Saturday, September 12, 2009

Project Submittals - Do You Require 3D Submittals Now?

With all the hoopla about BIM and IPD one thing I have not heard much about (actually I can't recall anyone discussing this within earshot) is the submittal process. I get the feeling that for most it is still business as usual; catalog cuts, 2D drawings and "can we get an approved or reviewed stamp ASAP?".

Seems to me that it is a natural expectation, or logical next step, that we start requiring 3D submissions from our project's array of contractors. I alluded to the importance of doing so in an earlier post when I mentioned the serious coordination issues associated with theater/stage construction. We were just using AutoCAD and not even modelling solid parts back then. We looked at Pro/E and were put off by the specialized hardware and the shockingly high seat price (shocked us anyway).

I remember clearly asking how I would use Pro/E to create our submittal drawings, which depict how our equipment would work in the building. I was amused when the reply was, "I supposed you'd model the parts of the building you are touching." This was in 1996-7, just when Revit was a mere flash in the minds of Leonid and Irwin. Seems logical now but then it was practically laughable that I'd model the building to virtually install our equipment. If the building was already a model...hmmm, different story or reaction perhaps? A few years later, after I'd left to join an architecture firm, they started to use Autodesk Inventor after dabbling with Mechanical Desktop.

I just mocked up the images posted here in less than 20 minutes, 5 for the rigging component, using a dwg file I downloaded from their site as a guide for the form. Then a few minutes to layout the building form and structure and finally the rest fussing with views.

What are you doing?


ixxx69 said...

We are definitely using more 3D details in our documentation to explain stuff. They are usually used in addition to a respective 2D detail, but you've got me thinking "why"?

We almost always detail using detail lines, filled regions, etc. (rather than using the actual model geometry). This allows for "exaggeration" by pulling apart things like how the building paper slips under the siding but over the flashing at a window header. I'd love to use 3D details for something like that, but it currently seems far too time consuming. But something like a wainscot detail, that we typically still draw as a 2D section detail, makes a lot of sense to do as a 3D section detail instead. But then you have the issue of permeability. I might have the wainscot in various rooms. What if the wainscot is removed from the room where I happened to create my detail from?

Graham Briggs said...

A few months ago, I was working on a structural retrofit for an industrial facility, and I used some 3D-Iso details to illustrate a few particularly intricate fittings. Using the filtering and hide-in-view tools, it was fairly easy to isolate the elements, then add text and dimensions (I wish they were isometric too).

Later on, as other elements were added, I had to keep returning to the 3D details to hide "new" elements that were placed between the Iso camera and the initially isolated parts. It occurred to me that some sort of "exclude all but" tool would have been very useful, so as to exclusively select the elements that I wanted in the view.

Another useful tool would be a "snapshot", that would freeze the 3D view at a particular point, turning the edges of geometry into reference-able "line work" that could be built on with 2D lines, fills, etc.

As the future unfolds, I think there will be an interim period, before full model-only deliverables, where documentation will only be accessed in electronic format (tablets and rugged-ized large flatscreens), and 3D sections and details, as well as plans, will play a very important part in making the intent understood by the contractor.

David Kingham said...

We require 3D (not just Revit) for our structural and mechanical consultants in our RFP's. Fire protection is almost always in 3D so that's not a worry, steel fabricators typically do a 3D model for fabrication and sometimes the sheet metal fabricator does a model, hope to require more from the subs in the future.