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View Full Version : Which is better- 2D or 3D CAD?



Joeljoelb
22nd Mar 2013, 12:40 pm
Hi there,

I am doing a dissertation on how 2D and 3D CAD can has influenced the architectural industry for my final year studying at university.

I thought I would ask the opinions of people who are proficient in the area!

Here is a link to a questionnaire I have made using Survey Monkey. If you have a minute it would be great if you could fill one in. I need as many responses as possible!

http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/FGCS3MT

Its 6 questions long so it won't take long :)

In return I will obviously help if I can with threads you post.

Thanks for your time

ReMark
22nd Mar 2013, 12:52 pm
I believe 3D has had a much greater influence on architectural design than 2D. But it all had to start with 2D didn't it?

Joeljoelb
22nd Mar 2013, 12:57 pm
true. I wondered though if 3D has changed the way the architectural industry works so much that 2D will become obsolete? Is 3D the way forward now?

Because most architectural firms now employ some part of 3D CAD.

If you have a chance please fill in the questionnaire if you haven'y already, it would really help me! :)

ReMark
22nd Mar 2013, 01:02 pm
Design in 3D and create the necessary 2D views and details from there. I believe that's how most big firms do it now and many smaller firms are following suit.

Joeljoelb
22nd Mar 2013, 01:12 pm
So actually you think firms are reverting back to 2D get a clearer idea of the building? Obviously 3D cad came after 2D. Usually the way that technology progresses is that the new version is better than the last. Maybe its not the case here then? Maybe both have to be used to gain a proper perspective of the building.

ReMark
22nd Mar 2013, 01:28 pm
When was the last time you saw a contractor building entirely off of a 3D drawing? No, I don't believe firms are reverting back to 2D. I think they are designing in 3D because it gives them many advantages but the guy in the field whether he is a carpenter, electrician, mason, plumber, etc. will be working from 2D output. Somewhere in the field trailer or out on the site will be a set of drawings that look pretty much like what you would have seen 50 years ago but they were generated a whole different way.

ReMark
22nd Mar 2013, 01:33 pm
40974
How was the drawing created?

Joeljoelb
22nd Mar 2013, 01:48 pm
I see. So do you think that 3D is more to make things pretty and 2D is for the construction and details?

ReMark
22nd Mar 2013, 01:55 pm
The above drawing consists of four views that were all generated from a single 3D solid model. Sorry, but I don't do houses per se. But the point is that once the model is created and checked the generated views are a no brainer. One does not have to really give much thought to them as one would if he/she were drawing each and every view in 2D. What happens if a change is required? How many views will the change affect? 3D is not being used to make things "pretty" by any stretch of the imagination. For example, it comes in quite handy for checking interferences (did we really want that sanitary pipe punching through a beam?).

Another plus to using 3D is being able to show the client what the building will look like from just about every conceivable angle and if need be generate a "walk-thru" and take them on a guided tour of the interior. 3D models can also have materials assigned to them and rendered. They can even be placed into a portion of a Google map to show the client what the building might look like on the site where it is planned to be built. Renderings have gotten so good one can barely tell if they are looking at something to be built in the future or something that already exists.

JD Mather
22nd Mar 2013, 01:58 pm
So actually you think firms are reverting back to 2D get a clearer idea of the building? ...

I don't think you have a clear understanding of the use of 3D and 2D.
First look around you. How much of the world is 2D (someone figured out a long time ago that the world is not flat).
But the technology to represent 3D (other than actually building it or a scaled model) for visualization just doesn't exist (yet).
In the first page of your survey how many 3D images are there (trick question)?
The answer is zero, none, nada, zip.
There are a couple of 2D images representative of 3D, but they are 2D. Can't rotate, can't go inside, and even if you set it up so that could be done it is still on a 2D medium (computer screen or the like) unless the viewer has a rudamentary 3D screen (and you set it up for 3D), but even that screen is still 2D using trickery to represent 3D.

So we are still progressing towards virtual 3D. Why? Because it helps visualization, provides more information, has the potential to reduce mistakes and more clearly document design intent.
But when we go out to a job site the building is constructed from a sheet of paper. So at the present time it is still necessary to produce 2D drawings. But as we progress the 3D model becomes the single source of truth, that is, everything including the 2D is generated from the 3D model.

I predict in the future we will where some sort of 3D eyeglasses (isn't Google already doing something like this) where we will see our 3D virtual world design intent projected before us.
2D doesn't go away, it is just a form of communication that serves particular nitch in the design process. When you create something in 3D you are almost always starting with a 2D profile. Revolve, extrude, sweep, loft or whatever that 2D to get the 3D. Time to stop thinking in terms of "better", 2D vs 3D. Think virtual - a digital representation of design intent. 2D and 3D are both required to get to the virtual (which is 3D) world, and to reproduce that virtual design in the real world.

Joeljoelb
22nd Mar 2013, 02:22 pm
I am a junior CG artist at an architectural modelling firm and when the models and renders are finished it does look photorealistic. The perspective, materials and textures really do make a difference and impress the client. Its whether or not these 3D image elements are changing the way the architecture industry works?

