Designing Detailed Buildings in SolidWorks

The title of this post is “Designing Detailed Buildings in SolidWorks” and is a sequel to my earlier post titled “Designing Buildings in SolidWorks” in which I showed a couple of pretty amazing screen shots sent by a reader called Alexander who has been using SolidWorks to design buildings. The comments that other readers posted were quite interesting. One reader posted a link to the image of entire plant designed in SolidWorks.

Some might say that this plant is one big bunch of steel and should be designed in something like SolidWorks anyways. In a way they are right. Using MCAD software to design metal parts of buildings or metal structures, as in the case of the plant mentioned above, appears to be a logical thing to do. But what about normal buildings built using normals construction materials like the ones shown in the screen shots sent by Alexander – the railway station and the commercial building. Were these just large 2D sketches of the floor plan extruded out to create solids? Or did the SolidWorks model contain more data than just solid boxes fused together. Take a look at these screen shots that Alexander sent me today.

This is the architectural view of a building. Nothing great, right? You take a floor plan extrude the walls and cut out the doors and windows. Now take a look at this.

This is the view for the Civil Engineer. Notice the SolidWorks left pane (click the image to open it in a new window). This is actually a SolidWorks configuration turned on. This next image is the formwork view as another configuration.

And this configuration is the site manufacturing view.

As you can see, this particular SolidWorks model is not just an extrusion of a floor plan. It is detailed to a very high degree and has a lot of intelligence built into it. There is one such detailed 3D model for each project and it contains everything.

As Alexander puts it, “To control the complete building processes you have to design ALL objects in 3D with powerful data management. We don’t need drawings which looked like drawings 100 years ago. We have to use 3D with all its advantages as a new language for instructions.

Two words. Freaking awesome.