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Thoughts on BIM and its impact on FormZers

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Hi all,

I just thought I'd post this to see what your experience is lately regarding our 3d modelling work being affect by the onslaught of BIM in architecture. I am definitely being affected as more architects are using the likes of Revit for more and more projects. As a result they are tending to do their 3d imaging in-house and are less reliant on 3d modellers. They also have many rendering engines to choose from with built-in assets like trees, planting and other entourage which are of a very high quality. Yes, they still require specialist work sometimes but it seems less frequent these days.

I've never been a fan of this approach in architecture as I believe designs can be limited and more rigid, but I can see great improvements as the software (and the users for that matter) get better.

In this part of the world there is a lot of work in the architectural field at the moment, but every single practice (both large and small) are now using Revit (mostly) exclusively and require people with that skill base.

While I will always use FormZ for its amazing modelling abilities, but I think I will have no option but to go down the BIM route using Revit (the thought makes me wretch as I have tried it out before) and still use FormZ along side for when real 3d modelling is needed. To keep marketable at least.

I'd love to hear what you all think...

 

Des

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Your post prompted me to have a look around and I discovered BIM.Aero available from the Mac Store. This program will enable you to build up a BIM database from a 3D model eg from FromZ, and then save it in IFC format so it could be opened in Revit.

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Des, you are correct in the massive uptake in BIM - firstly with ArchiCAD that started it in the early 80's and then Revit that has taken a real foothold on big documentation and visualisation projects for architectural work.

I am familiar with the Australian and Japanese market, both different. In Australia formZ had a good base prior to the BIM take up, but we saw more and more formZ users being replaced by the use of ArchiCAD & Revit  that did both documentation and 3D, but at the same time Sketchup came out as design tool that spread in a simplistic use amongst the architectural designers for simpler tasks (mainly) that and Rhino grew for predesign because of the 3rd party capabilities. Since then ArchICAD has lost significant ground to REVIT due predatory Autodesk marketing and discount sales. Most architects still hate REVIT too, they are now asking for realtime modelling design tools  ( Revit & ArchiCAD are not ) however, most  architects income comes from documentation and that's where BIM software works. ArchiCAD is big in Japan and down to Singapore. I have seen some interesting some interesting Real time rendering (cloud based ) that are only now starting to take off - this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO5YE3FK5LI uses ArchiCAD as the core and iRay for rendering in the GPU cloud. There are Japanese companies working on similar stuff. Choice of renderers and architecturally specific front ends to modellers are essential and although BIM is taking over, there is still room for modern 3D design software that provides versatility, power and ease of use - as well as choice of a 3rd party ecosphere.

Rob

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4 hours ago, Smarttec said:

Des, you are correct in the massive uptake in BIM - firstly with ArchiCAD that started it in the early 80's and then Revit that has taken a real foothold on big documentation and visualisation projects for architectural work.

I am familiar with the Australian and Japanese market, both different. In Australia formZ had a good base prior to the BIM take up, but we saw more and more formZ users being replaced by the use of ArchiCAD & Revit  that did both documentation and 3D, but at the same time Sketchup came out as design tool that spread in a simplistic use amongst the architectural designers for simpler tasks (mainly) that and Rhino grew for predesign because of the 3rd party capabilities. Since then ArchICAD has lost significant ground to REVIT due predatory Autodesk marketing and discount sales. Most architects still hate REVIT too, they are now asking for realtime modelling design tools  ( Revit & ArchiCAD are not ) however, most  architects income comes from documentation and that's where BIM software works. ArchiCAD is big in Japan and down to Singapore. I have seen some interesting some interesting Real time rendering (cloud based ) that are only now starting to take off - this one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OO5YE3FK5LI uses ArchiCAD as the core and iRay for rendering in the GPU cloud. There are Japanese companies working on similar stuff. Choice of renderers and architecturally specific front ends to modellers are essential and although BIM is taking over, there is still room for modern 3D design software that provides versatility, power and ease of use - as well as choice of a 3rd party ecosphere.

Rob

There is also  a bunch of work being done with Unity ( and for that matter Unreal Engine 4 ) but have seen this work by Tridify ( I think a Danish company ) to interface BIM to Unity and that opens up VR experience. Be nice to have those tools here.

