As the MADE Expo opened at the Rho fairgrounds in Milan on March 18, 2015 BIM was already the buzzword of the event.
The biannual exhibition of MADE Expo attracted in 2015 more than 200,000 professionals from all parts of the Architecture, Engineering & Construction industry, from architects to manufacturers to contractors — making it no wonder that attendees had a focus on BIM (Building Information Modeling), itself a virtual meeting place for all design and construction parties.
“Everyone is talking about BIM,” found Edmondo Occhipinti, director of 3-im Virtual Projects, a 3D design consultancy and Dassault Systèmes business partner. “The public has a rising interest in this technology and the way it works, and they want to understand more: what does it do for us? How does it work?”
The conversation at the event was not on a single solution but the overall benefits that leveraging 3D can provide to all parties. That provided representatives within the Dassault Systèmes booth the opportunity to provide real world examples of how BIM can solve the most complex design and construction challenges.
A Trend Made New Again
Although MADE attracts an international audience, Occhipinti noted that Italy provides a unique focus for companies such as 3-im’s new consultancy, because the use of BIM is just emerging among local contractors.
“Italy is a strong market for construction companies,” Occhipinti said. In the last two decades, the nation’s expert general contractors have expanded services internationally, and supported the growth of a number of highly technical Italian façade contractors.
This global collaboration has set the perfect stage for these Italian contractors to move from 2D to 3D design and construction.
“At the point, the Italian Architecture, Engineering and Construction industry is starting to understand the value of creating 3D content and designing buildings through 3D technology,” Occhipinti said. “The opportunity for a collaboration of data—which is the key to BIM—is likely to arise in a couple of years.”
An Evolving Solution
As the push for collaboration begins among Italian contractors, Occhipinti and 3-im are uniquely situated to provide solutions for design challenges.
We’ve been working on 3D and BIM for more than ten years, and in the beginning the real challenge was getting companies to switch from the digital drafting table and 2D CAD systems to 3D,” Occhipinti said. “Over the years, as this content became common, the next big question became ‘how do we share this data? How do we collaborate? How do we make sure all of this information is streamlined for the use of the entire supply chain?’”
Reaching that question was a decade-long evolution for an Architecture, Engineering and Construction industry. But having experienced that evolution once, Occhipinti is preparing now to answer those questions for his Italian customers.
A Partner in the Process
With his background in putting BIM to use, and guiding others in the process of using it, Occhipinti was prepared for the variety of questions from curious onlookers at the MADE Expo.
“People came to the technology section of the event because they were very curious about what solutions are out there that can address their current needs,” Occhipinti said.
For 3-im and Dassault Systèmes, the answer was not only a product, but also real world examples of how 3D technology can improve the construction process across the entire supply chain. Façade Design for Fabrication Industry Solution Experience helps develop from conceptual models to fabrication providing a seamless and efficient design process. . Lean Construction Industry Solution Experience offers sophisticated project management and a platform for collaboration and data sharing.
“We put on the table real solutions we’ve found for challenges, and our real experience from working on some of the most complex projects in the world,” Occhipinti said.