtual scaffolding at scale leaves no room for doubts or guesswork. There are no more questions as to what they’re going to build and how it’s expected to turn out.

Take an Evolutionary Leap in Scaffold Design

Scaffold Designer and Scaffold Viewer by Avontus make it all possible, from printed drawings to interactive 3D to virtual to augmented reality. The free Scaffold Viewer app transforms your Scaffold Designer drawings right before your eyes. Now, you can store designs in the cloud and access them from anywhere. Your scaffolding is right in your pocket, ready to be viewed and shared with your team and clients anytime.

Download Scaffold Viewer from https://www.scaffoldvr.com (for free) and see for yourself.

Ready for more? Contact us at sales@avontus.com for a free demonstration today.

 

Introduction to Estimating Scaffold Materials & Costs with Scaffold Designer

 

 

Hand-drawn scaffolding designs are incredibly time-intensive and difficult for clients and work crews to revise and understand. Scaffolding design and estimation software, like Scaffold Designer and Quantify, improve design efficiency and accuracy with easy to manipulate 3D models. 

Our software helps scaffolding designers reduce the amount of time it takes to design scaffolding structures and lower costs caused by inaccurate designs. You’ll even find that it’s easier to share your designs with your team and clients. 

Below, check out our introduction to Scaffold Designer and learn how to design scaffolding and generate material estimates. 

 

What is Scaffold Designer?


Our scaffolding design software, compatible with VR/AR, uses a drag and drop interface that gives users the ability to develop scaffolding layout designs and quickly generate a bill of materials for client proposals and scaffold erection.

 

What scaffolding types does Scaffold Designer support?


Scaffold Designer supports six major types of scaffolding, including:

  1. Cup Type
  2. Ring Type
  3. Kwikstage
  4. Haki
  5. Octo
  6. Safway

 

How does Scaffold Designer calculate materials?


The software is equipped with a customizable materials database, which includes parts numbers, dimensions and descriptions. You can even input your own materials. Designers and engineers can generate a Bill of Materials (BOM) for any designs and export to Quantify to generate a detailed materials cost estimate.

Each estimate provides accurate measurements and counts of scaffolding materials, including height, width, overall surface area and more. 

 

How do you estimate scaffolding materials with Scaffold Designer?


Before you start estimating materials, you’ll need to design a scaffolding structure. The example below shows you how to design your first scaffold and estimate the amount of materials needed for your design.

 

Step 1: Preparing the Scaffolding Drawing Environment


After downloading and installing Scaffold Designer, get started by preparing your drawing environment.

 

1. Click on the desktop icon or application to launch Scaffold Designer.

 

2. The application automatically launches with the option for you to create a new scaffolding drawing.

 


3. Select your preferred drawing units, either metric units or US units.

 

 

4. To finish configuring your drawing environment, select your scaffolding type.

 

 

 

Step 2: Drawing Scaffolding with Scaffold Designer


Now that the drawing environment is configured, you’re ready to start designing. In the section below, you’ll learn how to add, edit, change and save scaffolding bays, as well as generate materials and cost estimates.

 

Step 2.1: Adding & Editing a Scaffolding Bay


1. To add a new scaffolding bay to your design, click and drag New Bay to your drawing page. Once you’ve added the bay to your drawing, you can view the object in 3D and edit bay level details.

 

 

2. With the Bay Level Editor at the bottom of the application, you can easily edit Bay Details, like the height and number of levels.

 

 

Step 2.2: Adding Additional Scaffolding Bays


In addition to adding bay levels, you can also add scaffolding bays to any side of your original design.

 

1. Click to select the original bay you created.

 

 

2. On the upper-left corner of the menu bar, select Add Bay from the Scaffold Tab to add a bay to any side.

 

 

 

Step 2.3: Changing Scaffolding Bay Dimensions


To customize your scaffold design, you can also easily change the dimensions of your scaffolding bays.

 

1. Select the scaffolding bay from your drawing.

 

 

2. Under the Scaffold tab, select the LR dropdown in the Bay Size/Elevation group and select your preferred size.

 

 

 

Step 2.4: Completing Basic Scaffolding


No scaffold is complete without ladder access and vertical braces, which is why Scaffold Designer has built-in features that give you the power to do both.

 

1. Select the bay where you’d like to add the ladder and under the Scaffold tab, select Ladders.

 

 

2. To finish this sample scaffold, we’ll complete the model with supporting vertical braces. Under the Scaffold Tab select Side Settings and select the Top, Left and Bottom Face Braces.

