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  1. #1
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    Smile Which is better- 2D or 3D CAD?

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    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

  2. #2
    Quantum Mechanic ReMark's Avatar
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    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?
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  3. #3
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    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!

  4. #4
    Quantum Mechanic ReMark's Avatar
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    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.
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  5. #5
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    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.

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    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.
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    Quantum Mechanic ReMark's Avatar
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    3D to 2D.jpg
    How was the drawing created?
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  8. #8
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    I see. So do you think that 3D is more to make things pretty and 2D is for the construction and details?

  9. #9
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    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.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joeljoelb View Post
    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.
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