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From surveying equipment to the Building Information Model and vice versa

  • 5 min read

This article was previously published (in Dutch) by BIMregister in March 2021. BIMregister connects organizations and professionals who work with BIM in their own network.

The founding of marXact

marXact was founded in 2017. It arose when founders Raoul van Ginkel and Van der Heijden discovered a gap in the surveying market. “When setting out measuring points in the field for the installation of fibre optic cables for BAM, measuring points were used that were often difficult to find later on due to weather influences or changes in the landscape. The digital picture, which was made behind the desk, did not have an accurate follow-up in practice. The part that had not yet been automated was the translation of data from the inside to the outside. ”

“That important step was often still indicated on paper or there were expensive and complicated instruments for it. I decided to look for an alternative. And if there wasn’t available, one had to come.

I discovered that the existing equipment focuses on surveyors and not on the customer. That GIS systems are not being used optimally. We saw that BAM already had an advanced system in their GIS application that links data topography of cadastre and municipality. The accuracy of GPS navigation and the Building Information Model is high, but there was not yet a tool that links all that accuracy of the office to the work in the field. None of it works if you don’t make a deal with the guys outside. We, therefore, decided to develop such a tool ourselves. “

“My partner and I actually come from a completely different industry. Raoul is a software developer, I have years of experience in commercial positions at companies. We bring our information from that angle to a somewhat dormant market and that is so nice! ”

contractor with gnss receiver UNI-GR1

BIM and the connection of surveying equipment

Translating practice in the field to the Building Information Model and vice versa has become easy with marXact’s UNI-Complete. Anyone who can use a smartphone can generate and read the surveying points. The developers of this Dutch product are happy to tell you how it makes your work easy.

“With UNI-Complete you have everything you need to measure and set out digitally to the centimetre, and to export the measured data to any format.” The formulation is that clear and the measuring instrument is so easy to operate. “We turn you into a surveyor in an hour,” says Tommy van der Heijden, CEO / owner of marXact, adding: “With our equipment, of course.”

“Our product has been developed with the people in the field in mind. The measuring instrument is the majority of what contractors and draftsmen need to put their Building Information Model into practice or to introduce an existing situation into the model. This does not require a complicated and expensive instrument that can only be operated by specially trained personnel.

UNI-GR1 op meetstok close-up

What is the UNI-GR1?

The UNI-GR1 is a spherical instrument that determines a location to the centimetre based on GPS technology. The UNI-GR1 stands on a pole and communicates with the control screen and the cloud. The control panel is a tablet on which the operating software UNI-Connect runs and is designed in such a way that anyone familiar with Google Maps or computer games can work with it intuitively.

Van der Heijden: “The instrument makes it possible to store points, lines, arcs, and polygons as if it were a game.” In a short instructional video on the website, Van der Heijden presents the UNI-GR1. “Which includes everything you need from a GNSS receiver. Due to its universal character, it is suitable for any task. Whether you are a professional or not (yet), everyone can work with the UNI. ”

“You don’t have to enter any codes to survey a tree, for example. You select “tree” from a list of objects to be measured and click on the screen when you are at the tree with the measuring instrument. The x-y-z values ​​are then recorded and you send them to the office in no time. ”

Leading by innovation

The surveying instrument and service of marXact are aimed at making the surveying work accessible to everyone. And with success. Numerous experts are now working at the company and the reasonably priced product has already been sold many times. The UNI-Connect is a user-friendly survey tool that works on all devices. The software is automatically updated. New functionalities are added every week.

The company takes great care in that aspect of its work. “We like to keep improving ourselves. For example, we have a helpdesk, but if we receive a question more than twice, we ask: did we do something wrong? We then improve our software to make the product even more user-friendly. And so, with the thousands of users in the field, we only have about five phone calls every day. ”

This is how the company is constantly innovating. “Not because we have to, but because it is so much fun,” says an enthusiastic Van der Heijden. The company regularly consults with users and colleagues to improve the product and functionality. According to him, the BIM Education Day and BIMregister are part of sharing information with the market to help construction progress.

This year, the company hopes to add functionalities that make it possible by holding the smartphone against the sphere, after which a connection to the network is automatically sought. “It is up to us to improve the software and to please the user.”

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