Leica’s new manual construction total stations streamline BIM workflows

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Leica Geosystems has released two new manual construction total stations, the iCON iCB50 and iCB70. Presented as “the next generation of iCON manual total stations”, the Leica iCON iCB50 and iCB70 facilitate construction companies move from analogue to digital workflows. Both total stations are equipped with Leica iCON build field software, which stands for “intelligent CONstruction”.

The newly-released Leica iCON iCB50 (right) and iCB70 (left).

Judging from the numeration of both new devices, they appear to be a follow-up to the manual total station Leica Geosystems released in 2014, the Leica iCON builder 60, an entry-level instrument for construction layout and aimed at foremen and site supervisors. This instrument was also available as a robotic total station, the iCON robot 60.

iCON Product features

The iCON iCB70 can be considered to be the deluxe version of the iCB50, especially when it comes to field software and integration with third-party vendor software. With regards to angular accuracy, the iCB70 offers 1”, 2” and 5”, whereas the iCB50 offers 2” and 5”. As opposed to the iCB70, the iCB50 does not offer a WLAN (wireless local area network) interface for internet access, communication and data transfer. Only the iCB70 offers a prisms for distance measurements up to 3,500 m, in addition to reflectorless measurements.

Both instruments can be used for layout points and lines, performing verticality checks on formwork and structures, completing as-built measurements and working with digital design data, including fully rendered models in IFC. The iCB70 enables data transfer directly to and from the office, offering an additional optional mobile data capability (for GSM/GPRS/UMTS and LTE) not available on the iCB50.

Supporting BIM workflows

Recognizing the value of BIM, Leica recently integrated its field software Leica Captivate and iCON with Autodesk BIM 360, a construction management platform. This integration has far-reaching implications for data workflows, as different tools now become interoperable and less time is spent on data exchange between different systems.

The connection of Autodesk BIM 360 with Leica’s field software will allow multiple supported data workflows, including:

  1. Connectivity to Autodesk BIM 360 for Captivate and iCON software;
  2. Data exchange via cloud-based services between office and field;
  3. Straightforward data flow from point creation in the design to construction lay-out onsite, back to validation in the office;
  4. AutoCAD DWG file format support for Captivate and iCON software.

Because all Leica iCON products now use the iCON field software, it has become easier to establish streamlined and connected workflows across applications. Both new devices come with the iCON build software, which includes sketching, stakeout, layout of points and lines, checks and as-built creation. However, only the iCB70 offers additional functionality (called iCON build plus) that includes support for Autodesk BIM 360 and Leica ConX. For the iCB50, iCON build plus software is optional for performing additional operations onsite.

 

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Eric van Rees

Eric van Rees is a freelance writer and editor. His specialty is GIS technology. He has more than nine years of proven expertise in editing, writing and interviewing as editor and editor-in-chief for the international geospatial publication GeoInformatics, as well as GIS Magazine and CAD Magazine, both published in Dutch. Currently, he writes about geospatial technology, programming and web development.

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