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freebutterflyx

Stepping into BIM: some (a lot) questions

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freebutterflyx

(I don't know if this is the wright section to ask)

 

Our company is thinking of moving to a "BIM" style designing. Both our architectural en structural departement work in "normal" autocad. What we currectly do:

- architectural drawing (everything in 2D): plans + details

- structural drawing: overview + details (with the architecutal drawing as an XREF) - everything in 2D

- structural details of steel contructions (with some own (old) lisp routines)

- reinforcement drawings (with soms own (old) lisp routines)

 

Non of us has real experience with 3D BIM software. I have limited experience in 3D autocad and I have experience with 3D modeling in a calculation software. Some of us use Sketchup for a visual representation of the design, not for making the drawings.

 

Now our company is considering a swith to BIM software. Some of the older guys don't like the idea very much because they will need to learn a new software and because it is another way of working.

 

But the main question is: What do we need? I have no idea (also no idea yet if both departements will make the switch at the same time)

 

I think the basis is Autodesk Revit architectural and structural.

For "my" departement (strutural side of the design) I think with this we can make the basic structural drawings (floor levels with beams and columns, some details,...). Correct me if I'm wrong.

What about the layer structure we currently use?

 

But then...

what do we need to draw steel detail drawings? Autodesk advance steel?

What do we need to draw concrete reinforcement drawings (overview drawings, shop list of reinforcement,...)? Is this possible with Revit of do we need lets say Advanced concrete.

 

Can anyone give some advice of point us in a good directions.

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halam

Just buy a bunch of sofware... ;-)

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freebutterflyx
Just buy a bunch of sofware... ;-)

 

Not the answer I expected ...

I'm not the one who has to pay for the software but I want to give some good advice or suggestions because I (and my colleagues) are the ones who have to work with it.

Buying all of it and so also including (parts of) software we can use occasionally but don't realy need will be to expensive (I think) which may result in canceling everything.

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RobDraw

Just buying a bunch of software is not a solution.

 

Coming from the MEP side, I won't be able to address some of your trade specific questions but I can tell that you are already on the right track.

 

Having limited 3D experience in AutoCAD is more than likely a good thing. Most people struggle with making the transition. Obviously, you will need some training. That can be found online but it is often better to get live instruction. It is probably best to utilize both.

 

Don't expect to just jump in and roll out a project in a reasonable amount of time. Expect to take at least double the time until you build up experience and that is after having a decent amount of training. If it's not required, I would only dabble in the BIM stuff and focus on modeling, the "M" in BIM, and slowly build up the actual information content, the "I" in BIM, as you get more proficient with the modeling.

 

Converting people who are already against the idea is going to be a tough nut to crack. They will fight the system tooth and nail. That is probably best left to management to handle. The best thing for you to do is just keep showing them how cool it is.

 

That's my two cents worth. I hope that helps.

 

Someone will be along to address your trade specific questions.

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freebutterflyx

We are currently looking at all options. this can be Autodesk software because we are using autocad now. But this can also be something like Tekla Structures.

I'm very aware of the fact that it will take (a lot of) time to build the first models and to build up experience. (I'm not going to try to convice others, thats the job of the management)

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tzframpton
But the main question is: What do we need? I have no idea (also no idea yet if both departements will make the switch at the same time)
You need Autodesk Revit. And all departments need to make the transition at the same time. Not doing so would be very frustrating since forcing AutoCAD to play nice with Revit, and vice-versa, would be very ineffective and studies have shown that it will cause people to go into a zombie-like state of moans and groans, profanities have often been a result, and the loss of hair due to excessive hair-pulling is a common effect. Technical and medical professionals have come to the conclusion that leaving AutoCAD completely and jumping in chin-deep is the only solution.

 

:)

 

Joking aside, I'm very serious. Leave AutoCAD behind and simply "jump in". Use a small project with a non-accelerated schedule, or take an existing small project that has been completed and recreate it under a designated mandatory hours per week working schedule (2-3 hours per day, for instance) until the job is recreated in Revit, and report among each other and to management.

