Thursday, November 15, 2007

Visualization Solutions to Leverage BIM / 3D Modeling

Have had the chance to discuss market opportunities with a couple of visualization solution vendors recently. I think this type of solution (integrated hardware / software, advanced optics, interactive displays) is close to the 'tipping point' in terms of market acceptance and use, in the engineering design, environmental / sustainability, and building construction industries. These solutions have already been effectively deployed in energy development, life sciences, and educational & museum sectors; where there is a strong need and interest in viewing 2D and 3D environments in an 'immersive' setting.

With the advent of 3D modeling and BIM (Building Information Modeling) throughout the E&C industry, there is now a greater demand for presentation solutions to fully leverage the collaborative and insightful nature of these technologies. There are a number of technology firms that are innovative solutions, including Mechdyne, Perceptive Pixel, and Elumenati, that have already developed visualization centers for energy, engineering design, and other infrastructure projects.

Some of the advantages for AEC firms for adopting use of these visualization solutions:

  • Optimize collaboration between disparate workgroups, especially during design phases
  • Faciliate stakeholder input, and thus minimize potential miscommunications and scheduling issues
  • Opportunity to differentiate their brand and provide a competitive advantage on bids
  • Display and leverage the power of 3D Modeling technology in CAD systems
  • Complement the trend towards centralized engineering design centers

One E&C executive I spoke to recently mentioned that visualization technology was a critical component to their strategy of centralizing engineering design:

"We are moving towards a 'service center' approach for design engineering, where we can not only deliver services, but also work collaboratively with clients"

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