How To Create Your 4D Simulation Without Having A BIM 3D Model


My idea " why can't anyone create the 4D simulation without having BIM 3D model?" .  

For me the 4D simulation is only two words : visualizing schedule, Also the 4D is representing the takes as 3D elements to satisfy the simulation requirements, without any 3D BIM commitment if it is not required .

Simply no one measures the dimensions or extract the drawing from your 4D model, also they don't care about the number of the columns which are simulated in the floor. All what they want to know : if the column casting activities come after or overlapping with the slab casting activities? Is the actual slab casting date over or behind the baseline schedule ? when do we have to shift our temporary facilities to the new location? .  So Fixing and dismantling the Tower cranes  activities are the most common example that no one care about the onsite model of the crane , but they just want to see any crane model representing the activities !  For sure this depends on the 4D modeling requirements, but I think more than 70% of the 4D simulations needs can be done without the exact 3D BIM model. 

So why are we binding the 4D simulation to the BIM department  ? Why can't any one create the 4D model using 1 site plan , schedule and Synchro pro ?

let me explain my workflow in the following example:

a. Givens  : 1 layout of the project + construction schedule.

b.The expected output from the 4D simulation: Visualizing and verifying the construction methodology and logistic ( Dynamic layout).

c.Tools:  Any 3D modeling tool + Synchro pro (scheduling and 4D simulation)

d.Simple 4 Steps:

1- Import your layout to any 3D modeling tool and build you model (slabs, columns , facade , ... etc) based on simulation requirements, also you can import some  models from any 3D warehouse for the mobilization and site offices. ( This could be done only in 3 to 4 days max by any 3D modeling tool with very simple  experience) and always remember the final model should not be 100% accurate but at least good enough for the simulation.

2-Build your schedule in Synchro pro or any other scheduling tools.( 2 days):

3- Import your model to Synchro pro, link it to the schedule .

In this stage make sure the schedule WBS level is matching the same LOD of the model.

4-Render and export your simulation ( 2 days)

  • As a result you could have a very good 4D model without using any BIM 3d model  and just in few days.

    So this workflow would be so useful and costeffective in the tender stage when you don't have time to create the full 3D model and want to represent your construction methodology with min effort or maybe if you want to study the site logistics and access routs or claims and time impact analysis or simulating and controlling your project even if you don't have a BIM department in your company.

    As I always say about the 4D simulation : 1 picture could worth thousands of word, but can you imagine what thousands of pictures could WORTH !

    Good luck.

    Tamer Elgohari


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