Geo Week News

March 4, 2015

FARO Buys kubit, Bolsters AEC Solutions

Kubit FARO

Yesterday FARO announced their acquisition of Dresden, Germany-based kubit GmbH, a developer of software that enables users to bring real world objects into CAD applications such as AutoCAD and Revit.

FARO’s Oliver Bürkler, Senior Product Manager for 3D Documentation Software, told SPAR that the acquisition is part of the company’s overall strategy to provide software solutions for a set of key vertical markets. “The AEC market is one of our most important sectors for our 3D Documentation business,” he said. “And Autodesk´s products are the CAD tools of choice for many architects, civil engineers and construction companies. The expertise and the product family of kubit is centered around those CAD systems and provide very specific tools to support the typical workflows and increase the efficiency of their users.”

kubit’s products, Bürkler elaborated, were attractive to FARO for the easy path they provide for bringing data from 3D laser scans to the CAD environments crucial to AEC workflows. “kubit has a long history in providing market leading tools dedicated to making point cloud easily accessible for AutoCAD and all the industry solutions based on that. Their experience and their intimate knowledge of the AEC market will help FARO to provide our customers with complete solutions out of one hand.”

Many 3D professionals see the acquisition as a significant move for FARO. As John Russo, AIA, of Architectural Resource Consultants and USIBD explained, “Coming on the heels their acquisition of the CAD Zone last year, it shows that FARO is serious about not just providing hardware solutions, but is also dedicated to providing their customers better field-to-finish solutions.”

Matthew Byrd, Director of 3D Services with DeWalt Corporation, agreed that the acquisition can be seen as a sign that FARO wants to provide their customers with complete end-to-end solutions. “FARO does a great job at whatever their focus is, which thus far has been capturing data,” he said. “However, kubit focuses on creating deliverables from the data with 3D modeling tools, drafting tools from panoramic, etc. This is FARO attempting to simplify the workflow from capturing data to creating a multitude of deliverables.”

In other words, adding auto-extraction capabilities makes the functionality of FARO’s SCENE software more competitive with other leading point cloud processing solutions.

Though the news is certainly big, many are not surprised that FARO would bring auto-extraction software in house. Larry Kleinkemper, AIA, CTO of Lanmar Services, calls the move the logical next step for a scanning company that produces point cloud software. “Point clouds are useless in programs that are all about geometry,” he said, citing the difficulty in using point clouds within many design environments. “The biggest struggle is to go from points to geometry that’s useful. So it makes total sense that they would get into the auto-extraction game. It helps scan providers supply geometry as well as points, which is a big deal.”

Bürkler finished his email to SPAR by explaining that the acquisition will assist with FARO’s well-known goal of “democratizing” 3D technologies. It will do this, he said, by making it easier for the large existing Autodesk community to bring 3D documentation data into their known CAD environments. He also cited the price points of kubit software as a good match for those of FARO’s hardware, since both “make the technology very affordable to professionals.”

Despite all the excitement, it remains to be seen what will happen now that FARO has brought kubit’s software in house. “Will they continue to support and develop it?” asked Russo. “Time will tell. As a service provider I hope so. More options and more competition is needed in this marketplace.”

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