AEC - Intelligent Modeling

16 May, 2004 By: Mike Bordenaro

3D models store wealth of data.

JUST AS PERVASIVE COMPUTER use was inevitable, eventually almost all AEC companies will use intelligent 3D software models. Whether it's BIM (building information modeling), single building modeling, parametric modeling, or any other type of computer modeling, it comes down to using data-rich 3D models in an intelligent fashion. To make life simpler, I'll call it intelligent modeling.

Many AEC companies derive benefits from intelligent modeling already. Just some of the reported benefits are the ability to offer more clear visual and data communication with clients, catch design errors, and improve construction efficiency.

Though many vendors offer intelligent modeling software, the big AEC players in the United States are Autodesk (Revit), Bentley (TriForma), and Graphisoft (ArchiCAD). Each company has recently announced major new releases, made significant marketing moves, or devised licensing strategy shifts that positively affect users.

Joining the list of companies later this year will be Gehry Technologies, which will release its Digital Project modules. Designed to put an AEC interface on CATIA mechanical design software, the modules will benefit from the experience of Gehry Partners' wealth of work dating back to the late 1980s.

Bentley is beta testing an advanced program called Generative Components. Beta testing by Foster and Partners, KPF London's office, Arup, and others is promising, but no formal release date has been announced.

Though constant improvement in intelligent modeling software creates healthy competition, just as significant may be the increased acceptance of NavisWorks. This program lets you view intelligent models created in almost any software together as a complete model. This means a Revit structural model, a Bentley mechanical model, and door and window objects from ArchiCAD can all be brought into NavisWorks for clash checking.

NavisWorks promises to be a lingua franca that may eliminate many concerns of the International Alliance of Interoperability, which works on standards to make it easy to share the information in intelligent models.

Clarifying CATIA
Because of the design leadership exhibited by Gehry Partners, there has been a heightened, although confused, interest in CATIA and Gehry Technologies' business relationship with Dassault Syst

About the Author: Mike Bordenaro

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