 

 

Step 3: Creating a Bill of Materials


Now that you’ve designed your first set of scaffolding bays, by changing the dimensions and adding a ladder with braces, you’re ready to estimate the amount of materials needed to bring your design to life.

 

1. Under the Scaffold tab, select Bill of Materials to review the equipment list and scaffold units.

 

 

Step 3.1: Customizing the Bill of Materials


You’ll likely need to customize the BOM, based on the materials that you’re using for your project as well as the units. Scaffold Designer gives you the ability to change the part number, material description and modify for all materials.

1. To make changes to the BOM, simply select the box where you’d like to make your changes and adjust the cell numbers until they meet your needs.

 

 

2. Aside from scaffolding materials, Scaffold Designer also allows you to view the Scaffolding Units for the overall structure.

 

 

Step 3.2: Improving Stakeholder Workflow


Rather than exporting separate files for your stakeholders, Scaffold Designer makes it easy to keep the design and material estimates together.

 

1. When you’re done customizing your materials, simply select Copy to Clipboard and select Close BOM to return to your drawing.

 

 

2. Right click anywhere on your drawing page and select Paste to add your Bill of Materials. You can resize and move the material estimates wherever you’d like on the page.

 

 

Congrats for making it through your first tutorial on how to design scaffolding with Scaffold Designer and generate material estimates. To learn more about using Scaffold Designer for your next installation project, contact us or read more about our scaffolding design software.

Scaffolding Estimates for Top Buildings Around the World

As scaffold designers and engineers, it’s likely that you’ve traveled with your family or friends and the thought has crossed your mind, “How much scaffolding would it take to cover that building?” From the White House to Buckingham Palace, we tried to create scaffolding estimates for buildings that most designers dream of working on. Using Scaffold Designer, we were able to develop estimates on the total volume, maximum height, the total number of pieces needed and the total weight to scaffold these iconic buildings.

Below, you’ll find estimates on how much scaffolding it would take to scaffold buildings around the world, from the White House to the Buckingham Palace. So next time you’re visiting or working on a site in Washington D.C. or London, you may just have a rough answer for the total amount of materials needed to scaffold the historical buildings of each city.

The United States White House

At almost 170 ft long and 70 ft tall, the unique columns and parapets of the United States White House pose a challenge for scaffold designers and engineers. Planned and constructed under the personal supervision of the 1st President, George Washington, the White House has seen several architectural iterations that required scaffolding at different points in history. Below, you’ll find our estimates for just how much scaffolding it would take to cover the latest iteration of this iconic building.

 

The Lincoln Memorial

If you’re working on a project in Washington D.C., then you can impress other designers, engineers and friends with your knowledge of the capitol’s architecture. Henry Bacon’s original design, which took over 8 years to complete, poses similar challenges to scaffolding designers and engineers as the U.S. White House. With 36 columns wrapping around the structure, this job requires a designer who is an expert in scaffolding structures. Next time there is a maintenance project, as to make sure that the Lincoln Memorial survives generations, you’ll have an idea of just how much scaffolding will be needed to complete the project.

Transamerica Pyramid

3,000 miles across the United States, the Transamerica Pyramid stands out as one of the most well-known buildings in the San Francisco skyline. The four-sided pyramid building extends roughly 200 ft in the air above its base, totaling 853 ft. After four years of construction, it was the largest skyscraper in San Francisco until earlier this year when it was surpassed by the Salesforce Tower. Although it’s unlikely that the entire structure would be scaffolded, given the location of the Transamerica Pyramid in an area prone to earthquakes, there have been periods of time when scaffolding was erected atop the each wing. Below, you’ll find an estimate of the required materials for scaffolding the entirety of this iconic San Franciscan building.

Notre Dame Cathedral

As the oldest and most revered building on this list, the Notre Dame Cathedral has undoubtedly seen periods of scaffolding since construction began in 1163. Unlike the other Western buildings on our list, the Notre Dame Cathedral took many decades to complete and passed through the hands of several architects and designers. If you read through people’s experiences of visiting the Notre Dame Cathedral, then you’ll find plenty of references to the many years that scaffolding graced its walls. At roughly 300 ft high and 400 ft long, the Notre Dame Cathedral requires a significant team of scaffold designers and engineers to construct a structure large enough to cover its facade — and we’ve estimated just how much that is.

