Bim best practices and workflow

Hi we started to adopt bricscad bim on our architectural office in two small projects.
It's not a nightmare but it's also not beeing very fun. The main problem for us is the lack of workflow guidelines for architecture use.

Since there isn't much information from bricsys on the best drawing practices I would like to ask all bim users out there your workflow:

1- Do you start modelling on the same layer or not? When the model becames complex it's much more dificult to model... (Bim preset hides layers so we were assuming layers were not important … until the model becomes big...)
2- How do you model your terrain from the topographic curves? We were making polylines and then using loft. But sometimes we get errors or too complex surfaces with this aproach. How do you deal with natural terrains?
3- How do you customize section callouts? We tried to edit the dwg in .../support/bim/sections but sometimes they don't update…
4- How do you automatically tag floor heights on plans? Do you use dynamic blocks? We tried but texts seems to disappear on plans...

Please share your opinion.
Thanks in advance for any comments or suggestions.

PS:
Bricscad tutorials are very well written and commands are very well documented. But imho a project file example to download with step by step instructions would be much appreciated to promote bricscad and help bim learning.
Something like this would be perfect:
Part 1 "From sketch to permit" Describing how you reuse models abnd adapt them to municipality 2d presentation rules
Part 2 " From permit to shop drawings" Describing how do you reuse model drawing from municipality and detail them to be used on a bid and on 2d drawing by contractors on the construction site.

Comments

  • 1.
    I started Bricscad using different Layers.
    In between It tried with a single Layer for each Story to make navigation
    between Stories faster but I think that won't work.
    Windows and Doors will create their own Layers anyway.

    I think recommended view navigation would be by Structure Tree and
    Isolation or Sections. But that is too cumbersome for me and it starts
    lagging after the model gets (modest) complex.
    I miss my simple Clip Cube and Layer+Class System from VW.

    I think it is better to separate in Layers - but not too much.

    2.-4.
    No clue.

    But I second a tutorial series for BIM workflows.

  • Hi Michael,

    Thank you for your comment.Our layer strategy is very much similar.
    Regarding 4 it seems that text need to be in some specific layers to appear in the generated plans. We are testing it …

  • I am just trying a small residential project for the first time, so keep that in mind.
    My (guess) was more layers are good. So I have layers for all sorts of things: site, existing foundation, existing floor, existing wall, existing ceiling, existing roof, and the same for new, plus built-ins(cabinetry, appliances, furniture.

    I haven;t got there yet, but I could imagine layers for lighting and electrical and/or mechanical.

    In short, my theory is anything that I might want to turn off deserves a layer (like showing the client a plan with furniture, but not showing furniture to city hall or the contractor. More layers, I think, gives one more lineweight/color control, for more legible drawings. One could, I suppose, also use them for scheme or finish variations, or alternates, deleting them once a decision is made.

    I too, am interested in more info, and discussion of the subject.
    Michael

  • I find the structure browser really powerful, once you start classifying objects and giving them locations and materials and even properties then learning to swap and change sorting order in the structure browser makes it really easy to find and select groups of items, and you can have different settings saved in the structure browser depending on what you are doing at the time. It does have a couple of pitfalls like autoexpanding the tree view but in general it works extremely well.

  • @mlwebb said:
    My (guess) was more layers are good. So I have layers for all sorts of things: site, existing foundation, existing floor, existing wall, existing ceiling, existing roof, and the same for new, plus built-ins(cabinetry, appliances, furniture.

    I haven;t got there yet, but I could imagine layers for lighting and electrical and/or mechanical.

    In short, my theory is anything that I might want to turn off deserves a layer (like showing the client a plan with furniture, but not showing furniture to city hall or the contractor. More layers, I think, gives one more lineweight/color control, for more legible drawings. One could, I suppose, also use them for scheme or finish variations, or alternates, deleting them once a decision is made.

    I too, am interested in more info, and discussion of the subject.
    Michael

    Yes, for generating Plans, I think Layer separation is still is a good idea.
    I often forget about that because I normally do 3D only.

    In 3D theoretically everything works by Structure Panel and Isolation only.
    (Just slower and more tedious than I was used to)
    For plans, total control by Layer may be mandatory anyway.

  • We wanted to leave it up to the user what to do with layers.

    First of all, we think you should be allowed to start modeling fast, without first setting up layers. Second, we thought a bim needs a better way to structure the model: the structure tree. It offers a dynamic way of looking at a model. One day you want to turn off external walls, the next all elements on the 3rd floor, another day you want to only see concrete floors or left swing doors. To do that with layers you need a lot of them, and you'll need a lot of layer states as well. We are extending the capabilities of the structure tree, for example it will show hidden entities greyed out, and allow you to right click on the node of any entity, whether it's currently visible or not, and show, hide or isolate it. Or a group of nodes.