 

Our company is thinking of moving to a "BIM" style designing. Both our architectural en structural departement work in "normal" autocad. What we currectly do:

- architectural drawing (everything in 2D): plans + details

- structural drawing: overview + details (with the architecutal drawing as an XREF) - everything in 2D

- structural details of steel contructions (with some own (old) lisp routines)

- reinforcement drawings (with soms own (old) lisp routines)

 

Non of us has real experience with 3D BIM software. I have limited experience in 3D autocad and I have experience with 3D modeling in a calculation software. Some of us use Sketchup for a visual representation of the design, not for making the drawings.

"BIM" is not a style, it's a process. It's certainly not "3D". You can do 3D in many programs. The BIM process is a combination of real-world modeling approach using parametric design practices in a 3D environment, while leveraging a very robust information-rich database underlying the entire parametric environment you're designing in. This creates more work in the front end of a project, but on the back end, it creates extremely efficient processes that are informationally accurate due to the nature of how the BIM process works in the Revit platform.

 

Some of the older guys don't like the idea very much because they will need to learn a new software and because it is another way of working.
I'm here to tell you right here right now, the "older guys" will have a difficult time with this and it will become an issue within the office. I've been through two companies making the transition, and I've now helped two other companies make the transition as a consultant and it's the "older guys" who fight it the hardest.

 

The only advice that I can tell you is to fervently make them understand that Revit is NOT a drafting tool, so it is imperative that you drop the AutoCAD mindset when opening the program. Revit will force you to design a building correctly, because you cannot forcefully override logic, spatially or informationally. If it doesn't work in 3D, or if it doesn't mathematically or informationally add up in the real world, then it won't work in Revit, if you're using Revit properly. Many errors and RFI's in design will be mitigated once you guys get your process down.

 

But then...

what do we need to draw steel detail drawings? Autodesk advance steel?

What do we need to draw concrete reinforcement drawings (overview drawings, shop list of reinforcement,...)? Is this possible with Revit of do we need lets say Advanced concrete.

Everything is possible, and should be done, all in Revit. All of your 2D standard and typical details can be transferred over to Revit, both architecturally and structurally. Once you get efficient, architecturally you can use live sections and details, and structurally you can use the reinforcement tools to have live sections and details for rebar and steel connections and so forth. Not everything has to be "3D" and you can save the typical detail stuff for the Drafting side of Revit which works just like AutoCAD.

 

Can anyone give some advice of point us in a good directions.
Best advice I can give you is for you to understand the main difference between AutoCAD vs Revit, or to better put it, Drafting vs Modeling. In AutoCAD you draw. In Revit, you build.

 

If my end product is a drawing, I'm going to use AutoCAD. If my end product is a building, I'm going to use Revit. Drawing a building vs modeling a building are two entirely different processes, with entirely different pros and cons and entirely different outcomes.

 

If you draw a building, you will do it quicker and easier than the modeling process. You just think of the view you want, and you draw it. But you will be riddled with errors since the mind and 2D drawings cannot account for every crevice of spatial possibility within a building, so flaws in design are inherent (as design complexity increases, anyways). Drawing a building doesn't connect annotations to objects, since objects don't exist, only lines, circles, and polygons do. AutoCAD doesn't "know" the difference.

 

If you model a building, you will do it slower and harder than the drawing process. But you will catch your errors upon good QAQC practices, since design in 3D either works, or it doesn't, and it reserves all major geometric possibilities of a building in 3D space so you can "literally see it" rather than "cognitively think it". Interference is able to be seen visually, and is a huge plus. Annotations become "smart" since you're anchoring labels to real objects such as a Wall, or a Beam, or a Column. Revit "knows" what these objects are. So you can have a W30X90 beam that is labeled in 100 views, but since it's not "dumb text" and is populating the beam information itself, if you were to ever change that beam to a W24X55, the label updates in all 100 views.

 

This advice allows you to really begin to understand the process itself and not think it's just another trendy drafting program that's all uber-3D. It's not. It's a process, and it'll force you to become a much better designer and you'll have a very fun time designing once you get going and become efficient.

