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June 06, 2011

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The question posed by the dialogue box is appropriate. However, the Moore's law of computing is not my greatest limitor in terms of what I seek to model. Instead, bandwidth. I foresee a time in the not too distant future where gigabit internet will allow Architects, MEP and Structural Engineers, etc. all collaborate on the same cloud hosted central file. The problem then is not local computing power, but internet speeds. I think the workaround is a virtual machine solution.

Good point. If model size keeps increasing the bandwidth will have to be there. It also points to a technology to manage the communication so the operations that occur fit in the available bandwidth. I'm thinking data exchange, model consistency, graphics/level of detail ect...

I prefer the ability to achieve choice three, but realistically choice two is more meaningful. Also, its not that I can't model what I want now, generally I find a way, I would prefer that it be easier to model what I model now, so that it does not take as much effort on my part.

Regarding David's post. This is the bigger issue, once again we can model just about anything if we put our minds to it, and are willing to live with certain sacrifices. The bigger issue is making the right information available to the right people at the right time most effectively and efficiently. You may end up with a 100% complete model, but most people will never actually interact with the complete dataset, they simply need to be able to query the dataset for the information that is pertinent to them. That I think is the logical end game.

Another question is how comfortable firms will be with having their models hosted in the cloud. Do you see any real issues with this, assuming robust security and reliable, fast connections are in place?

I don't think Erik's post was about the cloud. It was about the level of 3D detail in our models.

I think we should Model Everything. It is the only way to fully leverage a 3D/BIM environment. If we ever step down to 2D content that is no longer 'live', then we have distinctly 'broken' BIM.

Eventually, the complete building detail will be present in 3 dimensions, probably along with more detailed and informative phasing. This will finally make BIM of real benefit to manufacturing and construction.

Cloud could be an enabling technology - private or public. There has been a trend toward detailing in 3D that I expect will continue. IKEA assembly diagrams are an interesting precedent.

Here is another way to look at it:

Let us define information within objects that can be tracked and optionally converted to real geometry. This way if we need to take the fully detailed model's overhead we can, but for normal everyday work we can keep the model light.

Here is an example: A wall could have variables for stud spacing and fasteners, but those elements are not modeled by default. If I choose, I can link the model into another project, chose specific objects or even go into a special "detailing mode" that would automatically model the extra information in 3d model form. You could even give an estimate of the model size when the user “instantiates” the detailing information, so we can avoid creating models that our computers and / or team member’s computers could not handle.

Why are we all stuck in the world of the model. I agree with what Rafael has said. There need to be "I" Information in the model that doesn't have to necessarily be modeled all the time. Why not have everything inside of a database that any program can access and display the parts that are pertinent to the intended user. It wouldn’t matter if you were using Revit, AutoCAD Architecture or even a competing program. Just be able to access the database for what you need at the time.

If its not necessarily to generate a visual representation of everything then it may not be required. This is just the sort of discussion I want to provoke.

I agree with Brian that our aim should not to be limited by just creating a "model", even if it has information attached. Since Revit is a database anyway, then we should be moving beyond creating a model. One of the biggest misconceptions in the industry now is that BIM is just 3D modeling. What we should be doing is "simulating" an environment.

The industry's standard leans to modeling everything. With all the 4d, 5d and especially FM clients want to see every nut and bolt. (Even more data like url, specs, ordering info etc. attached to the model)

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