The Benefits of Moving to 3D in Design Documentation

In the article Are You Harming Your Business by Sticking with 2D, we learn how concrete contractors that restrict their estimates, design and on-site work to 2D documents are significantly limiting the success they could be experiencing with a constructible 3D model. With the technology available, it only makes sense to move from cumbersome and error-prone documents to a full digital model that includes all the needed data. There are plenty of benefits in moving to 3D, and making the transition improves the construction process overall. 

An information-packed model that reflects reality

A two-dimensional model inevitably lacks information, because it can never fully represent the three-dimensional end product. With a 3D model, all existing data can be conveyed in one model. Instead of having to estimate the length and width of elements and how they fit in a space, the answer can be seen in the model, which is essentially a complete digital twin of the building in the process. Not only does it save time and resources to be able to create directly in a model, but a visualization of the end result also reduces the chance of misinterpretations, which are always the risk with drawings.

Effective workflows and shared data

With a 3D model that includes all the necessary data, workflows can be significantly improved. Information doesn’t have to be moved down the line manually—in fact, it doesn’t have to be actively moved anywhere. Digital, shared data is accessible to each stakeholder, and everyone can add to it and use the data others have added. This means that the sheer time used on communication and project management can be significantly reduced. Additionally, the data is in one place instead of multiple documents. 

No material waste or rework

When dimensions and quantities can be calculated using a precise digital twin of a building, the chances of getting them right the first time are much better than with a flat model. Even if changes occur, the model updates automatically. A digital 3D model is always the latest, up-to-date version of the construction for everyone. Thus, using 3D reduces the likelihood of miscalculations and consequent material waste, because it completely reflects the real-life building. Errors can be spotted in the design phase, which means expensive rework on site is a lot less likely. 

Competitive edge with quality results

With a full digital twin of a construction, seamless data flow and cost-effectiveness, moving to 3D has great advantages. Workflows are optimized, material waste minimal and, consequently, money and resources saved. Additionally, because of much more thorough data use than with a 2D-based process, the end result is the best possible quality. True constructibility can only be achieved with 3D.

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