Saturday, May 14, 2011

How would you clash-detect this? Modelling is easy, managing the process is hard.

I had the great-fortune to work on a very interesting project recently.
For confidentiality reasons I can’t say much about it;
It resembles an amalgamation of two plates of pasta, spaghetti and fettuccine, meat, cheese and vegetables and a cherry-tomato placed on the top.

My interest is in the tomato.
Picture a nice, ripe cherry-tomato elevated above the serpent of pasta, supported on a pair of angled oriental chopsticks.

The main consultant was smart and used a digital model for design, working out the relationship between the various bits of pasta-and-fillers.
They did not go deeply into build-ability (or cook-ability) but at least spatially the assemblage worked.

Then, for one reason or other (VE exercise, height issues) there came the need to lower the tomato quite a bit;
I am speculating here a bit and suggest that the consultants’ pasta-guru was unavailable at the time of the change, so someone cleverly decided not to update the dish but just note the height of the cherry-tomato as lower.

No, no consideration on the length, position, geometry of the chopsticks or the various pasta pieces weaving under them.

This issue could not have been picked up with clash-detection, no matter how many clever software packages the model was pushed through.
A thinking model manager could. And did.
Modelling is easy, managing the process is challenging and hard.

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