Ever heard the words ‘its just CAD’ or ‘We need those drawings quick’?
CAD, or Computer Aided Design is quite a broad term that covers a wide spectrum of different activities in the now everchanging Digital Engineering world.
With the advancing technologies surrounding CAD and Digital Engineering, it’s gone through quite an evolution. From 2D tracing (an absolute artform), then arrived the capability of Coordinating MEP Building Services within a 3D environment with aids such as Clash Detection and it was amazing!
We were able to lift a 2D design from the page and turn it into this colourful 3D Coordinated network of pipes and ducts and actually walk through the model to review Coordination and buildability with the client before boots touch the ground!
Mitigating as much risk as possible.
We as an industry were then spoilt rotten when Point Cloud Scanning landed on the scene. What an amazing bit of kit and it still impresses us today! Gone are the days of tape measures and a dirty creased A0 drawings desperately trying to find somewhere on site to mark up on!
Point Cloud Scanning technology has enabled the Services Coordination to happen within a live site environment…picking up every undulation in the slab, twist and turn of existing services to coordinate around or interface with.
The bi product of this progression of technology is installation drawings with unrivalled accuracy removing any ambiguity!
With DfMA (Design for Manufacture and Assembly) now becoming an ever more prudent project requirement, companies are looking to modularise as much as possible to build quicker and more efficiently whilst still maintaining quality. This approach also goes hand in hand with the Scanning technology as it enables us to precisely set out the modules in real time, ready to be installed effortlessly. Saving time, money and most importantly improved health and safety!
We as MEP Digital Engineers are building your project first, just in a virtual world. The same problems exist, the same engineering and thought process goes on to enable the final product to be installed effortlessly by the site teams, reducing risk of abortive works, incorrect procurement etc.
Our final product is the 2D drawing, however, the process in which to get to the final product tells a very different story…. The trial and error design and coordination, the moving this, moving that, the re working a run of services to remove unnecessary sets, problem vs solution over and over and over!
This should be seen as an extended arm of support to the site and install team and nothing less.
The ‘its just drawings’ mentality is an outdated way of thinking and needs to be adapted to the now by the whole industry, and we havent even touched on BIM yet!
There is no quick.
You either do it right or you do it fast.
There are no shortcuts.
Welcome to the Digital Engineering age!