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Bob-H

There is no "Central BIM Model"

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While I don't claim to be an expert in this, I do see the "Central BIM Model" concept as a big misnomer. Whenever anyone says "Central BIM Model", it's meaningless redundancy, because there is no such thing as a "Modeling Model". There is a "Model" sure, as in the architectural model (possibly shared on a local network) exported out of the office to share information with other models on a BIM network: along with structural, mechanical and construction, to name a few. And it is possible to bring them together in the "Aggregate Model". This slide show was recently passed around by the NV staff:

http://www.slideshare.net/berlotti/there-is-no-central-bim-model

I hope this gets the word out to the those who use the term "Central BIM Model" -- don't get tricked into saying this!

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True but it's largely semantics. Unfortunately I've heard Nemetschek presenters using something like this as a marketing argument against the need for an internal BIM server too.

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A central BIM server is only not practical YET.

We haven't evolved the software, the services, the working practices, the insurance model etc, etc, but it will come.

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Is the Vectorworks Cloud Services getting much attention by A/E/C today? I might be getting access to it soon through Service Select.

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I wouldn't have said so, but then I wouldn't have said VW gets much attention in general. The cloud services are next to useless for us. They've never rendered any of our files and I haven't tried using it for anything else yet.

The priority support you get with VSS is great though. At least here in the UK.

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The firm I worked with did an airport terminal in AutoCAD using a BIM mindset and it worked really well. This would map very well into Vectorworks. The rule we followed was that each consultant was in charge of the geometry that they were the best authority on. Architectural had the walls, doors, windows and furniture; Structural had the concrete columns and grid, Mechanical and Electrical had ceiling fixtures. Each of our files were referenced into each others' drawings. Each week we would save our files and send them to each other. All we have to do was drop the consultant's files in our directory and everything updated. We did not touch the consultant's files in any way. This meant of course that if I wanted a gridline moved I would have to ask Structural to move it, or if I wanted the light fixtures moved I would have to ask Electrical to move it. The project was a coordination dream and ran ultra-smoothly. Something like this can work in Vectorworks even if some consultants are on AutoCAD. Oh, one more thing, we kept the annotation in a separate file and only shared the geometry files into the common model so we did not have to struggle turning off layers we didn't need. Everything was visible with no secret settings. What can I say... it worked!

Garry Steinhilber

W.T. Leung Architects Inc.

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Thanks Garry. I never thought about using Vectorworks as a coordination tool. I'll have to remember to use that "reference DWG" command instead of "import DWG". I do know that most engineers use CAD instead of building modeling software.

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DWG import does have more flexible options than IFC - I noticed the DWG can be "referenced" as a symbol, to keep it separate from the drawing. This is useful for later on, when you need to update it with a newer updated DWG, by just replacing it with a new symbol. I'm not sure IFC files can be swapped out as easily.

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A combination of the 2 is probably necessary........IFC for 3D info and dwgs for 2D info.

i.e.: IFC imported into a clean VWX file, DWG also imported into a clean VWX file, these are then both referenced into your own working file(s)......when one of the 2 (IFC/DWG) is changed/edited/update just create a new VWX file with the new imported IFC/DWG and the same name and replace the old one in place, the changes will appear in your own VWX file when the corresponding references are updated.

Note: you could also replace the IFC file with a 3D DWG and have the same workflow.

Edited by Vincent C

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A combination of the 2 is probably necessary........IFC for 3D info and dwgs for 2D info.

i.e.: IFC imported into a clean VWX file, DWG also imported into a clean VWX file, these are then both referenced into your own working file(s)......when one of the 2 (IFC/DWG) is changed/edited/update just create a new VWX file with the new imported IFC/DWG and the same name and replace the old one in place, the changes will appear in your own VWX file when the corresponding references are updated.

Note: you could also replace the IFC file with a 3D DWG and have the same workflow.

This is a workflow that works in VW, and it works very well. But when doing the same with just VW models, it doesn't work that good. They need to solve this, maybe by making something new for inner references?

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I've been getting familiar with IFC entities in the VWX drawing, after creating my first one. They don't show up in the Vw Resources for a drawing, which I don't like - I was hoping they could be exchanged between documents this way. I guess they can't be used as symbols.

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