On September 15th,2022, over some coffee, tea and pancakes the entire CadMakers team celebrated the 2-year anniversary of the cmBuilder.io public launch! The focus of the event was around the engaging roundtable discussion on all things construction technology from a panel of industry trailblazers from all over the world.
Moderated by cmBuilder co-founder Javier Glatt, the panel discussed their direct experiences from the front lines on topics such as: 4D Simulation, 360 Image Capture, 3D Scanning, Robotics on Site, BIM to Field, Digital Information Management, VR/AR Applications to Assist Verification and Signoff, among other pressing topics.
A few key insights from the panel session:
1) It is very challenging to bring new technology solutions to the front lines in construction. There may not be a willingness to change the current process and even if there is, the construction world is impatient. If there are no immediate meaningful savings in time or money, or a step change in safety improvements, these new solutions often face pushback or a slow adoption curve. The construction industry is a fastmoving machine and projects don’t have time to wait for tech solutions.
2) Too much "technology trying to find problems to solve", instead of problems being solved with dedicated technology applications. Shiny objects like ductwork on site? Too hard to 3D scan. Want to walk spot mini on the floor everyday to scan as-built reality capture? The floor slab is too unpredictable and constantly changing during construction. Want to do automated floor setout/layout? The floors are dirty so now you need to spend labour hours to sweep the floors perfectly clean to allow for a robot to roam, not practical on the vast majority of current construction sites. The physical world is far more constrained than the virtual world.
While there are certainly challenges being faced by construction technologists all over the world, there is also a tremendous amount of optimism and a groundswell of new innovation coming to the construction industry. We certainly learned that we all need to keep an eye on this space in the coming years as…THE ROBOTS ARE COMING!