ConTechTrio Podcast Episode 29 – Construction Tech News Including HTC Vive’s Release of Viveport, SmartBid Updates, an iPad Pro 3D CAD Software App & Interview w/ Andy J. Egan Company

Starting Off
Last Friday, the #ConTechTrio aired episode 29 of the podcast in which James Benham (@jamesmbenham), Rob McKinney (@conappguru) and Josh Bone (@bim2thebone) discussed the latest construction tech news. Headliners last week included  HTC Vive’s release of Viveport, smart bricks capable of recycling water, SmartBid’s construction bid software platform updates, safety gloves that protect your fingers, a 3D CAD software app for the iPad Pro and much more! Special guest Chris Weaver, Director of Technology, from Andy J. Egan Company (@andyeganco) also joined to discuss laser scanning from the mechanical perspective.

Weekly Poll
The JBKnowledge Twitter poll question from last week’s episode, “Does your company have an Internal Technology Champion?” – resulted in 89% Yes and 11% No. A new poll question was also highlighted on the show, related to this week’s episode – technology from the mechanical perspective. The question – “Is your company using a 3D scanning tool?” The poll can be found on the JBK Twitter page and participants need only answer the single question with “Yes” or “No.” Also in Twitter news, the ConTechTrio launched their own Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, to foster open Q&A and group discussions.

Construction Tech News
The trio kicked off the industry news with a Los Angeles firm, The Martin Brothers, who built a bathroom pod frame without the use of construction plans (no plans=no problems). The HoloLens made headlines again, in an article highlighting how a building company was able to save $5,000 in labor costs by utilizing the AR technology. HTC Vive announced the release of Viveport, a store where people can explore the latest and greatest in VR content and experiences.

In construction news, a team of scientists from the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol), developed smart bricks that are capable of recycling wastewater and generating electricity from sunlight. Amazon has partnered with the UK government to test drones for package delivery, since they are still forbidden from testing this type of drone tech in the US. The Millennium Tower, a $350 million luxury condo in San Francisco, has settled 16 inches and tilted two inches since it’s completion in 2008.

The US Navy has just finished testing ‘Magic Carpet,’ an augmented reality software that will give pilots a break when trying to land on aircraft carriers. In regards to JBKnowledge updates, SmartBid now has a single sign-on for system and support access, a new user interface and an improved bad email report section. The Shed, a new shape-shifting cultural venue in New York, incorporates design elements, such as, a mechanized 120-foot-tall telescoping roof and movable walls that rise up like garage doors.

It was a big week for Pepper Construction, who won the “Best Overall Project” at the AEC Hackathon. Their VP of Technology, Howie Piersma, also took the stage as the host and event chair for the eighth annual AGC IT Forum Conference. Jeff Kowalski, Chief Technology Officer at Autodesk, wrote an article talking about the ‘augmented age’ fastly approaching, where computational systems will augment human capabilities and create more advanced buildings. Chilean company, Resafe, developed safety gloves that protect your fingertips from getting smashed with the use of a shatter proof thermoplastic material.

In other technology news, computer engineers from the University of Alabama have developed a wearable cloud computing system embedded in a jacket. With more and more contractors joining the digital age and becoming more connected, the need to formulate a plan to combat cyber security attacks is increasing. The Department of Defense announced its new Engineered Living Materials (ELM) program, which creates “living” construction materials that will be able to self-repair, grow and adapt to changing environments. A 3D CAD software app, made specifically for the iPad Pro, has finally hit the market, the Shapr3D only takes 15 minutes to learn and requires the use of the Apple Pencil.

In the world of robotics, Swiss researchers have developed a new robotic metal extrusion process which combines concrete reinforcement and formwork into a single, robotically fabricated material system – dubbed Mesh Mould Metal. The trio ended on two disappointing headlines for the industry, the World Trade Center contractor is now being convicted in a $1B minority business fraud scheme and North Korean construction workers gave out crystal meth to finish a building on time.

Interview
In the second half of the podcast, Chris Weaver, Director of Technology at Andy J. Egan Company, joined the #ConTechTrio to discuss laser scanning from the mechanical perspective. After graduating from Ferris State University, Chris immediately began to work for Andy Egan, where they offered him the opportunity to learn more about 3D software and the BIM environment. Andy J. Egan Co offers plumbing, piping, HVAC, design-build, BIM , fabrication, mechanical insulation and controls for commercial, industrial and institutional applications. Chris has now been with the company for 16 years and has played a major role in the company’s adoption of new technology. Chris discussed technology currently being utilized by the company and the benefits they’re experiencing on the job site, including, BIM 360 Glue, a ScanStation and the Leica Nova MS60. He also went into depth on his company’s process of adopting technology throughout the years, which in his words – wasn’t easy to say the least. The ConTechTrio and Chris wrapped up the interview with Chris’ advice on how other companies can implement BIM within the field and increase technology adoption throughout the entire company.

Tune into the #ConTechTrio podcast again this Friday for Episode 30, featuring Yves Frinault from FieldWire! Until then, you can catch up on past episodes of our construction technology podcast and even check out some bonus episodes via the links below!

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JBKnowledge: @JBKnowledge

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James Benham: @jamesmbenham

Rob McKinney: @conappguru

Josh Bone: @bim2thebone

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