    That said, the choice of layers is still yours. You can start off by setting up layers and use them while you create the model. Or, you can start off modelling and notice that you forgot to assign the right layers. Then you can use the structure tree to quickly make selection sets of the objects you think belong on a certain layer, and then assign the layer to the selection set.

    When it comes to 2d drawings, we did build in an automatic assignment of layers. When you assign compositions to building elements and generate a section by calling BIMSECTIONUPDATE on a bimsection entity, the result drawing will by default be populated with following layers:

    • Background_NameOfMaterial
    • Boundary_NameOfMaterial
    • Fill_NameOfMaterial
      'NameOfMaterial' to be replaced by the name of the material of the corresponding ply in the composition of a wall or slab. 'Boundary' for the lines resulting from the section of the solids, 'Fill' for the hatch patterns created in these boundaries, and 'Background' for the lines which are seen in the background. These layers allow to customize the appearance of the 2d drawings. We are working on a more elaborate set of template files for 2d drawings, such that the initial result without customization will look better.

    Thanks for the feedback,
    Pieter

  • Michael Mayer
    edited July 2018

    @Pieter Clarysse said:
    Second, we thought a bim needs a better way to structure the model: the structure tree. It offers a dynamic way of looking at a model. One day you want to turn off external walls, the next all elements on the 3rd floor, another day you want to only see concrete floors or left swing doors. To do that with layers you need a lot of them, and you'll need a lot of layer states as well.

    That is why e.g. Vectorworks added a 2nd set beside Classes (= ACAD Layers),
    called Layers there. This allows to either set visibilities, like by Objects and or
    Stories. Or similar things. And as it Layers are equal to use like Classes it works
    much faster than in current Structure Manager and following steps.
    So because these are only 2 dimensions, it is also limited to 2 (and a bit) of
    ways to sort things. While Structure Manager dynamic for any kind of sorting.
    _

    We are extending the capabilities of the structure tree, for example it will show hidden entities greyed out

    Great !

    Would be great if "greyed out" means also "locked" and unable to select.
    _

    allow you to right click on the node of any entity, whether it's currently visible or not, and show, hide or isolate it. Or a group of nodes.

    Great !

    Would be nice if it would get 3 visibility states (because of tree hierarchy).
    1. default (receive from parent setting)
    2. ON (overwrites parent)
    3. OFF (overwrites parent)

    And Visibility settings in Structure Tree would finally allow to switch selected
    parts of invisible objects visible again.
    (Without the need of Unhiding All and Select+Isolate again)
    Something I miss in Isolate/Hide/Unhide All options.
    _

    That said, the choice of layers is still yours. Then you can use the structure tree to quickly make selection sets of the objects you think belong on a certain layer, and then assign the layer to the selection set.

    That works great.
    _

    When it comes to 2d drawings, we did build in an automatic assignment of layers. The result drawing will by default be populated with following layers:

    • Background_NameOfMaterial
    • Boundary_NameOfMaterial
    • Fill_NameOfMaterial
      These layers allow to customize the appearance of the 2d drawings. We are working on a more elaborate set of template files for 2d drawings, such that the initial result without customization will look better.

    _

    So for separating same compositions e.g. in Existing vs New, we would create
    a composition duplicate to separate their appearances (?)
    and for separating content for separate plan sets, e.g. client vs engineer,
    we would use the standard Layer separation ?

  • @Pieter Clarysse said:
    We wanted to leave it up to the user what to do with layers.

    First of all, we think you should be allowed to start modeling fast, without first setting up layers. Second, we thought a bim needs a better way to structure the model: the structure tree. It offers a dynamic way of looking at a model. One day you want to turn off external walls, the next all elements on the 3rd floor, another day you want to only see concrete floors or left swing doors. To do that with layers you need a lot of them, and you'll need a lot of layer states as well. We are extending the capabilities of the structure tree, for example it will show hidden entities greyed out, and allow you to right click on the node of any entity, whether it's currently visible or not, and show, hide or isolate it. Or a group of nodes.

    That said, the choice of layers is still yours. You can start off by setting up layers and use them while you create the model. Or, you can start off modelling and notice that you forgot to assign the right layers. Then you can use the structure tree to quickly make selection sets of the objects you think belong on a certain layer, and then assign the layer to the selection set.

