Posted in 3D models, Materials
Five short years ago, Rambøll Byggeri [Rambøll Construction] launched a strategic initiative to implement and utilise three-dimensional models in our design and project planning assignments.Previously, we worked primarily with project planning and drafting documentation in 2D with the traditional CAD programs, such as AutoCAD and MicroStation. But we wanted to do more and it quickly became apparent that the traditional CAD programs could not measure up in regard to 3D modelling.We had to invest in new CAD software that supported our professional engineering branches and not just our drafting related needs. We quickly discovered after the shift from working in 2D to working in 3D that it was much more than just changing our CAD programs. It was a large paradigm shift in the way we worked. It was a shift from working with digital drafting tools to using digital design tools.
Reykavik Concert and Conference Center
This 30,000 m2 was the first major construction project in which we instituted systematic use of 3D models. All branches, including architecture, installation and construction used 3D models in their respective designs and project planning work, as well as for coordinating the various branches’ geometrical design.In addition to employees having to learn to use the CAD programs’ 3D functions, the individual professional branches also had to learn to use the 3D models effectively in both design and project planning work. 3D models contain geometrical and technical data for use in calculations and analyses, but they also became the visual focal point for design and project planning between various employees. Being able to visualise one’s solutions/proposed solutions in 3D is a factual means of explaining complex engineering aspects to both professionals and everyday people. Therefore, 3D modelling quickly became a new but very important aspect of the work process, in which the 3D model also became a visual measurement of progress for the various branches of a project.The combination of the individual professional branches’ 3D models into one collective 3D model provides an array of clear coordination-related advantages in relation to the project’s overall geometrical construction. It is possible to visually check whether the various construction elements are placed correctly and do not collide with other construction elements. This provides the professional branches and the project management with a new opportunity to increase the quality of the overall project material in comparison with the previously used 2D drafts. Therefore, new routines have been instituted for checking for collisions, in which every professional branch must continually coordinate their 3D models with the other branches’ 3D models. Meanwhile, the collective model has proven very effective at providing an overview as well as explaining things regarding the construction project’s progress and complexity to the project owner and other involved parties
3D working method
The systematic approach we took on the project is described in a 3D working method manual developed by the Danish state’s developmental project “Digital Construction”. As opposed to other 3D CAD manuals, this manual focuses on working methods in regard to the use of 3D models, as opposed to technical CAD information regarding the use of CAD systems, etc.At Rambøll, we have experienced that the use of 3D modelling for construction projects requires a significant change in the working methods of both employees and project collaborations, and that the 3D working method manual actually supports these new working methods.