EarningsYesterday, Tekla announced that it has acquired SVS Innovations’ construction business, including the Field3D mobile solution, to strengthen its position in mobile BIM.

Field3D apps are available for iPad and iPhone, and enable collaboration between the job site and the office.

“Field3D is now part of a larger offering, and we believe that is the right way forward for our clients. Tekla’s global market position enables them to quickly deploy the benefits of this advanced technology. This acquisition demonstrates the value of our mobile 3D platform, and now we can continue leveraging this innovative technology to other industries,” says Mr. Antti Nurminen, CEO of SVS Innovations.

Details of the transaction were not made public. After the handover, SVSI will continue to apply its 3D mobile technology to other building industry areas such as architecture, MEP (Mechanical, Electrical & Plumbing), facility management, and city and area planning.

Field3D views Industry Foundation Class (IFC)-based models, including Autodesk Revit, Bentley AECOsim Building Designer, Graphisoft ArchiCAD, Nemetschek VectorWorks and Tekla Structures, among others. In addition to the .ifc format, Field3D can open .dae, .3ds and .obj format files for viewing and data extraction. There’s a premium version of the app, which expands the use case from pan, zoom and rotate to include filtering by layers and properties to quick access to subsets of the total data set. The premium version also allows users to get access to models from Dropbox, Box, Google Drive and Windows Onedrive. As far as I’ve been able to determine, Field3D is the only vendor-agnostic 3D viewer on Apple iOS.

Tekla BIMsight Note, on the other hand, is a purpose-built tool for monitoring notes created in Tekla BIMsight. It’s meant for reviewing BIM structural models and making notes and sharing them among team members via email or Dropbox like-services. Tekla BIMsight Note requires that the full Tekla BIMsight be used to find clashes, identify design issues, etc. for communication via BIMsight Note.

Field3D is a technology tuck-in that serves two purposes: It gives Tekla (and its parent, Trimble) an iOS platform through which it can begin to complete the round-trip vision for BIM: architect to design to construction to operate to maintain.  Too, as a platform, it’s extensible to other areas. We’ll be watching to see what else Trimble thinks its mobile users need.