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The Top 5 BIM Trends in Technology to look out for

Introduction

Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a process used in the construction industry in the management of a project throughout its whole lifecycle. BIM has fully revolutionised the AEC industry, resulting into an improved efficiency to the conventional design process. In essence, BIM has simplified the process of building design and inter-team collaboration relating to a building construction project. It is evident that the BIM industry evolves on a daily basis, as characterised by the emergence of new trends every moment. There are several state-of-the art trends that are useful in shaping the future of the BIM projects. Here are the top 5 trends in BIM:

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is defined as the digital ability of a computer, or a robot to execute often human-like tasks. The term is mainly related to how computers have been built to perform tasks using human’s intellectual processes. In this manner, computers are ale to complete digital processes with the help of human ability to reason, learn and discover. In construction, a traditionally physical trade relying on human ability, AI is essentially an important tool as it enhances streamlined construction processes, reducing cost, time and risk of the project.

Digital Twins

A digital twin is a virtual model designed to accurately reflect a physical object. Digital twin technology employs real-time sensors fitted in the physical object to capture vital areas of functionality, producing data on the object’s performance.

These sensors are highly accurate, creating a clear virtual model of the physical object, which can be used for simulations and performance improvements.

The use of digital twin technology in construction projects enables the construction team to save on both costs and time by reducing the running of various processes on a virtual object. In this manner, accuracy of a construction is guaranteed, with less costly downstream mistakes made.

3D Printing

3D printing technology find applications fields, ranging from rapid prototyping in professional design companies, small scale manufacturing by designers or engineers, to first field tests in majorly single storey buildings. The three commonly used 3D Printing technologies include Stereolithography (SLA), Selective Laser Sintering/Melting (SLS/SLM) and Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM).

All these technologies are established on the additive manufacturing concept, with difference only lying on the type of material or technique used to combine the materials.

Using BIM and 3D Printing saves much time on producing various drawings, plans and models as more time is used in the design using BIM software. The BIM software enhances customisation, and makes it easier to create more complex structures.

Using BIM, all geometry and structural elements are first specified and simulated in a digital 3D model. Upon approval, the data transferred directly to the 3D printer, reducing the number of steps in the construction process. Therefore, BIM allows the development of highly accurate designs while reducing material waste and lowering costs.

Augmented/Virtual Reality

TAugmented and virtual reality technologies are making inroads to the BIM process and the AEC industries. The two technologies are augmenting the whole modelling process as they find important applications in presentation and evaluation purposes. They have made the examination of large-scale 3D models easier, faster and better.

Cloud Collaboration

People need access to data more than ever before. Cloud computing allows storage and processing of data from remote servers on the internet. The integration of BIM software with the cloud is a very powerful combination as this offers real-time updates and easy tracking of a project’s progress. Significantly, the combination allows universal access of data and productive collaboration, allowing the organisation to keep on functioning.

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    Author: Sonia
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