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Leveraging 3D Software Development Toolkits as Buildings Move into the Digital Age

Wed May 17, 2017

Building information modeling refers to a digital knowledge base describing physical and functional aspects of buildings. Often referred to simply as BIM, not to be confused with bam, pow, zowie from the 60’s Batman TV series, this knowledge base serves to manage a building throughout its lifecycle, from initial design right through to renovation or demolition, enabling huge savings in construction costs to be achieved.

Traditionally, the construction industry has relied on 2D drawings; however, BIM uses 3D physical models to describe the building components, and allows for expanding the concept to 4D (time) and 5D (cost). These physical models not only assist during the construction phase, but greatly facilitate later maintenance and renovation. These models also help contractors understand the internal structure of a building, detailing the location, electrical, waters up plies, along with structural members or other critical items. This knowledge extends to demolition, allowing crews to identify locations of hazardous material and correctly plan the tear down.

Building Information Modeling (BIM)

As BIM solutions have evolved, suppliers have begun to upgrade some of the enabling technology, specifically moving to industrial-strength 3D modeling solutions.

Lubansoft as an Example of this Transition

Lubansoft, founded in 2001, focuses on research, development, and promotion of China’s BIM technology. The company concentrates on construction-phase BIM technology projects and services. The company’s enterprise-level BIM system (Luban PDS) is an engineering basic-data platform that applies cutting-edge technology to the entire process of project management for the construction industry. In addition, the company also developed a number of specialized client applications for use in creating 3D BIM models, calculating workloads, visualization, etc. These application clients are mobile ready, able to support mobile office requirements of the construction industry.

LubanPDS

There are two central and essential functions within LubanPDS: 3D modeling and visualization. Lubansoft initially based their solutions on the 3D modeling functions built into AutoCAD; however, AutoCAD’s strength is as a 2D drawing platform and not as a platform on which to add 3D modeling functionality. Limited access to 3D modeling capabilities as well a very limited 3D visualization resulted in sluggish performance and operational failures affecting the accuracy of calculations, as well as the stability of the program.

Lubansoft Partners with Spatial to Develop Next-Generation Solutions

Given the shortcomings of AutoCAD as a 3D modeling platform, Lubansoft’s development team replaced the AutoCAD 3D modeling kernel with 3DACIS Modeler, which provides powerful modeling capabilities that meet the needs of the BIM industry. By moving to an industry-proven solution with more than two million seats worldwide, Lubansoft’s applications can now achieve a significant improvement in their stability and performance, while benefiting from the robustness gained through thousands of use cases.

The Boolean functions within the 3D ACIS Modeler support a wide range of operators, including a powerful incremental Boolean capability. The3D ACIS Modeler also provides fast and accurate volume calculation — an essential function in the construction industry. In addition, many operations within the3D ACIS Modeler are fail safe, improving the robustness of the application.

The Results

By incorporating 3D software toolkits from Spatial into their BIM software suite, Lubansoft was able to realize concrete results:

  • Simplified product development; shortened time to market
  • Raised product competitiveness
  • Broadened product line
  • Increased customer satisfaction

Through its partnership with Spatial, Lubansoft has raised design quality, reduced design errors, supporting the entire process of construction, operation, and maintenance. Moreover, the Spatial toolkits have allowed Lubansoft to build a platform that enables collaboration from the office to the job site, be it on a desktop, tablet, or mobile phone.

To learn more, download the LubansoftCase Study.

Tags: Building Information Modeling (BIM)

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