Friday, July 31, 2015

Increased used of Isometric drawings in Architecture

A July 13th post on The Revit Kid renewed my interest in encouraging more use of isometric and axiomatic drawings within the AEC industry. We are lucky to live in a time when BIM can offer tools which streamline the generation of displaced isometric drawings no matter what design phase.
Design drawings, especially on presentation boards, have already established the value of 3D displaced views to communicate the design. Isometric or axiomatic drawings when displaced do an excellent job of orientating the viewer and relating the horizontal design elements to the overall 3D volume. To laboriously generate such architectural views from perspective grids is time consuming and introduces inconsistences. REVIT’s ability to quickly generate excellent quality line work (to then pull into one’s program of choice for post-processing if needed) is a welcomed addition to the building design industry.
More controversial is the use of 3D displaced views in production drawings. REVIT’s power to generate displaced views is put in direct opposition to architectural tradition. A contradiction to point out is that it seems well established 3D displaced views are an ideal way to communicate complex spatial information graphically (see the work of Edward Tuttle) and furthermore architecture and design school, including academic literature, stress the importance of drawing clarity. This is what REVIT offers but many shriek at the idea of including displaced views in working drawings. Perhaps there is something standard and organized about regularly spaced 2D sections which has benefited the industry but I would encourage the reader to be openminded about the possibility of using displaced isometric views to render building details. I ‘ve found with my work with displaced views in REVIT it is possible to impress upon them a certain standard consistency. That trait in addition to the quick generation of quality line work makes 3D displaced views and isometric views ideal for spatially complex building details.

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Reinforcing Concrete in BIM for Structural Engineering

The excellent BIM and Beam REVIT Structure blog put me onto the a great "Autodesk Customer Success story" PDF. Though promotional in nature readers will be interested in the following trends identified in the story:
Firstly, the article highlights the different levels of granularly now available in comparable REVIT add-ons. Compare, for instance, the native automated rebar placement tool and German Software company SOFiSTiK's concrete reinforcement tool. Each does the job but SOFiSTiK's rebar placement tool does it with a higher degree of flexibility and functionality. This difference might only become apparent, and in fact becomes an advantage, depending on how much one details concrete reinforcement in REVIT. An example from the article is given by BIM specialist Sandra Hombergen of ABT Netherlands. Reinforcing concrete is her wheelhouse. So to have a tool which is both powerful in automatically detailing concrete reinforcement to EU code specifications and is flexible enough to overcome all the unique conditions found in complex projects is no doubt a relief to her and those in her position. Myself, on the other hand, who need only periodically detail reinforcement can get away with applying the native add-on and then post-processing to get the same final effect. Where a shop lay on this continuum will depend on the firm's disposition toward using software to glean operational efficiencies in proportion to the scale of their practice.
Secondly, ABT's altitude toward the collaborative nature of their work is worthy of note. The article is testament to the growing demand within the industry for one centralized model which can be distributively accessed. To quote Sandra Hombergen from the article, "It’s clear to me that 3D rebar will be a standardized deliverable in five years’ time." With the demand and functionally of such features clearly articulated, left to business is the problem of execution. Glossed over in the article is how clunky this can be in real life and any honest review of the software must admit the collaborative elements of the program can be unpredictable. And unpredictableness in a business setting can be both wasteful and stressful.