The 2D to BIM Story: A Better Approach to Concrete Design and Detailing

Tomasz Fudala Tomasz Fudala February 10, 2022

4 min read

CAD has helped grow the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry far beyond manually produced paper drawings, empowering us to produce more complex, more accurate designs.

Today, the AEC industry continues to face new challenges, including financial constraints that increase pressure to deliver projects more quickly and accurately. As a result, AEC firms are evolving their technology once again looking beyond CAD to find a solution. These are the types of challenges addressed by BIM.

BIM stands for Building Information Modeling, and it is an integrated process of creating and managing information for a built asset.  It is a process for exploring a project’s key physical and functional characteristics digitally—before it’s built.

The coordinated, consistent information used throughout the BIM process helps architects, engineers, contractors, civil engineers, and owners to see and understand, prior to construction, what their design will look like and—more importantly—how it will perform.

Differences between AutoCAD and Revit

In recent years, the move from CAD to Building Information Modeling (BIM) has accelerated as BIM workflows have proven to deliver many benefits over CAD. With the rise of BIM, many new capabilities for reinforced concrete design and rebar detailing have been introduced in BIM authoring tools.

In this first video of the 2D to BIM story I will explain you the difference between CAD and BIM.

Benefits of Modeling Reinforced Concrete Structures in Revit

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a critical part of how structural systems are designed and built today, but the reinforced concrete industry has been lagging behind structural steel when it comes to its adoption of BIM. This is due to the highly fragmented nature of its supply chain, which requires a number of different designers and suppliers to collaborate and simultaneously deliver the final product. 

When we ask our users what they want to see in a BIM-centric solution for concrete, we often hear a variety of answers that differ drastically depending on someone’s role on a project.

Over the last several years at Autodesk, we’ve made a commitment to address the opportunities our users are asking for by investing in customer-centric solutions for the reinforced concrete industry that better connect concrete design and detailing to fabrication.

In the next episode, you will learn about the benefits of using BIM-centric solutions for reinforced concrete structures and what value it provides to Revit users.

Key Revit Features for Reinforced Concrete

In Revit, there is a wide range of reinforcement tools suitable for modeling and documenting reinforcement in various situations and for different types of concrete elements.

These structural elements can range from simple columns, beams, walls and floors to very complex 3D double-curved decks.

In Revit, structural engineers and detailers can create design reports, drawings, and schedules from the 3D model more easily and quickly than from 2D designs, increasing design efficiency. The rebar quantities produced from the 3D model are more reliable than takeoffs from a 2D drawing, leading to accurate cost projections. Quantities are also fully traceable, allowing checks and comparisons to be made effortlessly.

The third episode highlights some of the key Revit features for reinforced concrete structures.

Design Automation

Many of you may say: “The Revit features are powerful and the process of using them seem to be pretty straight forward however using them can be very tedious and it takes a lot of time as we need to repeat a sequence of the same steps for every single concrete element”.

This is a situation where Dynamo for Revit comes in handy.

The visual programming interface of Dynamo gives structural engineers and detailers the ability to make their own design tools. Using these tools, you can quickly automate your concrete detailing processes, saving a lot of time and significantly reducing manual, tedious work.

Watch another episode to learn more how you can use Dynamo to automate your concrete detailing workflows in Revit.

Industry Partners

Rebar workflows can also be sped up using Autodesk Industry Partner solutions that are built on top of Revit.  Autodesk is proud to  work with our industry partners (SOFiSTiK , Graitec, CADS, Symetri, AGA, PTAC, IDAT) who offer Revit-based tools to address local standards, process automation, advanced productivity requirements—all of which make Revit the best-suited BIM authoring solution for reinforced concrete rebar detailing.

This video covers  some of our partners’ solutions and how they support concrete design workflows.

Review and Approval Workflows

Using Autodesk Docs, you can simplify collaboration and data management. Docs allows you to organize, distribute, and share files with the  cloud-based common data environment on the Autodesk Construction Cloud platform.

Docs is a centralized Document Management solution that spans the entire project lifecycle, can reduce rework and constructability issues, lower costs, and shorten project schedules.

Watching the last episode, you will learn how using Autodesk Docs, you can leverage a single, connected document management platform to standardize document control and approval workflows, streamline the process for distributing drawings, models, and documents, and simplify collaboration across project teams.

Today, owners expect design and construction to be fast, collaborative, and well-coordinated. Taking advantage of the latest developments in BIM and intelligent 3D modeling for your reinforced concrete detailing is a smart way to please your clients and remain competitive.

Using Revit for rebar design and detailing, every structural member can be modeled, documented, tracked, and controlled. Design changes can be coordinated easily and managed accurately.

Maintaining up-to-date and coordinated structural analysis results, rebar models, engineering design reports, bar bending details, bar schedules, and shop drawings will ultimately lead you to deliver your projects successfully.

Don’t wait to move to BIM, the right time is NOW.

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