    When it comes to 2d drawings, we did build in an automatic assignment of layers. When you assign compositions to building elements and generate a section by calling BIMSECTIONUPDATE on a bimsection entity, the result drawing will by default be populated with following layers:

    • Background_NameOfMaterial
    • Boundary_NameOfMaterial
    • Fill_NameOfMaterial
      'NameOfMaterial' to be replaced by the name of the material of the corresponding ply in the composition of a wall or slab. 'Boundary' for the lines resulting from the section of the solids, 'Fill' for the hatch patterns created in these boundaries, and 'Background' for the lines which are seen in the background. These layers allow to customize the appearance of the 2d drawings. We are working on a more elaborate set of template files for 2d drawings, such that the initial result without customization will look better.

    Thanks for the feedback,
    Pieter

    Thank you Pieter for your nice description.
    The automatic assignment of layers was a great strategy. It's definetly the best workflow regarding layers.

    But there are some bim feautures that I don't understand how they are integrated in the bim workflow…

    For example:

    a) What's the purpose of having bimroom tags if they can't be displayed on a generated plans? If I want areas on 2d drawings I have to put them manually? that's crazy...
    b) Why is all text deleted on generated floor plans and sections? We could have dynamic blocks with text displaying realtime z coordinates. That way generated plans had heights automatically too.

  • @Ricardo Cruz said:
    a) What's the purpose of having bimroom tags if they can't be displayed on a generated plans? If I want areas on 2d drawings I have to put them manually? that's crazy...

    The BIMTAG command automatically creates associative tags in generated BIM section drawings for the corresponding building entities in the 3D model. The command can be used on section viewports only. It can be used to generate tags for rooms, but also for walls, columns, windows, doors, etc.

    The tags are created as multileader entities using the blocks in the _ Section Tag.dwg in the Bim/Sections folder of the support folder. In _SectionTag.dwg exist a series of blocks, one for each entity type that can be tagged. In these blocks, attribute definitions exist of which the Tag name refers to a BIM property. The user is free to edit the content of these blocks, or replace the content of the Tag field of such attribute with a corresponding BIM property.

  • I'm new to Bricscad BIM but have been using Bricscad Architecturals years ago.
    I haven't read much on Bricscad BIM but are there similar things like in Architecturals? Architecturals worked very well to model in 3D - except from the fact you always worked in wireframes
    I tried some things but didn't find the same workflow.

    In those times every entity was on a Storey's and was on a specific Layer.
    So you could choose which storey's you want to see and wich layers are turned on.

  • @Tiemen said:

    @Ricardo Cruz said:
    a) What's the purpose of having bimroom tags if they can't be displayed on a generated plans? If I want areas on 2d drawings I have to put them manually? that's crazy...

    The BIMTAG command automatically creates associative tags in generated BIM section drawings for the corresponding building entities in the 3D model. The command can be used on section viewports only. It can be used to generate tags for rooms, but also for walls, columns, windows, doors, etc.

    The tags are created as multileader entities using the blocks in the _ Section Tag.dwg in the Bim/Sections folder of the support folder. In _SectionTag.dwg exist a series of blocks, one for each entity type that can be tagged. In these blocks, attribute definitions exist of which the Tag name refers to a BIM property. The user is free to edit the content of these blocks, or replace the content of the Tag field of such attribute with a corresponding BIM property.

    Hi Tiemen,

    Thank you very much for the input. But unfortunatly bimtag only works on sections…

    For plans you don't have any option to display surfaces of rooms on generated plans. And that imho opinion makes no sense because the bimroom block is created and therefore the texto should be exported to the plans.

  • ^ For my plan attempts I already used (horizontal plan) Sections.

    Is there another (faster) way like 2D Top Plan View in Vectorworks.
    Kind of a fake Section Illustration with nice presentation capabilities
    for Floor Plans and real time.

    But I am still not sure if the result in my Viewport uses my activated
    Plan Section or not - at least I have some apperance problems too.

  • @Tiemen said:

    @Ricardo Cruz said:
    a) What's the purpose of having bimroom tags if they can't be displayed on a generated plans? If I want areas on 2d drawings I have to put them manually? that's crazy...

    The BIMTAG command automatically creates associative tags in generated BIM section drawings for the corresponding building entities in the 3D model. The command can be used on section viewports only. It can be used to generate tags for rooms, but also for walls, columns, windows, doors, etc.

    The tags are created as multileader entities using the blocks in the _ Section Tag.dwg in the Bim/Sections folder of the support folder. In _SectionTag.dwg exist a series of blocks, one for each entity type that can be tagged. In these blocks, attribute definitions exist of which the Tag name refers to a BIM property. The user is free to edit the content of these blocks, or replace the content of the Tag field of such attribute with a corresponding BIM property.

    Hi Tiemen.
    Thank you very much for your comment and your help!
    I am sorry for my bad mood! I am quite embarassed ! I wasn't aware of the customization available on bimtag!
    It seems very usefull command.

    Do you know if it's possible to have a bim property that could reproduce the pavement height? (Something like the elevation of a solid face)

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