Three-dimensional simulation and visualization of crane assisted construction erection processes

Shih Chung Kang, Hung-lin Chi, Eduardo Miranda

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


A system for three-dimensional simulation and animation of erection processes is presented. The system is aimed at providing detailed planning and visualization in a virtual construction environment as well as for assisting crane operators in real-time during erection. In the system, construction cranes are modeled and treated as robots in which the motion required for each degree of freedom of the crane is computed as a function of the path to be followed by each component being erected. The sequence and path of each component are computed such that construction times are minimized and collisions with previously erected components are avoided. A physics-based simulation and animation of crane motions was also developed to visualize vibrations induced by crane motion. A special emphasis is placed on crane maneuvering required for containing motion-induced vibrations at acceptable levels and for increasing safety at job sites. Examples of the erection of steel and precast reinforced concrete buildings using tower cranes and crawler cranes are included. The system is a significant step forward in computer-assisted construction erection, for both prior to and during construction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-371
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Computing in Civil Engineering
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Construction management
  • Cranes
  • Safety
  • Three-dimensional models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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