Big Ben

Although some of the buildings on our list haven’t been scaffolded for years, the Big Ben was covered up in early October and will continue through the holidays. At 320 ft high, the Big Ben requires a scaffolding structure with a strong base and protection barriers against the alarmingly loud 118-decibel rings that will continue into the holiday season. Completed in 1859, the neo-gothic structure has required multiple periods of maintenance over the years. Londoners are used to seeing the Elizabeth Tower covered in scaffolding and it seems like this year is no different.

Buckingham Palace

Arguably the most iconic building in England, the Buckingham Palace is no small feat to scaffold. With major additions in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, residents and visitors are also used to seeing scaffolding around the royal quarters. Last year, scaffolding was even erected on top of the Buckingham Palace for maintenance to the palace’s flagpole.

The Buckingham Palace is not only an interesting structure to scaffold due to its complexity, but it also played a major role in the scaffolding industry’s history. In 1906, Daniel Palmer-Jones and his brother, David Henry-Jones started the Rapid Patent scaffolding company and later won a bid in 1913 that led them to create the scaffixer in 1919, an innovative technology that led to the standardization of the scaffolding industry. From all the buildings on our list, the Buckingham Palace was arguably the most important in helping to establish the scaffolding industry.

If you like scaffolding structures as much as we do, then chances are you’re excited to walk into the world with your newfound knowledge of how much scaffolding it would take to build iconic structures around the world. And if you’ve had the pleasure of working on one of these buildings, but never knew the final numbers, you can now brag to your friends about how much scaffolding your team was able to put up around these historical sites.

How to Make a Stencil of Frequently Used Beams

A new how-to article has been posted on the Avontus Help page.

To see the tutorial on how to create Beams, click here.

All About Beams

A new how-to article has been posted on the Avontus Help page.

To see the tutorial on how to create Beams, click here.

Scaffold Designer Is Ramping Up!

A new how-to article has been posted on the Avontus Help page.

To see the tutorial on how to create sloped decks and ramps, click here.

 

 

With Casters, Scaffold Designer Is On a Roll!

Casters have been one of our most requested features. Now you can add casters to any or all verticals of any scaffold tower. Choose between two types of casters, fixed and adjustable.

Add Casters to any Scaffold

Use the Bay Details window to add casters to any scaffold tower. The new “All” column makes adding changes to all verticals or sides even easier!

Choose Between Fixed and Adjustable Casters

To adjust the length of any caster, select Adjustable Caster set the Jack Height

 

Add any Size Casters

Use the Material Master to add any size Casters

New Scaffold Designer

Avontus Software is pleased to announce that Scaffold Designer 2017 version 6.1.404 is available for update for those under a current subscription.

RAMPS

The new Scaffold Designer enables you to create sloped scaffold ramps, decks and guardrails, with parts that are accurately counted in the BOM, and viewed in Scaffold VR!

CASTERS

One of our more requested features, Scaffold Designer now supports fixed and adjustable casters.

SCAFFOLD VR

Scaffold VR is available to everyone. Click on the links below to download and use for free.

 

 

         

  Apple App Store                  Google Play Store               Windows Desktop

 

PERFORMANCE

Scaffold Designer’s performance has been improved by about 50%, especially for designs with many side brackets.

The drawing file size have also been reduced by about 70% of what they were in previous versions. Even if you open old drawings in this new version of Scaffold Designer and save them, the resulting file will be reduced by about 70% of its original size.

SHORING AND DECKING

Use the new Beam Object to represent any scaffold part, and Scaffold Designer will accurately list it in the Bill of Materials (BOM). To make the new part appear in the BOM, add it to the Material Master, which makes it available across all your designs. You can then use the part number for the new object and Scaffold Designer will include it in the BOM.

You can also add non-scaffolding objects (such as plywood) as parts that will be included in the Material Master, and add them to a stencil library for use in any drawing.

 

SCAFFOLD VR VIEWER

Fly through your scaffolding with the VR Viewer. The viewer is still free to all new and current customers, To get your free viewer upgrade your Scaffold Designer to the current version. The price has also been significantly reduced if you wan to buy one for your customers or co-workers to view your models.

 

                          

 Amazon US                                   Amazon UK

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Tanks A Lot!

Originally posted on Wednesday, March 2, 2016

With the latest release of Scaffold Designer, drawing scaffolding around tanks and other round structures is easier than ever.

For a full-size version of the video, click here.

 

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The new Polygon Wall feature converts tank objects into regular polygons, which makes creating a Tank Scaffold literally as easy as 1, 2, 3!

 

1. Create a Tank.

 

 

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2. Convert the tank to a Polygon Wall.

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3. Create a Wall Scaffold on the polygon.

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It’s as easy as that.

By: Cliff Young