It would be amazing if the technology JD Mather is talking about come to fruition. I think that really would revolutionise the way people thought about housing when designing and building. But for the moment I guess 3D imagery.

Thanks for your inputs by the way. I know I'm no expert so its great to hear the opinions of those who have experience.

ReMark
22nd Mar 2013, 02:26 pm
I would say that without a doubt those aspects have change the way the industry works.

Joeljoelb
22nd Mar 2013, 02:38 pm
How do you think it has changed?

I'm pretty sure it would of changed from the clients perspective, with renders and images being able to be draw up so realistically. But do you think it has changed the way buildings are designed or how there implemented into construction? Or for a matter of fact changed the complete method of the architectural process.

ReMark
22nd Mar 2013, 02:49 pm
It probably has to some degree but I couldn't tell you exactly. I suppose if I were the principal architect at a large company and we were working on a really important building design I might want to place the building in the environment it will eventually occupy and then view it from the perspective of the surrounding area. How does it look in comparison to the surrounding area? Where do the shadows fall at certain parts of the day? Does that glass curtain wall reflect so much light into the building directly across the street from it at 1 p.m. on a sunny July afternoon that it would blind a person? Does the new building so obstruct a really good view of (insert famous other building/structure name here) that we are liable to be on the receiving end of a huge public outcry? I don't know....just throwing stuff out there I guess.

Joeljoelb
22nd Mar 2013, 02:54 pm
Great points! Never thought of it from that angle before. I guess from there the architect could change his/her design to specify the needs of the area etc. Thanks!

ReMark
22nd Mar 2013, 02:55 pm
Well it won't stop an ugly building from being built but it is worth considering. "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder".

SLW210
22nd Mar 2013, 03:01 pm
People will still want to see the 2D floor plan and how things are laid out.

JD Mather
22nd Mar 2013, 03:04 pm
...It would be amazing if the technology JD Mather is talking about come to fruition......

I've already seen preliminary demonstrations - walk down a street looking at your iPad and see the sewer lines, water lines, electrical burried below the ground - same for stuff in the walls of buildings.
But we still need to get where this is a true 3D holographic (is that the right term?) image that doesn't cause us to trip over a crack in the sidewalk as we look at our iPad or smartphone.
I'm predicting only 5 yrs out for really amazing virtual 3D. A game changer for design.

Joeljoelb
22nd Mar 2013, 03:14 pm
People will still want to see the 2D floor plan and how things are laid
out.


Do you think thats contractors/craftsmen or clients/buyers? Or both?

SLW210
22nd Mar 2013, 03:17 pm
All will want to see the 2D floor plan. Would you buy a house without seeing a floor plan? I certainly wouldn't.

ReMark
22nd Mar 2013, 03:19 pm
But that 2D floor plan could be generated from a 3D model.

3D is great for people like my wife because she has a difficult time putting all the 2D views (floor plan, elevations, and sections) together to get a clear view of what the house would look like. Show her a 3D model and she immediately starts moving things! "No, I like that window over here!" LoL

Joeljoelb
22nd Mar 2013, 03:25 pm
If you had a 3 dimensional walk through of the building instead of the 2D plans would this influence your decision? Or would you still prefer to see the floor plan? Bearing in mind that 3D renders would provide a more realistic feeling to the structure.

If you have time could you fill in the survey for me on the first post. It would be nice to record your opinion.

Joeljoelb
22nd Mar 2013, 03:27 pm
"No, I like that window over here!" LoL


My wifes the same lol

ReMark
22nd Mar 2013, 03:33 pm
The benefit to a 2D floor plan is if you have one with the dimensions on it. If I took you on a virtual tour of your future house would you have any idea if your furniture would fit in it?

ReMark
22nd Mar 2013, 03:50 pm
Perfect example of the use of 3D in the design process.

I am working on retrofitting a steel platform that is 20'x15' and it is 25' tall. We're adding an extra beam, six knee braces and two rather long cross-braces with a unique connection to a beam and an adjacent column. Since it is a chemical plant and there are pipes and equipment in, around and on the structure not to mention nearby tanks doing all this design and making sure everything fits the way it should would be a lot of work if done entirely in 2D. Now, given that the engineer I am working for has already changed his mind on the sizes of some of the steel and the thickness of some of the plate and how he wants the connections to be designed I'd be pulling my hair out by now if it weren't for 3D. Yes, I don't like changing something I drew yesterday but I only have to change it in one place. And he gets to check it all out in one 3D model. When and if he is satisfied then I'll generate the 2D views from the model, dimension and label them and then we send them off for fabrication.

SLW210
22nd Mar 2013, 04:09 pm
But that 2D floor plan could be generated from a 3D model.

3D is great for people like my wife because she has a difficult time putting all the 2D views (floor plan, elevations, and sections) together to get a clear view of what the house would look like. Show her a 3D model and she immediately starts moving things! "No, I like that window over here!" LoL

Still a 2D floor plan doesn't matter how it was generated. Have you even looked at the survey?

ReMark
22nd Mar 2013, 04:20 pm
My response was not directed at you. If it had been I would have quoted you.

