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2D vs 3D vs BIM - Where are we going?

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Okay, so to answer your original question, I'm not against the use of direct free-form modelling. It certainly has its place. If I was designing a stair like this I may use free-form modelling too.


But we hardly ever design to this level of detail, especially when we're involved in D&B contracts, even for production drawings. On the last three affordable housing projects I've worked on we're dealing with stairwells between 5 and 9 storeys high. These can involve simple guardings with vertical metal railings or panels, but generally speaking they're reasonably simple concrete stairs and it's enough to provide a spec along with some key dimensions and perhaps a 1:50 section.


We may adjust the storey heights during the the design of the building. We may adjust the size of stairwell. And this process is facilitated with greatest speed by an object that knows where finished floor level is, it knows what range of dimensions to keep the riser and treads within. We can move through many iterations without ever having to remodel the stair. Multiple this across many types of objects and you have the argument in favour of parametric objects. If we need to model something in freeform there's nothing stopping us.


But what I would really prefer is a mixture of the two. I want a stair object that has intelligence but that I can model with directly instead of always having to resort to a dialogue window. ArchiCAD's stair is pretty good example of this. The Curtain Wall tool in VW is not bad either.


You have influenced me though, I now model foundations directly in free-form too, whereas I used to try and use walls.

Edited by Christiaan

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what this all means, as regards to the collaborate feature above, is that the team members, owner, contractor, subs etc can have a live screen set up & running 24/7 and see the model being made. (i have no problem with people watching me work) 

then they can all measure & comment. some will edit.  

this totally eliminates:

1. printing out pdfs for a big GoTo meeting review

2. parties exporting & importing files each week to see the progress each team member was making (remember this took a whole day)

 WOW! i cannot believe the size of the paradigm shift this is.


as for the vw browser (IM universe) yes it needs to have 2d ability & not be all just 3d.  sometimes we need to make 2d drawing detail and such  

my reason for suggestion a stripped out IM universe was not to rule out parametrics, but to get vw to build from the ground up


like this:

1. direct modeling first, stable/fast

2. start to add enhancement to automate large changes in stairs for example 

if you look at the mechanical cad software you will see how they have constraints for parts.

one thing is connected to another, move a floor height and the stairs move  

they get this by building a model from the ground up and not by having a "stair tool"


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one more thing...IF the VW browser (IM Universe) could partner with OnShape THEN...

we could make all the products/material in OnShape

     if we make them all public then Onshape is free. thus creating a huge public library for all (similar to sketch-up 3d warehouse but not as crapy)

     so while we could still use the "BIM Object" products, manufacturers could by pass this whole step & have a "public" version of their stuff on OnShape for all to use

     this of course would be just the shell of the object and not all the nuts and bolts (OnShape would need to work this out on their end)

then in the IM Universe we could just bring in a wash machine or a stove. (simplified)

    so why not just do everything in OnShape? Why have the IM Universe like VW?

    because OnShape is for things you hold in your hand, so to speak

    the IM Universe is about placing things on the Earth (Moon & Mars) with north,  latitude, longitude, DTM, trees, rocks, flood plains, sun position etc


they are 2 different worlds 


IF VW did the above then they would eclipse the industry by lightyears.

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and for those who want to build cabinets...just build in OnShape, use all the hardware from the manufacturer (needs to be on OnShape)

then build your cabinets w/o any restrictions.  


then just place the "Shell" into the IM Universe that contains the home you are building.


this is mind blowing!


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ok, so apparently i was not aware of what real parametric modeling was...

so the browser based IM Universe should operate like this

this is how the stair tool should be done



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Now that's pretty cool. The interface seems a little difficult for something as complex as a site plan or building, but definitely an interested step in the right direction.

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after thinking about the parametrics shown above (onshape example) I'm having second thoughts as to them and their use in buildings.


the pros of parametrics are that you "push" a button and everything updates or something like that.


the cons are these questions: 

Did it change what i wanted it to change?

Did it change it correctly?

Did it NOT create some anomaly off to the side that i will not notice until construction?





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so in conclusion VW works great in direct modeling (if you treat it like sketch-up & avoid parametrics) so i guess I'm happy... just want a way to share my models with the harvesters in a browser IM universe the way Onshape does..


whoever it was at VW who made the graphics/prespective/3d connexion/ auto surfacing hi lighting/  universe...this is one of the best thing VW has ever produced...(user since Mini cad 6)

(ok view ports is also at the top)


you just need to allow me to share with other.

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please see the file below.  it contains (what i consider) complicated concrete.  i'm not aware of a "Tool" that can do this.  (unless there is and i have not been paying attention)


so... years ago, if i had been giving this project,  the first thing i would have done is to look for a "Tool" and try to make it work.  getting frustrated all the way.


now i just place 3d loci, move them xyz (i know my slopes 2% east west & 1/2% north south) and pow! i have a "pin" in 3d space that i snap my 3d poly to..


maybe VW can focus on this "ground up" way of construction first THEN figure out ways to blend in parametrics.


another observation.  lets say there was a "tool" to make this.. the problem is that i do not really know what i want until i start to model it.


if i am confronted with a dialog box with 50 inputs that would produce the exact concrete shown in the file..i would not know what to type in 


all i know is i need to start at some point then branch out from there, figuring it out as i go. 


Concrete Planes.vwx 

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ok i see the point of Parametric modeling... i guess the trouble I'm having is how & when does one transition from parametrics to actual components?

somewhere in the transition you will be moving to direct modeling (need a very good GUI and navigation)

then the parametric gets abandoned? 


do we direct model subsystems and place some type of marker on it so that if the parametric moves then the subsystem moves? 

as if the subsystem is "bolted" to the parametric model?





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the point of all this is that the VW that we install on our computers should stay the same 


but the browser based version (the IM Universe) should be the breaking point for a new paradigm approach 

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