 

Sorry so lengthy. Hope this helps.

 

-TZ

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halam

You guys didn't get the humor in that I guess ;-) I would consider Tekla or Nemetschek for Rebar. They probably are both miles ahead on other brands.. About Autocad 3d being difficult.. that depends on who you're asking. (like all questions I think). We're doing structural work in DWG / IFC with Allplan / AutoCad and a little bit of Revits

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freebutterflyx
You guys didn't get the humor in that I guess ;-) I would consider Tekla or Nemetschek for Rebar. They probably are both miles ahead on other brands.. About Autocad 3d being difficult.. that depends on who you're asking. (like all questions I think). We're doing structural work in DWG / IFC with Allplan / AutoCad and a little bit of Revits

 

I got the humor of it...

The simpliest way would be to buy all of it, test all of it in some projects en see what works best for our needs. But that would be to expencive and to time consuming.

 

@tzframpton

The transition will not be made in a hurry. It will be resaerched deeply so we can make the most correct decision.

 

About the older people: I know some of them don't have a 3D vision. But that's a problem for the managers.

I just want to give some good advice.

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halam

One advice: Try to avoid the word 'bim' because It's a huge container and a chameleon. What is it really you want? Try to write that down without the b$m word

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freebutterflyx

Currently we draw everything (both architectural and structural) in 2D, just "normal" autocad and sometimes with the help of some simple lisp.

 

Recently we had some clients that were asking if we could deliver our files in Revit or Tekla format (or an open BIM format).

Our management also saw drawings and 3D models from other companys.

 

So they started to think about it. The management doesn't use these programmes, they only see the result and they have to deliver the result to the client.

 

Because of the questions of the clients, the "looks" of other "3D models" and the fact that BIM is "modern" now, they started to think about it. Most of the management doens't know BIM, Revit, Tekla or whatever, they only see our results (2D drawings) and the results of others (similar companys).

 

So, what we (the management actually) want ...

shortly said : doiing like other do and building 3D models in stead of drawing in 2D. This for both the architectural side and the structural side:

- architectural drawing: plans + details

- structural drawing: overview + details (

- structural details of steel contructions

- reinforcement drawings

 

BTW: the question for switching from 2D to 3D didn't come from "the working people" but it was the management that came with the idea first.

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RobDraw

Going 3D is a no brainer. Build it and you can make a section, elevation, and 3D (isometric) views from anywhere you please. Future changes to the model will be reflected through out the various views. It takes longer to start but as the project progresses things go faster in 3D.

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tzframpton
Currently we draw everything (both architectural and structural) in 2D, just "normal" autocad and sometimes with the help of some simple lisp.

 

Recently we had some clients that were asking if we could deliver our files in Revit or Tekla format (or an open BIM format).

Our management also saw drawings and 3D models from other companys.

 

So they started to think about it. The management doesn't use these programmes, they only see the result and they have to deliver the result to the client.

 

Because of the questions of the clients, the "looks" of other "3D models" and the fact that BIM is "modern" now, they started to think about it. Most of the management doens't know BIM, Revit, Tekla or whatever, they only see our results (2D drawings) and the results of others (similar companys).

 

So, what we (the management actually) want ...

shortly said : doiing like other do and building 3D models in stead of drawing in 2D. This for both the architectural side and the structural side:

- architectural drawing: plans + details

- structural drawing: overview + details (

- structural details of steel contructions

- reinforcement drawings

 

BTW: the question for switching from 2D to 3D didn't come from "the working people" but it was the management that came with the idea first.

I can tell you with confidence that Revit is really the only option to consider, beings that the entire AEC industry has moved to Revit, leaving the rest who haven't yet adopted Revit in a state of "when" not "if". You can certainly use Tekla, but this will produce 3D models in an non-native Revit format which really disrupts the process. What I'm getting at, is that Revit is the only platform in your industry that guarantees your company can participate with other partners and firms when designing, and your company will be able to deliver native authoring files for others to use. Tekla, from my experience with it, is robust for the structural team, but it's not native Revit format thus breaking the chain in the compatibility link. Projects for quite some time have been requiring Revit only, nothing else.