No, I did not look at the survey. I have no interest in taking one.

f700es
22nd Mar 2013, 04:44 pm
All will want to see the 2D floor plan. Would you buy a house without seeing a floor plan? I certainly wouldn't.

Nor I but I am trained in see what a floor plan has. Most people are not trained in this and a rendered image can at times speak volumes to them.

ReMark
22nd Mar 2013, 04:48 pm
Still a 2D floor plan doesn't matter how it was generated. Have you even looked at the survey?

Maybe I should have qualified the statement by stating the 2D floor plan should be dimensioned. Obviously that does not happen by magic.

SLW210
22nd Mar 2013, 04:49 pm
You don't have to take the survey to see the images in question.


If you had a 3 dimensional walk through of the building instead of the 2D plans would this influence your decision? Or would you still prefer to see the floor plan? Bearing in mind that 3D renders would provide a more realistic feeling to the structure.

If you have time could you fill in the survey for me on the first post. It would be nice to record your opinion.

Survey mentions nothing of 3D type walk throughs.

Unless you had the room dimensions in the 3D walk through, most certainly, I would want the floor plan with room dimensions. I've done a few 3D walk throughs on Realtor sites, gives a nice visual, but at some point, you need the floor plan.

Best would be a physical walk through holding the floor plans.

Even constructing the house, you need dimensions.

Joeljoelb
22nd Mar 2013, 04:59 pm
Survey mentions nothing of 3D type walk throughs.

I know there's no talk of walk throughs but just trying to get across the different ways 3D and 2D can be implemented to influence the industry. 3D walkthrough with plans would be pretty useful actually. Maybe the plans could be mapped on as part of the walkthrough?

James_SMI
25th Mar 2013, 05:21 pm
I built and remodeled houses for 20 years so let me give my two cents. 2D and 3D is comparing apples and oranges, which is better, a TV or a refrigerator? All the guys building the house are going to want 2D floor plans, you cant just guess what size the rooms are and how the inside of the house might be layed out. The insurance people, the building inspectors etc are going to want 2D also. Oh you want to sell the house, well you are going to need 3D. It's been my experience that women play a greater decision making role in remodeling and home buying and going 3D on house interiors is a dream come true for selling to a woman, especially for higher end stuff.

cadvision
25th Mar 2013, 09:23 pm
How many contractors take a model out on site to build from? They take drawings on paper (maybe a pc or tablet). I don't care how you create your geometry, but please lay your drawings (layout/paperspace) as a proper 3rd angle projection drawings of the past. I'm a professional drafty, I started on drawing boards with paper and pen. Layout of the paper is everything to reading a technical drawing. Get that right and everyone is on the same page (pun intended) from engineer to tradesperson and customer

neophoible
26th Mar 2013, 02:21 pm
I wondered though if 3D has changed the way the architectural industry works so much that 2D will become obsolete? Is 3D the way forward now? Because most architectural firms now employ some part of 3D CAD.

Interesting. Did you actually ask these questions in the survey? No? Not even close? Hmmm. I wonder why not. BTW, are your images really ‘plans’? It doesn't matter, though. I’m just not big on surveys. I don’t trust them. They lead to statistics. Mark Twain said it well. “Apples and oranges” is right. The survey seems to be setting up a false dichotomy. :shock: The answers here give a very clear picture, and without including obfuscating stats from a questionable questionnaire. 3D is already quite versatile and constantly improving, plus it can yield excellent 2D, which is still standard. You want both, because clients want both, and you need 2D for practical purposes. Will we one day eliminate the need for schematics and 2D plans, for example, by having easy-to-create, easy-to-use, fully scalable, fully interactive, fully manipulable holographics wherever and whenever we want, including on-site, all at a reasonable cost? I’m not so sure. In any case, it may take many generations for that. Star Trek, anyone?

PotGuy
26th Mar 2013, 02:44 pm
40974
How was the drawing created?

Am I right in thinking that's 3rd Angle projection?

More relevantly, software such as Autodesk REVIT allows a building to be built in a 3D format (ie: components used like piles for example can be set at a specific depth, as well as allowing the properties to be dynamically changed automatically update the model), allowing a person to 'walk' around (and fly) in the building they're designing. This allows the 3D application to be used to its full extent, while also having the ability to create floor plans, sections and elevations in a few clicks.

From a client's stand point, they want to see what the final building may look like, what the decor could be and how practical it is. For someone constructing it, using 2D views such as floor plans allow the builder to build, as unlike a 3D model notes and dimensions can be added, which are crucial. These are scaled to a construction standard to allow them to quickly and accuratly work off 2D designs and build that building.

ReMark
26th Mar 2013, 02:49 pm
Am I right in thinking that's 3rd Angle projection?
That was not the point. I was demonstrating that 2D views could be generated from a 3D model. The model becomes the one source for all information.

PotGuy
26th Mar 2013, 03:05 pm
That was not the point. I was demonstrating that 2D views could be generated from a 3D model. The model becomes the one source for all information.

Apologies; I did add useful information after initial post.