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Temporary works design in 3D modelling

3D Revit and 3D Scaffold Design

Learn more about the "pros" and "cons" of 3D modelling applied to temporary works design.

In today’s fast-paced landscape, many different industries are changing at a mind-blowing rate, primarily due to the increased implementation of new technologies. This also applies to the construction industry, which is experiencing many radical changes - including the advent of new, exciting technologies bringing new possibilities to the table.

This includes exploring the opportunities that new materials can afford, as well as exploring different techniques and tools, such as 3D modelling

Through the use of 3D scanning & modelling, engineers can create accurate, detailed representations of any 3-dimensional constraints or pinch points through the use of specialised equipment and software applications.

Today, 3D modelling is widespread in a vast variety of industries, ranging from architecture and product manufacturing to animation, film-making and entertaining, only to mention but a few. From simpler geometrical approximations to richly detailed digital designs, the 3D modelling world has made some substantial leaps forward through the past decade or so, and it is becoming more and more popular.

In the construction industry as well, many designers set out to digitalise significant sections of their design process, which also includes the conception of customised temporary structures, such as scaffolding, formwork, and so on. 3D models are also a great way to show customers and third parties with a vested interest in what they can expect at several stages of the process, thus helping with explanations, presentations and communication which is key to the Health & Safety of those involved on site – after all “a picture says a thousand word!”

In spite of the positive, not everyone in the industry is a fervent supporter of 3D modelling, to some, in fact, they could cause some confusion and slow down the process. For instance, there isn’t one single unified way to approach 3D modelling. Some designers might be familiar with different software applications, and interfacing between different projects could be extended, and it could cause some hassle in the process. In addition to that, some advanced 3D models could be quite hard to edit or modify, if needed, significantly slowing down the process.

When it comes to permanent works, 3D modelling makes more sense, because it often deals with a large-scale, long-term solution. On the other hand, temporary works design can also get by without it, mainly because more flexibility is usually required, with the ability to make changes on the fly, when needed. However, we all know that these changes need to be reported to the temporary works designers and checked to ensure the stability of the overall structure remains. So if we were able to employ accurate surveys (3D scanning and 3D Temporary Works Design), then these design changes may not be required?

In conclusion, Preston & Co Engineering views 3D modelling as an indisputable benefit when it comes to the latest innovations in the construction business. However, it might not exactly be the best fit in all situations, such as simple schemes. When projects become complex, with many interfaces, the use of 3D modelling can add definite value. Preston & Co Engineering now uses these models only as simple concepts but to create detailed construction drawings.

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