There is no real difference between the tecnigraph and the cad software if we look at the type of representation. Passing from one system to the other one was, in fact, simply a different linguistic approach, from a real object to a 2d representation, using well defined rules and criteria.
However, even if these rules were very clear, they were understandable only for technical people.
Moreover, due to the amount of information and to the fact that it was necessary to draw in three different planes to make a 3d vision, it was very easy to make mistakes and the representation was not very readable for carpenters or plant technicians.
The evolution from 2d to 3d representation and the use of very powerful software able to make all calculations and representations automatically, permitted to transfer the charge of calculations from experts to the machines. This great advantage allows engineers and architects to spend much more effort in quality engineering and creativity.
Over the last ten years, designers and constructors controlled the efficiency and competitiveness of the software and tried to adopt the best solution in each different problem and in all situations.
In terms of time and mental energy for the design, all available time can be dedicated to the implementation of new ideas with more benefits in terms of performances and costs (for example the creation of new joints).
What we consider as the best aspect is that, in 3d software, the designer is the leading actor of the process.
Projects are managed from the initial study to the construction phase. A 3d software gives the possibility to handle the project both from a structural (making all the calculations) and, in the same time, from a graphical point of view, from the concept to the construction phase. Even during the cost estimation phase, 3d models are very useful, because in a very short time they are able to calculate every cost items automatically and analytically; whereas in the past, the total average cost estimation was just an approximation of previous projects.
One of the most important aspect of the 3d design is that it guarantees the standardization and the organization of the processes to speed up and simplify the concept stage:
Standardization consists in several advantages:
· all designs can be inserted in a database accessible to all designers of the same company;
· minor effort in similar projects;
· speed up the processes;
· speed up the work site: reduction of number of drawings and customisation of various elements.
Not only a time saving during the design, 3d software guarantees also an optimization and an improvement of all phases, even the production and construction one.
Moreover, during the detail design, there are frequently change requests and for this reason it is necessary to solve any kind of change in a very short time. 3d models are very helpful for this scope, because after each change, the software is able to calculate immediately the impact on all the design.
Another very important aspect to satisfy the client is the synergy between MEP and civil designers. This synergy is mandatory to exchange feedback during all the project to get the best result in term of competitiveness without any waste of time.
The following examples show how the 3d design guarantees the integration between the MEP, structural and architectural components.