What about drawing automation?

Since all powerful Autodesk entered the Virtual Building scene, about 6 years ago, with the acquisition and subsequent publicity of Revit, we have seen, especially in the EUA, an enormous mediatization of the BIM (Building Information Modeling) concept.

It should be pointed out that, long before Autocad owner joined in this adventure, others have been working hard on the Virtual Building.
Bentley and Graphisoft , to name but two, have been defining the rules for three-dimensional data base handling, as applied to design and construction.

When these software manufacturers saw the American colossus enter their market, with the subtleness of a elephant in heat inside a porcelain store, they had no other choice than to go along, claiming loudly that Revit was not the wheel invention, but only another version of Bentley Architecture and ArchiCAD .

With all this buzz about the integrated information model, with it's embedded data base, which can be used for testing (acoustic, thermal, illumination), for construction (automated quantity billing), and for the building management, they apparently forgot one thing: Drawing automation.

Software developers and BIM gurus apparently try to undervalue automatic drawing production, putting the emphasis on numeric data.
But, honestly, what made most of us BIManiacs adopt parametric design software? My bet is on drawing automation.

I realize that full automation of all the drawings (floor plans, sections and details), with no 2D fiddlings, is still a chimera. Even the 95% automation we can squeeze out of any BIM software requires a huge effort in method, discipline and modeling.

But that should not be a reason for software developers to give up!

And I do perceive they are giving up. If you take a peek at the new features in Revit 9 , they make a big deal on 2D detail integration. Also new ArchiCAD 10 boasts PDF drawing sheets integration.

My guess is, 100% drawing automation is really a bugger, on the code level, so they are throwing all kinds of things to distract us.

Barring very big construction projects, priority goes for drawing automation, without errors and constant updating.

Otherwise, sooner or later, I will be forced to hire a drafter (or a architect trainee, which is always cheaper...).


Anonymous said...

This post is SIMPLY STUPID - cleary illustrating debilitating influence of working in some of US "design firms". Effect: total mix of impetus, arrogance and ignorance = DESINFORMATION. Drawing automation, as mention here is a feature of 2D drafting well known for 15 of last 25 CAD years. Forget the BIM - it's a slogan - just drawing in 3D allows you to use computer to AUTOMATE generation of fully coordinated 2D projections (plans, elevations, sections etc) SAVING TME ON IMPUT. If you don't model all - fine finish in 2D, but you save time not drawing EVERY 2D projection (+ their coordination). Database info is byprodut - 3d volmetric info is a good base for all AUTO calcs (from pricing to thermal) - if you just do 2D plan/section/elevations you DO volume calcs MANUALLY!

Miguel Krippahl said...

Ah well...
With so many UPPER CASE statements, you are bound to BE RIGHT!

No argument there...

Serge said...

I think that one of the main reasons drawing automation is also done these days would be the fact that this saves much time which could be allotted for other tasks of equal importance.