Cadalyst AEC Tech News: 2D to 3D #8 (October 28, 2004)

27 Oct, 2004 By: Arnie Williams

Cadalyst AEC Tech NewsAhead of the Game

Japanese Civil Engineering Firm Boosts Efficiency with 3D Design

Yachiyo Engineering is one of Japan's largest firms of consulting engineers, planners, and architects. Focusing on infrastructure development through civil engineering, Yachiyo undertakes a variety of projects, including facilities for river and flood control; water resource development; traffic and transportation, such as roads and railways; and facilities for various urban and solid-waste management projects. In addition to its work in Japan, the company has provided services to about 110 other countries for every phase of project development, from planning and feasibility studies to preliminary and detailed design to construction supervision and procurement.

Yachiyo Engineering recently adopted Autodesk's Civil 3D design software as its company standard. The platform allows the firm to integrate CAD and GIS data to create, manage, and share critical data throughout project lifecycles.

"Our goal is to transform our business so that our consultants can focus more on increasing efficiencies and reducing costs, rather than spending their time on drafting and preparing delivery reports," says firm president Yoshio Nakagawa.

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Construction Industry Slow to Change
Compared with other industries such as manufacturing and some areas of architecture and building, the civil engineering and construction sector has been slow to adopt 3D design. In the case of Yachiyo Engineering, company management saw increasing opportunities to use 3D visualization to offer owners and developers more accurate and comprehensible presentations.

In one example, the company used a 3D geological model to analyze ground water for a planned solid-waste management facility. The company has also used 3D geological models in highway and bridge designs to more efficiently visualize how the design will affect building structures and landscapes. Yachiyo's 3D models have also helped municipal residents understand hazard maps, indicating the potential effects of tidal waves and floods.

The Japanese government has been promoting the digitalization of its infrastructure countrywide, and Yachiyo Engineering sees its own move to 3D as a step toward helping Japan realize that goal. "We are committed to 3D design helping us become more productive and efficient, and offering true value to our customers," says Nakagawa.

Web sites
Yachiyo Engineering:
Autodesk Civil 3D:

This special edition of AEC Tech News examines the real-world experiences of manufacturing companies as they move from 2D drafting to 3D modeling. If you have suggestions about companies or issues you'd like to see covered here, please e-mail us at