2/3D PDF’s

Making data accessible that has been created in BIM  in 3 methods

1. Construction document set to 2d PDF files.

  • plans, sections, elevations, reflected ceiling plans
  • Door/window schedules etc
  • construction details
  • finishes schedules etc
  • Structural drawing set
  • Services drawing set
  1. Go HERE for a demonstration
  2. Go HERE for Blog

2. Create Room Data sheets (about 4 hours to create for 30 rooms) which include:

  • Room plan
  • Room reflected ceiling
  • 3d Room plan
  • Schedules of floor/Ceiling/Wall Data
  • Schedules of Door/Window
  • This can be extended to include services data too.

Go HERE for demonstration.

3. 3D PDF’s, an actual 3D model that:

  • Uses common free tools to view, adobe reader or some other PDF viewers that are on most PC’s/Tablets/Smartphones
  • manipulate by cutting sections/plans through building
  • measure between elements
  • Spin and view from multiple angles
  • make model partially transparent to see through elements
  • Filter to isolate or hide elements
  • Interrogate by selecting elements and seeing its properties

A group of blogs can be found HERE relating to 3D PDF’s

1. Construction document set to 2d PDF files.

Revit has a nifty little export function that creates images of each drawing file and places it into a directory of your choosing.

Once it creates them, it also creates an individual HTML file to display the image in a web browser, it also creates a global HTML file that view them as a directory, so you can scroll down and click on each image, as they are small images they open fast, their resolution is poor, but they show you what is on the drawing.

You can alter the global/ (also ….bookmarks.html file) HTML file quite easily with a bit of HTML to point to another directory where you are storing your 2D PDFs and other data you want to show.

Once you have chosen the drawing you want, you can download  the appropriate PDF file

As this is all web based, if you have a Front end login page for controlling who can log in, you can give your contractors access to this information so that they can get the work done.

Your FM team can also mark up these plans/drawings with appropriate comments with a screen capture tool such as Snagit to describe the work that you want done and put this image in an email or workorder to the contractor.

2.  Room Data sheets

Another method to simplify the data and make it more accessible is to generate from the model Room Data Sheets. This is a datasheet for each individual room.

Used in hospital and more complex projects, you load relevant data about the room so that you capture all the elements you need to meet the functional needs of the room.

In Revit, you make schedules, copy lots of them and filter by room, thus you get an individual room schedule, you can do this for Room, door, Window and any other revit category that you need.

I also  used the Whitefeet plugin for revit to generate the plans and 3d room views although you could generate these with other add-ins, it would just take longer.

A good method to get good information from a model into an accessible format and structure.

3. 3D PDF’s, an actual 3D model

This is  fun stuff. Democratisation of Data using 3D PDF’s.

I love the accessibility of PDF’s. Adobe Reader is pretty much standard on all PC’s. This is a very powerful tool that gives anyone the freedom to explore 3D models without having do download any proprietary software.  With this tool you get to understand the geometry and data of a building.

At a simple level, you can view the 3D model, this is pretty nifty. I also float a 3D text object with a Room Name & Number into each room to help identify which room you are looking at. For that I have used the CASE addins. A group of very nice tools.

Note, these models were developed to extract data for the Asset Database, so we were not looking to do high render quality models , that was not the object of the exercise (we could have added material finishes if the models were required for other reasons such as presentations).

The video below shows the versatility of 3D PDF’s and also shows a macro I have developed to manage data exported from the PDF to an Excel page where it is ordered by specific data requirements and put on a separate sheet in formatted order, also you can export the information to another excel file.

This allow you to give contractors quantities to price for doing the work to get comparable estimates based on the same schedules of quantities.

From the contractors point of view, this speeds up the process as he is pricing against a fixed schedule and does not have to do a material takeoff. He can also use the model to plan where to store materials and access to the work area and any possible Health and Safety issues that may occur through working in a building while it is being used by others.

Some PDF’s you can download below

Note, the browser shows a blank page, you have to download the file to your computer to view it. The reason is the standard PDF viewers on web browsers are limited, you have to go in and reconfigure your browser settings to use a different programme to read the PDF’s. This is a bit of a hassle so best just to download onto your computer view with Adobe Reader or an equivalent quality PDF viewer.

  • Basic HVAC schema of Building Duct System
  • Combined Arch & Services 3D 12MB File Size. Arch & Services of Library- separated. Click on Page numbers for different service. Page 1 Arch, Page 8 & 9 show how to view 3d pdfs.
  • St James Theatre 3D 36MB File Size. Slow to Download. A traditional 3 tier theatre.
  • Michael Fowler Centre 3D 46MB File Size. Slow to Download. An oval multi-function performance building.
  • Link to Post on Excel Macro Sheet for Data extraction from CSV from 3D PDF  with Demo Macro File here.