BIM for Manufacturers

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is rapidly becoming the standard process used when designing and constructing a building.  Designers are leaving behind the obsolete methods of 2-Dimension drafting techniques such as hand-drafting and drafting lines with AutoCAD just to represent lines on a piece of paper.  BIM allows the designers and constructors to model the building 3-dimensionally (3D) within a computer so that they can visualize the building before construction.  This allows for not only visualizing the building for improved aesthetic and functional design, but also checking the building for coordination and collision issues early in the process before encountering the problems during construction.

While the 3D graphical “Model” portion of BIM is important, another important part of BIM is the “Information” portion.  The information portion includes “parameter” metadata concerning products within the building project, similar to storing information within a database.  This metadata information for the many different products within the building will be utilized by the designer, the constructor, and eventually the building owner.  Among the many purposes of this metadata information, it can be used by the designer to accurately populate schedules and determine functionality, and by constructors to properly order the intended product.

Autodesk® Revit® is currently the dominate software used for BIM purposes.  Within Revit®, designers place components called “families” which represent building components such as doors, windows, plumbing fixtures, etc .  These families are created to accurately represent the manufacturer’s product, both graphically and non-graphically with the appropriate metadata parameter information.  Manufacturers create these families for their products and then provide the families to users of the Revit® software so that their product is the one that the designer references within their building project.  This metadata information can then be referenced by specification writers.

With this transformation of building design within the computer, it is important for manufacturers to provide for the growing demand by designers for quality Revit® families to utilize within their 3D building models.  There are various methods of creating Revit® families for usage, but some of these methods actually push designers away from the manufacturer’s families instead of encouraging usage of the manufacturer’s product.  An actual example of this is where a door manufacturer exported their Autodesk® Inventor® model as a Revit® family which seemed adequate and efficient.  However, an Architect downloaded this Revit® door family to use in their project and found it to be totally inadequate due to its file size and lack of representing the proper graphical information.  The Architect promptly removed the family from their project and searched for a different competitive manufacturer.

Our Revit® family development team will provide your organization with Revit® families that are considered a quality product in the BIM community.  A Revit® family must balance the degree of graphical information to adequately visually represent the product, but also keep the file size manageable.   It must also include appropriate metadata parameter information that is considered important to the designer, constructor, and building owner.  Including this information in a manner that meets industry standards developed by Autodesk® Seek is a hallmark of our Revit® family development team.  The developer of the Revit® families is actually the above mentioned licensed Architect when he was working as a Project Architect, so he has a first-hand understanding of quality families.