 

BIM is commonly misinterpreted as "3D" and it's not... BIM is a process. If you use Tekla, you break the BIM process with those using Revit. Not entirely, but enough to make it not worth while. The reason I am going over these things is because non-Revit users do not understand that Revit is a collaborative project environment. AutoCAD users don't understand this, because the DWG file format is like any file... you open it up, nobody else can be in that file while you're in it. So, XREF'ing techniques are adopted. Revit isn't like this... any number of users can be in the same model at the same time over LAN or WAN networks. Tekla, as far as I know, doesn't do this, and it certainly can't join in on Revit's model in this way. This is why I say BIM is a process and not "3D". Imagine you and four other designers in the same model at the same time, modeling in your areas, or setting up sheets and documentation, cutting live sections for detailing, rendering 3D views, reviewing coordination alerts from the architect's model, all from inside the same office, or from outside clients and vendors who all have access from using Revit's BIM 360 cloud service.

 

I know you have this idea that you'll "try out software" and "make a slow transition" but it's just not going to happen. The market will push one software, which is Revit, and it'll push you to use it immediately or you cannot be on the project. It is a common occurance these days with firms who haven't yet made the transition.

 

:)

 

And please take all that I've said as genuine real-world advice. I get where you're coming from and have heard these same comments before. I've never seen this stance actually happen in the manner that was intended.

 

-TZ

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halam

Tz, are you a Revit reseller..? You really sound like one.

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tzframpton

Lol, I do sound like it. Especially on this forum since it's primarily an AutoCAD forum. I know many are probably squirming while reading my response. People on Revit forums are way worse than me, though... they outright bash AutoCAD and AutoCAD users badly. I'm just trying to give the OP some honest advice is all. :)

 

-TZ

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halam

I use Revit and you know I do civil work. I know there are limitations on curved geometry (try getting some f* dimensions in a view) , working with GPS coordinates and working thought the detailling, rebar is very limited.

 

 

But I can understand the benefits you gain from it for housing design and stuff. But on the civil side of AEC to state that it will be (the only?) future I strongly (very strongly) disagree with you. I can say it on this forum I suppose :)

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tzframpton
I use Revit and you know I do civil work. I know there are limitations on complex curved geometry, working with GPS coordinate and detailling, rebar. But I can understand the benefits you gain from it. On the civil side of AEC and Rev'it being the only future I strongly (very strongly) disagree with you. I can say it on this forum I suppose :)
I strongly disagree with a Revit and Civil relationship too. When I say "AEC Industry", inherently I'm leaving out civil. Revit is intended for vertical work, not horizontal work, period.

 

:)

 

-TZ

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halam

Still, I see a lot of effort being done to use Revit for other things than buildings. Interesting to know what AEC stands for really.. I mean what disciplines.. (speaking of Autodesk portfolio)

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tzframpton
TZ probably most Revit users never heared or seen AutoCAD architecture..

https://www.youtube.com/embed/0Yh4eF8Uthg

Maybe the younger crowd, but not the long time users. AutoCAD Architecture "stole" from Revit after Autodesk acquired Revit back in 2002. Before ACA, it was ADT which went away quickly as it could not compete with Revit or ArchiCAD. Autodesk knew they had to do something so they bought the one for sale. It was a wise decision.

 

ACA inherently has barriers since it's still DWG. Single-user file access, cumbersome, using Objects while still married to layers and plot styles, the Style Manager is extremely complex, etc. Comparing some of ACA's tools and functions on an individual basis, ACA can outdo Revit any day. But there's a forest for the trees. Taking a step back and comparing the two platforms comprehensively, there's no question which one is the better of the two.

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halam

The way one can work with files is something to consider. My wifi was temporary out so my Revit says : failure / abort!

Not able to save anything anymore, model crash, shuts down program leaving me with a big pile of **** unclear error messsages.

So maybe TZ, you understand that i may find working offline with smaller models not a bad idea for working moral ..

Edited by halam

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