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3D Visualizer Design

Tuesday, 8 September 2009 |

while there is no doubt that incorporating 3d visualizer design techniques into our workflow required a significant learning curve, our firm decided the following advantages made the effort worthwhile.

efficiency. Let us say that we are designing a pumping system. In 2-d computer- aided design (cad), a system would be represented with a large-scale plan view and one (or, in some cases, many) elevation views of 3d visualizer interior. Each of these views is drawn from scratch as a separate, unrelated drawing. This requires much checking back and forth to ensure that each elevation view is an accurate and the long-term advantages of 3d design computer-aided design

will outweigh the short-term cost of transition consistent portrayal of the plan view.

With 3d visualizer design, our designers become virtual pipe-fitters and millwrights. Full-scale, three-dimensional equipment models are developed and installed in their proper location and orientation. Piping, valves, supports, etc., also depicted to scale and three dimensionally, then are fit up. The model can include indication of valve handwheel orientation.

This is performed once in the model with precision and consistency. Now let us say that, for some reason, the system has to be rearranged. In the 2-d cad example, each individual drawing representing a view would require manual modification of every element.
In the 3d visualizer interior case, the model is updated once and all related views are automatically updated because they are truly “views” of the model rather than separate, manually created drawings.

In addition to greatly reducing redesign costs, this leads to more accurate drawings that ultimately will decrease contractor confusion. This means more accurate, competitive bidding and less chance for costly change orders in the field.

A decade ago, there was debate with respect to the advantages of manual drafting versus those of cad. The cost of remaining in the 2-d world today is that it is inherently less efficient than 3d design modeling.

more utilities. Two-dimensional cad drafting is merely a graphical representation of a system, requiring much manual checking for interferences and constructability reviews. In 3d visualizer design, interference and constructability issues are discovered and resolved in the visualizer design

process because the system is being virtually constructed. In addition to this builtin quality-control utility, other utilities may be added to the 3-d visualizer design.

bill of material takeoffs. There are add-on piping design packages that allow you to specify the schedule of pipe, class of valve, etc., and link this intelligence to 3d visualizer entities. This allows the designer to quickly extract an accurate, detailed bill of materials takeoff for estimating purposes.
If the piping design changes, a new bill of materials takeoff can be generated instantly and the cost estimate can be updated without a great deal of rework.


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