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Linking BIM, manufacturing and digital prototyping

The digital prototyping approach that has been common in the automotive industry for many years can also deliver success in the architecture, building and construction sectors.

BIM and Digital Prototyping

While there are many differences between the practices in the building / construction industry and the automotive sector, the pair are linked by a need to be both creative and innovative. Automotive manufacturers are always seeking progressive approaches to rise above the competition and some of their innovative practises are now being adopted in building and construction.

The building and construction industry could learn something from their automotive counterparts. Across this sector, the concept of BIM (Building Information Modeling) is gaining momentum.  The idea of BIM requires strategic collaboration, coordination and efficient processes - essentially a way to reduce time and budget headaches while driving improved design outcomes.  This is essentially digital prototyping for architecture and construction.

What is digital prototyping and how is it supporting growth?
There is no doubt that automotive engineering and manufacturing is a costly exercise. With many elements to consider including fuel economy, crash testing, aerodynamics and safety, it makes sense to take testing into the digital world - instead of producing a sub-standard vehicle. By making crucial decisions  in the design phase, you can avoid costly errors, save money and bring products to market faster with greater confidence. Essentially, this is digital prototyping and it is helping to reduce manufacturing costs and improving the overall product for the consumer.

In an October 2015 Automotive News Europe article by Nick Gibbs, IHS Automotive explained that the time it takes to design, test and manufacture a new vehicle had fallen by 36 months to 24 months thanks to digital prototyping.

The article cited IHS senior manager Matteo Fini who outlined lower costs, time savings and product portfolio freshness as benefits.

Across recent years, the idea of digital prototyping has swept the automotive industry with many manufacturers taking this approach. Automotive News Europe cited the example of Jaguar Land Rover whose Head of Research and Development Wolfgang Epple said the number of required crash testing models had dropped by more than 50 per cent thanks to the technology.


Autodesk Digital Prototyping
From a technological approach, digital prototyping in the automotive industry is not a million miles away from Building Implementation Modelling (BIM) in the construction world. Using the Autodesk Digital Prototyping software as an example, let's have a look at the similarities and how the building and construction industry could adopt similar practices and processes in a BIM environment.

  • Production-ready CGI

One of the key links between these two pieces of technology is the availability of production-ready CGI. Before the vehicle model or building project begins, project managers can assess the CGI version of the finished product.

From a sales and marketing perspective, this insight is vital and can provide the necessary collateral to get the buy-in from key stakeholders, clients and consumers. While this idea was used before the introduction of technology, the level of detail and information through digital prototyping and BIM is unrivalled.

  • Scope for fresh ideas and innovation

In both these industries, the ability for project leaders to introduce fresh new ideas is critical. Whether this is a particular building facade or different vehicle engine, technology can build this model in 3D so its viability and appropriateness can be assessed before the project gets underway.

Creating this visual concept early in the design process can ensure the project is on target from day one, but also set the standard for future developments.

  • Rapid design iterations

Due to the high number of required approvals in both the automotive and building/construction industries, the time it takes from design to production can be slowed by red tape. However, technology such as digital prototyping and BIM offer unique rapid design iterations - ideal for applying for approvals and consents from various parties.

PreFabrication with Autodesk software

The use of manufacturing processes and technologies is enabling prefabrication, revolutionising the way buildings are constructed.  Combining BIM methodology with manufacturing processes and industry leading Autodesk Inventor software, companies like the Hickory Group are able to manage the majority of the construction process within the factory, avoiding many of the issues associated with on site construction.  See how the Hickory Group installed a 7 storey building with 57 apartments in just 11 days.

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Combining BIM with Digital Prototyping and emerging technologies
With buildings filled with complex applications and requirements, BIM is primed to have significant benefits on this industry in the years to come.  With new technologies like 3D scanning, reality computing, virtual reality and 3D printing all emerging in the construction industry, the future of building and construction looks very exciting, but if you don't start adopting these technologies now you're in great danger of being left behind the competition.  Those that embrace these emerging technologies are set to gain significant first move advantages.

If your business is looking to adopt new and emerging technologies and approaches, your first port of call should be to the team at Redstack. As a leading provider of BIM implementation and digital prototyping, we can assist you in developing and implementing a detailed plan to take advantage of BIM with the support of industry leading technologies, supported by our team of Asia Pacific BIM experts. 

More Information

Contact us to take the next step on your BIM journey today.

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