Modeling Toolbox Mike Cope
Models for Takeoff and Construction Applications
Some prospective seminar attendees might think that using AGTEK software
for doing dirt takeoffs is a completely different discipline (requiring
completely different user skills and software functions) compared to using
the same AGTEK software for GPS (machine control) modeling. Truth is, these
two "disciplines" are simply different applications of 3D earthwork modeling.
Although there may be differences between the earthwork models created for
takeoff and construction on any given project (see points below), the same
AGTEK user skills and software functions are required for creating, editing
and manipulating both takeoff and construction models. Our
Day 2 and
Day 3 seminars
show you how to use a "toolbox" containing a wide range of AGTEK software
functions for creating, editing and manipulating 3D earthwork models--period.
How and when the various "tools" are used for a commercial, industrial,
residential or other site project depends on the earthwork model’s intended
purpose: Are you creating a takeoff model (for bid analysis) or a construction
model (for GPS machine control, site layout, setting and checking grade)?
Takeoff models may be based on imperfect manual digitizing from
paper or raster PDF plan sheets (Day 1) when vector data (CAD, LandXML,
or vector PDF) files (Day 2) are not provided by the project's design
team. But even when vector data files are provided for pre-bid analysis,
takeoff models are often rushed and time-saving “short cuts” result
in an imperfect takeoff model. However, these corresponding minor imperfections
are typically (and perfectly) acceptable for quantity takeoff and bid
Although less time and detail might go into creating a takeoff model,
additional time will be spent on manipulating takeoff models for calculating,
documenting, and evaluating quantities (Day 1), evaluating the impact
of grade adjustments on import/export quantities (Day 3), and for quantifying
variable subsurface material volumes and staged grading scenarios (also
in Day 3).
While minor imperfections in takeoff models typically have no adverse
impact on bidding work, the same imperfections would be unacceptable
for machine control (or checking and setting grade) on the job site
if the imperfections exceed the allowable vertical and/or horizontal
tolerances; therefore, more time must be spent on error checking and
editing (Day 1) when creating construction models. Construction models
typically require the horizontal accuracy of vector data files (Day
2) and they may require different applications of the Offset Line utility
and/or Sectional Areas (Day 1) when compared to corresponding takeoff
models (pad overbuilds, etc.). Finally, data for construction models
will be exported from AGTEK for construction control applications (see
D of the Day 2 Seminar Handbook).
The techniques covered in the Day 1 and Day 2 seminars represent
the core “tool box” of functions that all AGTEK users should master
if they need to create and edit earthwork models for takeoff and/or
construction applications. The Day 3 seminar covers additional functions
for extended analytic manipulations that may (or may not) be used less
frequently than the core tools of Day 1 and Day 2.
For more specific details on each seminar day, see the
Overview page and review each day's outline and handbook table of contents
by clicking on the orange buttons in the yellow sidebar (on the left side
of this page).