Almost all medium and large structural engineering firms use BIM tools in their practice. Engineers use a variety of analysis programs to calculate beam sizes, column sizes, slab thicknesses, forces, and connections. Someone must enter that data into the drawing production software. Moving data from analysis models to production models is time consuming, error prone, and usually manual. This time consumed, errors made, and manual entry is coming to an end.
How many analysis software programs does your team use?
Depending on the size and construction of the building, the engineering team will deploy a handful of different software packages. Any semi-complex highrise will require a different analysis package for steel design, concrete design and slab design, for example. All of this analysis data needs to end up in a drawing production software, such as Revit or Microstation, to produce drawings, and to communicate with architects and contractors.
Then the Architect makes a change! Architects change things constantly, sending different iterations of the design to the engineer, sometimes weekly, especially early in the design phase. Walls get moved, floors get added, ceiling heights get changed, or the zoning of the building might change from commercial to residential or vise versa. At every change, the engineer has to redo most, if not all of the analysis work, in which case the whole manual transfer process starts all over.
Where’s the automation in AEC?
Currently, there’s no automated way to bring the data out of analysis model into the BIM model. In many firms, the conversation between engineers and modelers still takes place on paper (redline). Then someone must manually input the data into the production BIM model. In some custom workflows, the engineer enters the analysis data into Excel and then copies and pastes the data into the BIM model. Again, this process is manual and prone to errors. This manual process requires a significant portion of the design fee. On a large project, this process may be one full time job just to move data from the analysis tool into the BIM software.
The video below demonstrates how Konstru enables structural engineers to easily move BIM model data from one supported platform into another.