By Geoff Haines
If you think back to your first days in a design office, in a new industry, fresh from college, you’ll remember that there was always a designer who’d been there many years. That was the person you sought for help, as they had all the experience of what works and what doesn’t.
It was Oscar Wilde who said, “Experience is simply the name we give to our mistakes.” Why shouldn’t you capture that experience to then avoid making the same mistakes?
There is a way this can be achieved which is by using a templated approach to design or, to use another term, “Knowledge Based Engineering”.
Knowledge Based Engineering sounds like a complicated process but our simple application and approach allows an organisation to capture best practises and methodologies which become an automatic benefit for all concerned.
It is a way to create fully detailed designs and manufacturing information automatically.
Further, designers can then optimise, or “optioneer”, many different ideas or solutions quickly to enhance the design process.
At Desktop Engineering we have taken this idea and developed what we term an Intelligent Rainscreen Panel for façade designers and fabricators.
Using Dassault’s 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, we have captured the rules and formulae that drive the shape, strength, weight, and cost of a panel.
Factors such as blank sheet utilisation, different materials and thicknesses, and knowledge of manufacturing costs (laser cutting, folding) are all accounted for in the rules.
Further, the secondary structure or rails, that hold the panels have also been created as intelligent parts with similar information.
Combine these intelligent templates with an automated process for replicating them on a 3D building model and, within minutes, users are able to create a full design with manufacturing drawings, material schedules, and costs.
Alternate designs can be recreated by simply varying one or several parameters and then seeing the resultant recalculated cost and design.
Of course there is no single set of knowledge or experiences, as then there would be no differentiation between competing façade fabricators.
However, with the basis of one set of Knowledge within our Intelligent Rainscreen Panel, we are able to customise this set to suit particular fabricators.