Is it time to transit into 3D Modeling?

The architecture, engineering and facilities management industry often rely heavily on 2D CAD drawings for a variety of applications. Be it for visualisation, presentation, planning or execution purposes, the existing workflow processes are heavily 2D-based, and it has served us very well over the years.  

In recent times, technology has allowed us to further dream and imagine, and now, we are easily able to replace those 2D drawings with comprehensive 3D Models. As you might already know, along with it comes a host of benefits that are simply difficult to ignore.

Here are a few reasons on why it is time to adopt 3D Modeling as part of your workflow:

1. Scenario Simulations

simple example of a clash detected

3D Models can be manipulated in many ways, limited only by the user’s imagination. Apart from having better visuals of the said location, professionals can take it a step further by running various simulations on the 3D Models.

These scenario simulations can aid in formulating plans, checking for clash detection, and even identify potential risks or hazards in an environment. In 2011, 3D CAD simulations aided the rescue of 33 Chilean miners who were trapped 2000 feet underground for 2 months, which you can read about more over here.

It is simply much cheaper to make alterations or amendments in the design stage rather than after the work has been completed or implemented.

2.   Better Visualisation

technologies such as 3d laser scanning can provide measurement capabilities by its own.

technologies such as 3d laser scanning can provide measurement capabilities by its own.

Tours and walkthroughs can also be generated easily based on the 3D Models, which enables better insight to the said environment even when you are halfway across the world. Such digital tours can be delivered over the internet, enabling you to basically conduct a tour of your facility or building to anyone that has an internet connection.

Once created and stored, the environment can be revisited repeatedly, useful for instances where you need to conduct certain checks or inspections. With the help of certain techniques such as 3D Laser Scanning, measurements can even be taken during the tours and walkthroughs.

3.   Speed & Accuracy

3 Types.jpg

3D Models are generally quicker to generate, especially with the help of technologies such as 3D Laser Scanning. The resulting model is not only accurate, but also obtained via speedier and safer means.

Gone are the days where you employ manpower to take measurements of buildings and facilities by hand, and later pass them on to a CAD drafter who will create the digital drawings. The 3D Laser Scanner can simply take measurements from its various positions on the ground, and the 3D Models can be created by tracing the resultant point cloud data.

Case studies have shown that it shaves off considerable time and cost for facility and building owners from various industries.

4.   Improving Documentation

Nowadays, software that support 3D Models, for instance Autodesk Revit, have the capability to host documentations of various types. When the model is made public to the project stakeholders, the attached documentation is made visible and available to the concerning parties, inevitably improving the project documentation workflow.

Take for instance, if there is a possibility of hazardous substances occurring in a particular location, documents such as Work Method Statements and WSH Guidelines on Management of Hazardous Substances can be attached. Stakeholders, such as sub-contractors, who have access to the 3D model, are now in better position to identify the risks and take the appropriate measures.

5.   Improving Communication & Coordination

3d models can be a common medium for communication for various stakeholders

3d models can be a common medium for communication for various stakeholders

Expanding on the previous point, when stakeholders such as contractors, consultants, architects and engineers share access to the same 3D Model, information can now be seamlessly shared amongst them, as compared to sending emails and exchanging thumb drives, just to get an idea of what the other party is working on.

With such collaboration made possible, work clashes can be detected and prevented early, schedule clashes can be better managed, and there will be better insight into the works of the other stakeholders. All in all, communication is enhanced to a whole new level, which leads to greater productivity, and of course, reduced cost.

6.   Better marketing, and increased chance of project approvals

Tectus Revit.jpg

Presenting an idea with the aid of 3D models provides a better experience to the audience, making it both compelling and exciting as compared to looking at a 2D drawing.

With techniques such as rendering and texturing, the visuals can leave a greater impression on the mind of the audience for a longer period of time, improving the chances of convincing a client, or obtaining approvals from upper management.

Wrapping up:

With the help of technology, creation of 3D Models are now quicker, easier, and much more affordable, as compared to before. Professionals do not have to be content with traditional 2D drawings anymore, paving the way to better quality, efficiency and productivity, by harnessing the many advantages of 3D Modeling.