See this latest post from Unity

With our partner, Tridify Cloud Service, you can now quickly streamline your large 3D BIM and CAD models for real-time visualisation in Unity - perfect for applications like product design, engineering, VR/AR training and high impact customer experiences. Join our webinar to get started in 3 easy steps! Streaming Live at Tridify's YouTube Channel (bit.ly/TridifyYT) on 27 Jun 2019, at 1800 hrs Singapore time (GMT +8). Our presenter, Jukka Muhonen, Head of Production, Tridify will answer questions after the walkthrough session, join our Discord channel (discord.gg/bznxRx7) to post your questions. Try it for free before the webinar, download at bit.ly/BIMTools

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Posted (edited)

I have seen this, an upcoming product called Unity Reflect:

https://blogs.autodesk.com/revit/2019/06/unity-technologies-announces-unity-reflect/

This seems promising. Autodesk and Unity collaboration. One click supposedly.

 

I have been using SketchFab with formZ. I also use formZ to make lots of models for Revit, it is quite painless that way.

 

 

Edited by johnalexander1571
More thoughts

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Posted (edited)

Interesting topic and discussion! What is the best way to save an object for Revit actually, and what are the best export options from Revit for importing into formZ?  Is there a  best workflow in your experience? I am in the progress of working with a company which uses Revit but needs modeling support from time to time for more complex designs. I am on Macs, and have no Revit exerience anyway, so no chance to test it inhouse. Any advice would be helpful.

 

And a question to our formZ developers: will the IFC format be supported in V9?

 

Cheers Markus

Edited by 3dworks

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The interface and workflow between FormZ and other programs is certainly a slowdown.  Same with other modelers also of course.

I would love to see FormZ integrated into an established BIM platform.  Vectorworks would be a great fit.  Works on both Mac/PC, excellent graphics capabilities.  Good price point.  

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Posted (edited)

Vectorworks integration would be wonderful. But, I doubt if that will happen. 'Commercial' reasons I have heard from my distributer Design Express. They focus on Cinema 4D they told me some years ago.

Edited by Hugo

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I am using FZ with vectorworks and revit.

FZ export of dwg/acis works 2018 well for both. (Markus/Hugo)

FormZ: the everyday fun part, but know your workarounds.

Vectorworks: works well to get drawings from FZ/3d import - just what you would wish FormZ layout would be doing.

Revit: works well for quick visuals on realtime / gpu engine from FZ import and eats gazillions of polygons, just like you wish FZ would do.

And yes, if we ever get to see V9 (which I sincerely hope for) it should at least include IFC.

I dont think FZ needs much more BIM capability than that - if you need serious BIM you are most likely not using FMZ anyway.

 

 

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Hi,

I have been making Revit Families with formZ. I set up all the parts in formZ in the location I wish with respect to each other and the origin. Cut/copy each part into its own file, and export as dwg 13. (I have noticed that .dwg format is working so very well). Insert/import Cad the part into Revit into the Revit Family .rfa file. It will appear in the correct location. Right click and full explode. Turn off show shape handles in the properties for the object. Assign Revit Material (I usually go and pre-create the materials I need in Revit) and visibility for the part as normal in Revit. Repeat until all parts have been imported and assigned.

Next I set up my data, then my part version configurations. (set up all data first before the versions!) Then I save and use as a family.

This has been working very well, and has been a very lucrative avenue for me. People who make Revit content properly are hard to come by and in demand, even when companies don't realize it. I made quite a few Revit models here to save the money from going out of house for them (very very expensive) and my leadership realized that it was something they should be doing in-house and created a new position for me to do it full time.

Hope this helps those that are looking for a valuable route to use formZ in conjunction with Revit. For me, the price of formZ vs trying to model in Revit with those tools is quite worth it. In addition, importing Solidworks STEP files into formZ works almost without flaw as well. So, I can take a Solidworks file and use formZ to create a Revit Family. In fact formZ should be the "front end" modeler for Revit. The workflow has been almost seamless and headache free, believe it or not.

Cheers,

John A

 

 

 

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