Digital Twin: BIM Asset Tracking

The goal of this project is to develop a plug-in for Autodesk Revit software that updates the virtual model based on current RFID tag readings of physical assets in a building. The project was developed as part of the College of Computer Sciences capstone course by Vincent Borja, Pavel Orlukov, and Andy Peralta (NJIT’19) under guidance of prof. Andrzej Zarzycki, NJIT

RFID-to-3D Model Integration for Building Asset Tracking and Management    

Keeping track of various equipment on a large scale can become hard and time-consuming. Architecture models of NJIT buildings in Revit Software can include various models of furniture and computer equipment such as printers, monitors etc. RFID tags can be written to contain Unique ID of an object and other information, such as specifications, and then attached to furniture/equipment. RFID tag readers can be placed in rooms of NJIT buildings to track physical locations of equipment in real time. Requested Revit Plug-in will update the location of furniture/equipment in the computer model based on the reading of RFID tag scanner.  

Various computer equipment and furniture can be physically hard to find or lost due to mismanagement or errors when moved from one location to another. 

The members of the project will be using C++/C#, Revit software, .NET, SQL, RFID shield SDK, and provided RFID tags and scanners.

Boundaries: (In Scope / Out of Scope)

This project is focused on development of Revit Plug-in for updating Revit 3D computer model based on the readings from RFID sensor shield.

Project Deliverables:

Readings from RFID tags will be recorded in SQL database.

Plug-in will query the database and update Revit 3D computer model


RFID-to-3D Model Integration for Building Asset Tracking and Management    

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology has been used in a wide range of industrial applications from transportation and security to the inventory tracking and supply chain management. It allowed for real-time data access and tracking/traceability with the ability to localize assets and their characteristics. However, the building (facility) management and construction industries have not seen a similar level of the successful adoption/utilization of RFID technologies. A partial reason may lie in a relative fragmentation of architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry with a large number of small size players. However, there are a number of recent initiatives that provide opportunities for broader integration of various AEC players, technologies, and platforms. Those include building information modeling (BIM) and the Internet of Things (IoT).

This project will focus on the development of data pipeline that would integrate long-range RFID technologies to provide tools for tracking building components, linking them with the online database, and with BIM software (AutoDesk Revit). This implementation will result in a rich 4D (3D + associated data) model for buildings with a connection to the IoT assets and functionalities. The project would comprise of three distinct tasks: (1) collecting data from RFID sensors, cleaning it, and sending to MySQL database; (2) developing Revit plugin that would read data from MySQL database and create its representation within BIM models (using Revit API and/or Dynamo); (3) developing a web interface that would visualize assets from the MySQL database.

The required skills for the team would include C#, C++, Python (some not all of these languages), MySQL, and JavaScript for web interface.

The project will provide student with opportunity to learn about hardware-software integration, including sensors, and expose them to emerging IoT trends in the architecture, engineering, and construction industry.


Project Checkout Deliverables

Team is expected to (1) develop an Autodesk Revit plugin for reading data from MySQL database and populate 3D BIM model with geometric representation of that data (e.g. chair, lamp, table), (2) collect data from RFID sensor/shield and submit it into MySQL database, (3) develop web interface to visualize assets from database, and (4) documentation of the development process.




This video is an early demo of the proof of concept for the digital twin environment for Autodesk Revit (BIM) platform. It uses RFID technology to track physical building assets and updates virtual 3D model. This particular prototype tests real time updates of web-based dashboard by utilizing RFID sensing, SQL database, and PHP web environment. The project was developed as part of the College of Computer Sciences capstone course by Vincent Borja, Pavel Orlukov, and Andy Peralta (NJIT’19) under guidance of prof. Andrzej Zarzycki, NJIT

MySQL database showing scanned RFID tags and associated with them assets