Opinion

Out of date working practices

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Are you still producing 2D drawings and then producing a 3D model afterwards because you think you  need to do BIM ?

In other words, your 2D drawings are not related to your 3d model in any way.

By doing this you have instantly failed to acknowledge one of the basics of BIM – the single source of truth.

It is entirely possible and more than likely that your 2D drawings do not accurately represent your 3D model.

I suspect this has come about because of your current working practices.

Time for the history lesson – many years ago we used to use drawing boards to produce our drawings – it’s also how I started a long time ago. 

Then along came Autocad and revolutionised the industry, however the process of producing drawings did not change – it just became electronic.

At this time, the accepted workflow was that Engineers produce their designs and then passed over their designs to technicians to produce the working drawings. A 3D model wasn’t even thought about – everybody was thinking in 3D and visualising a 3D model.

Now that we can produce 3D models you need to re-think your design process.

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2D drawings from 3D models

You need to be producing your 3D model first and then creating 2D drawings from your 3D model. That way your 2D drawings are always an accurate representation of your 3D model. If you need to change anything you change your 3D model and you don’t directly change your 2D drawings.

Now you can see how you need to be working differently from the way always have done.

However, you need to think about what role your people carry out.

Your Engineers will still do the engineering design, which they are qualified to do and are experienced in carrying out, however instead of your Technicians waiting until the Engineers have finished to start producing 2D drawings, their role changes into that of a 3D modeller, guided by the Engineer.

For example, as a team leader, whenever we start a new project we always send out for utility returns to find out what apparatus needs to be moved or avoided. When we get these returns back I give them to the 3D modellers (Technicians) to model them in 3D so that we can instantly see where our proposed design might clash. This is one way that we move the design process to an earlier stage, matching the McCleamy curve originally drawn by Patrick McCleamy.

Finally, if your software does not allow you to create a 3D model and then create 2D drawings from your model you need to think about changing your software and getting the appropriate training.

If you need any further explanation or any help with training please give us a call on 0191 466 1296 or email [email protected]

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Martin Young

Martin Young is a Director with Cassidy Forsythe and has been in the Highways Industry for 40 years. He is passionate about BIM and is a long term advocate of Bentley software,especially the new Openroads tools.

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