Saturday, August 17, 2013

C‘mon, how difficult is it to turn 2000 drawings into a digital model?

Well, not very difficult.
Easy in fact, if you know what you are doing.
It’s just that….. it takes a bloody long time.
…To do it badly.
About 10 if not a 100 times that long, to do it well.
‘I see’ – he says and I know, that he does not.

In the world of large scale AEC projects I operate in, I tend to meet people that have had their own ‘first BIM experiences’ finally behind them. This, of course makes them feel totally qualified to come up with a ‘grand strategy’ on how to do it next time, regardless of how hands-off they themselves were in the said experience, or how deep/ shallow that particular BIM had been.
The wave of ‘BIM cynics’ of 10-or-so-years ago is now the new-wave of ‘quasi experts’ that slosh around the (still) lucrative end of the industry.

More and more of those people also feel obliged to personally vote in the widespread debate of ‘who is benefiting most from any BIM project: the contractor, the designer or the client?’.
Yet, very few understand the topic to the extent that makes them eligible to vote at all.

We have truly entered a stage of BIM, where the design consultants of mega-projects are largely ‘let off the BIM hook’ and the focus is on the contractors to make BIM work for the owners.
It is an interesting stage, not only because it is evolving parallel with the activities of the still very vocal proponents of the ‘truest BIM-based collaboration across all participants’ theories, but also because contractors seem to be much less prepared to take on this battle than the consultants had been when first hit by it on a large-scale a year-or two ago.
And not because they are less technically endowed then their design colleagues (anyone can buy cheap modelling capability) but because somehow their own PI insurers have taken their eyes of the ball and failed to advise their clients to thread very carefully into that little muddy pool of BIM.

Probably I should not be surprised then, when I daily meet people that say we should process thousands of drawings within days and take responsibility over their accuracy with no additional thought of how that risk is managed.
Or when others will propose confidently to ‘just model our own stuff’ in parallel to the consultants 2D production on huge D&B projects.
When I question the wisdom of their strategies …they bat no eyelid while confirming how easy this is going to be and they've done it all before…

…anyway, as a ‘so called BIM expert’, I should know this!
How difficult can it be to turn 2000 drawings into a digital model?

(the illustration shown is the representation of the drawing production of a real AEC project)