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  • Alyssa Roberson

Optimize and Automate Your Precast Production Using EDGE

Updated: Oct 2, 2019

As an industry we are continually making advancements toward a more innovation fabrication process. We now have a plethora of automation technologies available to us that can aid in precast/prestressed concrete production processes. Automation offers numerous benefits such as increased quality and more efficiency. Automation of production processes allows for a high level of accuracy and precision that would otherwise be tedious and time consuming to achieve. At EDGE, we are always striving to provide innovative solutions to the precast concrete industry. We have developed several features geared toward optimizing and automating downstream processes of precast production including paperless production workflows using the EDGE^Cloud mobile application, production automation workflows using EDGE^CAM, and even a brief glimpse into the future of precast production using augmented reality with the EDGE^AR application.


EDGE^Cloud is a two- and three-dimensional visualization tool that leverages data directly from a Revit model, that was modeled using EDGE, to provide production personnel with more valuable information than is typically presented on a traditional two dimensional format. This tool was created to open the lines of communication between production and engineering which is typically limited. The key advantages of EDGE^Cloud is that it creates a paperless production workflow, provides document control to ensure production always has the latest information, provides further insight with the three-dimensional view, and allows for an interactive bill of materials.

EDGE^Cloud 3D Viewer Features:

• Concrete Transparency: control the opacity of the concrete elements

• Section Box: select individual items around which to create an adjustable section box view

• Annotation – creates flyout annotations for any component in the view, showing their identity description in an easy to

read format in the 3D space

• Measurement: measure distances in the 3D space, either by selecting edges, vertices, or some combination of both

• Preview: preview mode will revolve a camera about the center of the piece

EDGE^Cloud 2D Viewer Features:

• Markup Tools:

- Various Art Tools: various options for

general drawing, such as lines

- Text: markup the sheet with editable text notes

- Highlight: highlight important text or elements in the sheet

- Checklist: save curated information about the piece in the form of a checklist that attaches to markup saves

- Save/Load: save created markups to a named and recover it through the sister load function

• Measurement: measure distances in 2D

EDGE^Cloud 3D and 2D Viewer Features:

• Information Tools:

- Member Info: shows curated information about the currently open assembly, such as volume, weight, etc.

- Properties: shows the parameters and properties of the selected element

- Chart: shows the status of all pieces in the current assembly’s project, updated whenever a new assembly is exported

- Fabricator Notes: contains notes attached to the assembly on export

• Selection Tools:

- Production Sequence: users can select different stages in the production sequence to isolate only the relevant elements to that stage

- BOM: allows users to select elements by viewing the bill of materials and picking by control mark

- Category Toggles: toggles on/off visibility of embeds, lifting, rebar, and/or strand

• Screen Shot: takes a screen capture of the current view (3D or 2D) and saves the result


EDGE^CAM allows users to take their Revit model and export assemblies to a file that is formatted to be compatible with much of the machinery used to automate precast production. The exported file will contain all relevant information about the assembly such as the overall shape of the structural framing element, it's material, weight, volume, rebar placement, plate placement, and much more. EDGE currently supports export to Progress Group's PXML v1.3 file format and Unitechnik's UXML versions 5.2c, 6.0, and 7.0 file formats. These export files can then be used for purposes such as the following:

• Laser Projection

- Project elements cast on the bed

- Project elements on the top-as-cast face

• Water Soluble Bed Plotter

- Plot elements that are down-as-cast

- Eliminate the need for intensive detailing

• Automated Rebar Bending

- Eliminate manual bending of rebar

- Extract rebar bend information directly from the model (loadable rebar families are supported)

• Concrete Distribution

- Automate the pouring of concrete

- Estimate batch volumes perfectly

• Shuttering Robot

- Automate the placement of formwork


EDGE^AR is very much in its infancy, but we are working to develop an application to leverage augmented reality for use in precast production and field work. We are working closely with augmented reality hardware providers to perfect workflows. The intent is to render elements to be produced in their bed position based on geographic benchmarks. EDGE^AR will extract model data for element information visualization. It also provide the ability to tailor what is being rendered based on production phases and will also provide an interactive bill of materials. There are plans for a scheduling tool to graphically place and assign precast members to beds. Some practical use cases for EDGE^AR include performing initial precast setup, performing pre-pour quality control checks as produced in the bed, performing post-pour quality control checks in a vertical position, and performing quality control checks for field cast elements.

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