Trimble X7 trial – sharing some thoughts

Our next issue of our KOREC Ireland newsletter, Traverse, is coming soon and the front cover features data from a recent trial of the Trimble X7 at the Southern Regional College, Armagh. The college was constructed by Felix O’Hare, which we recently covered in a KOREC case study ‘Taking BIM to the construction site’.  SRC has a Queen’s University student embedded with Felix O’Hare under the Knowledge Transfer Partnership scheme (KTP) who was also part of the trial day along with Wayne Nolan, Senior Site Engineer at Felix O’Hare  John Meneely, 3D Scanning Specialist at Queen’s University, Belfast (@1manscan) and of course KOREC’s Enda Fox and Kevin Colwell. Over the course of the morning, the X7 was used to scan the entire external envelope of the new campus with 35 set ups. Our thanks to Wayne and John for sharing their thoughts on the X7.

John Meneely: “In recent years, laser scanners have followed a fairly standard development curve as seen in many technologies – faster and lighter with some minor additions to functionality.  However, what I like about the X7 is that it brings something new to the mix, namely, the ability to tie into and even place additional control on site, all thanks to the X7’s internal laser pointer. Combining this with the X7’s user-friendly tablet based software, intuitive workflow, on site registration and automatic calibration on power up gives you the reassurance that once a survey is complete, you leave with a fully registered, geo referenced point cloud – confident in the quality, coverage and accuracy of your scan data. Not only does this save a huge amount of time in post processing but engineers can verify on site that nothing has been missed, making the X7 an ideal instrument for the construction industry.

Wayne Nolan: Felix O’Hare & Co. Ltd. Throughout the Armagh SRC project we have embraced many forms of technologies throughout the construction process over our 2 year period on site, from the Trimble R10 GPS equipment to Trimble Robotic Total Stations through to Aerial Drones. As a main contractor, laser scanning is something we are readily looking at to help improve our QA/ QC procedures across all of our projects. The new Trimble X7 laser scanner definitely fits the bill from our point of view – firstly, it’s user friendly and intuitive interface is ideal for construction professionals.

New self-levelling and automatic calibration features not only give you piece of mind regarding the quality of your data but also saves you money year on year! In field registration is a huge benefit for construction professionals alike, as each and every scan is colourised and visible in the field without having to go back to the office – this leaves no stone unturned regarding data capture and eradicates the need to revisit scan areas.

One of the top features for us has to be the X7’s efficient workflows within the field using the Trimble Field Link software. The new integrated laser pointer tool has the ability to geo-reference scans to the site grid and carry out basic setting out procedures without the need to use the Total Station. This is most definitely a game changer for the industry which saves valuable time in any busy site environment. We are currently using this software with our RTS733 total station, so the transition to 3D scanning capabilities is seamless yet effective and productive!

With validation and field verification becoming ever more demanding on our BIM projects, we feel the X7’s capabilities are second to none. Using the T10 Tablet and being able to overlay the scan data onto the live 3D design models in the field ensures quality control and quality assurance are at the forefront whilst maintaining a true and accurate model of the construction project.

In conclusion, the Trimble X7 will provide an excellent tool for many Contractor’s across the industry to provide a first class service to their clients using the latest scanning technology!