3D Machine Control

Autonomous machine control, surveying and project monitoring via GPS

Connection, establishment, modelling and monitoring of sites via machine control systems. GPS hire also available.

3D Machine Control (3DMC) represents an important step-change in the way technology is used in the construction and civil engineering sectors, with the most tech-savvy earthworks contractors fully embracing the technology to improve their site efficiency. Design models can be uploaded to an individual machine that enables the operator to cut, fill or shape the existing ground surface according to the design model to cm-scale accuracy, via the machines’ radio linkage to an on-site GPS receiver (‘base station’). The blade of a bulldozer and the bucket of an excavator can now effectively be hijacked by competent earthworks engineers via 3DMC systems, autonomously controlling cut and fills. This eliminates the need for multiple site visits by an engineer to install pegs or check levels, and reduces the overall input required by machine operators in carrying out their day-to-day tasks.

In terms of earthworks support, at Syke Survey we have the expertise to provide a full turnkey service. First, we can take the 2D design drawings typically provided to our clients by engineering designers, as part of their construction package, and model these in 3D to construct the site models suitable for upload to any of the major 3D machine control systems (Leica, Trimble, Topcon), applicable to both excavators and dozers. We can develop models of any development stage, from sub-formation, formation to finished level. Second, we can establish the GPS control and base station required to connect to the on-site machines, along with the option to hire a GPS. Third, we can utilise the machine control system to conduct remote surveys at any point in the projects development, thereby reducing the number of site visits required by a surveyor. In doing so, we are able to cost-effectively build a library of survey evidence required to support our clients in their applications for payment.

3D Machine Control Services:


  • GPS, GNSS Base Station Establishment
  • Control Network Establishment
  • Trimble, Leica, Topcon systems supported
  • Excavators
  • Dozers
  • Machine Calibrations and Support
  • GPS Receiver Hire
  • 3D Model Construction
  • Sub-formation Modelling
  • Formation Modelling
  • Finished Design Modelling
  • Remote ‘as-constructed’ or progress surveys

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