The steps in the process
1) Collecting Product Information for Modeling:
Collecting information about the products intended for modeling is often a challenging task, particularly for smaller manufacturers. The data related to product series is frequently disorganized, even though these products are regularly in production. Geometry data may occasionally be lost, and different pieces of information are scattered across various departments. Some products have digital data available in PDF format, while others may only have hand-drawn sketches from years ago or no records at all. In some cases, manufacturers outsource the actual production of their products to subcontractors, making it even more challenging to access geometry data. Ultimately, the smoother the data collection process, the quicker and easier the subsequent stages become. This data collection responsibility falls entirely on the manufacturer, and we are unable to bypass it. However, we can assist by providing the manufacturer with a suitable Product Data Template (PDT) to complete, using a cloud-based spreadsheet, of course.
2) Establishing a "Standard" for Family Modeling:
Similar to many other fields, there is no universally accepted "gold standard" for creating 3D BIM objects. Consequently, the metadata we discussed earlier can take on countless different forms. In the United Kingdom, there is a mandatory requirement for BIM in public projects, leading to the development of a "standard" for more than 5700 product types. You can find more information Here.
Even if your target customer base doesn't specifically include the UK, it's still advisable to follow a standard. The world is moving forward, and data should be organized efficiently and shared across different countries. Another widely used standard is COBie.
The decision to adopt a standard was made collectively after considering the target audience and the countries for our marketing efforts.
3) Modeling Parametric 3D Objects with Meta Data.
In Revit, we develop families with varying Levels of Detail (LOD) to enhance work efficiency. LOD serves as a visual approach for showcasing the project at distinct stages, including schematics, preliminary design, and detailed design, among others. You can find additional information about LOD here.
4) Quality Control:
Each object, or "Family," undergoes multiple rounds of testing to identify and rectify conflicts, bugs, and errors related to the information in schedules. In Revit, various elements possess advanced features that require comprehensive testing. For example:
– Windows seamlessly integrate with walls.
– Pipe fittings align with the appropriate pipe diameter.
– Doors function in both open and close modes.
– Air conditioning units create voids.
5) Delivering the Object (Files) to Manufacturers:
Manufacturers have the flexibility to decide where they want to host the files and how they wish to provide access to users worldwide. Some manufacturers opt to host the files on their own websites, while others choose to share the objects through different hosting platforms like bimobject.com. The second option may come with higher costs but offers greater exposure, although it doesn't always result in increased sales. I'll explore this topic further in a separate article.
6) Maintaining Ongoing Communication with Manufacturers:
We maintain continuous communication with manufacturers regarding updates to their products. This ensures that the necessary changes are made to the 3D models, keeping the shared data up to date with our clients.
BIM Modeling Service for Manufacturers
Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a fantastic tool. The different applications are becoming more user-friendly, and the process is essential for the construction industry.
We specialize in BIM object modeling for manufacturers, offering services such as Revit family creation and BIM object modeling.
As the world transitions to a more efficient way of designing buildings and construction projects using BIM software like Revit, Archicad, and Tekla Structures, the demand for fully parametric elements from various manufacturers is on the rise. Those who are savvy enough to provide these objects are already reaping the benefits by becoming integral to numerous BIM projects. Their digital models (families in Revit) are integrated and appear in schedules and bills of materials.
Our modeling work focuses exclusively on creating fully parametric BIM elements. With our team's extensive experience in various BIM software, we understand the critical distinction between 'junk' 3D models and fully parametric ones. A 100% parametric family includes underlying geometry designed in a way that the entire series is supplied as a single file. The parameters within the geometry correspond to different dimensions of the object. For example, window parameters may include Height=900mm, Width=1200mm, Depth=120mm, and so on.
In real-life modeling of a parametric object, there are numerous parameters for each one. Our team must ensure that when changing one parameter, it does not conflict with others.
A window manufacturer presents various dimensions for windows in their PDF catalog, all sharing the same 'general appearance.' From our perspective, we must ensure that when the user selects to modify the desired component, the geometry changes instantly without any conflicts or errors. In Revit, these components are referred to as 'Types.'
don't be alarmed by the varied terminology used in different software. They all refer to the same concept: parametric 3D models!
As the BIM process has evolved over the years, additional data, beyond geometry, has been incorporated into objects. This additional data is referred to as metadata. Manufacturers provide textual information related to various properties of their products, such as "weight," "warranty," "manufacturer website (URL)," "installation PDF," and much more. The range of metadata is extensive, so the focus is often on the essential information that manufacturers wish to share with others.
The BIM object of a product serves as the digital counterpart to the real-life product. Products typically have what can be described as a 'life cycle,' and anything related to that can be included as metadata.
Experienced users are very familiar with various websites that offer access to millions of objects from different manufacturers. Websites like bimobject.com, revitcity.com, and more are popular resources for accessing these digital assets