BIM cloud collaboration adoption by Architects, Generals, consultants, and other trades in Revit has forever changed construction for the better. A cohesive and proven sheet metal CAD/BIM to CAM process is still not mature in our industry. After trialing numerous third-party options Modern Niagara created their own process to integrate our 5 fabrication facilities.
In the past field staff would meticulously take off geometry by hand from prints generated out of Revit. After which the same geometry required being hand inputted into the shop CAM software to produce the material. This now unnecessary repetitive work would take weeks of field and shop journeypersons hours, time better spent installing and co-ordinating site activity or manufacturing the material needed to get the job done. Those extra steps of user input also inevitably led to geometry errors due to typos or misinterpretation, items missed or duplicated in orders. Errors that cause time and material waste to start adding up quickly.
Third party software developers offer solutions for price that can be up to 6 figures a year for a large company. These solutions are often tailored to the broader industry and require a significant number of resources internally to “shoehorn” the 3rd party software into a specific company’s workflow. This process can contribute to a bloated parts database that quickly becomes difficult to manage. Issues that only compound when you transfer data to 5 shops spread out over the country, each with their own manufacturing preferences and tolerances.
Modern Niagara has paved a SIMPLER way to utilize the geometric data already existing in our Revit models to manufacture and install large scale commercial sheet metal projects.
When an area is deemed ready to issue for fabrication VDC produces SIMPLER prints labeled with unique sequentially indexed part numbers to act in unison with installation focused drawings containing additional annotations.
Rather than submitting geometry to the shop by hand after interpreting multiple annotated drawings, our forepersons now order material by referencing those unique numbers separated by comma, and/or via a span of numbers separated by a dash.
Our forepersons also receive a SIMPLER Look Up PDF when the SIMPLER plan view drawing is released. They can confirm any item’s geometry and fitting properties by searching for its index card with more details than could ever fit on an annotated drawing alone.
Material Release can be managed by a single foreperson who generates a list of unique item numbers manually, or by using their PDF viewer to highlight item numbers. The list of numbers created by the foreperson are then sent to the shop as an order with additional order details; DNA, exposed, and delivery date.
The shop receives the order electronically, and the geometric data of each fitting is pulled from a VDC release file sent to the shop with the same uniquely assigned numbers the foreperson references on their drawings. With the larger VDC release filtered down, the order is ready for the shop floor.