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BIM Basics: How Do Varying Property Types affect 3D BIM Modeling?

Updated: Feb 4, 2022

In recent years, laser scanning and BIM modeling technologies have taken off. These technologies have made the industry more accessible, as well as more adaptable. Point Cloud to BIM modeling once was a large capital investment reserved only for major projects, but now more than ever we are seeing the usefulness of this technology across a wide array of industries and projects.

BIM modeling software such as Autodesk Revit has evolved to the point where any property we can imagine or anything someone could scan, can be created and manipulated within it. With such vast amounts of possibilities within the software, our team is constantly adapting, learning, and creating new ways to bring the physical world into a virtual space.

Because of this complexity, the way you approach a project from the beginning is largely determined by the type of property you are modeling.

When a client comes to us, the main thing they want to know is how long will the project take. The type of property, rather than size, really plays a role in determining this.

The way you model an industrial manufacturing facility will be different than the way you model a residential home. Office space is different than warehouse space. However, when creating a 3D BIM model, what we care about is the complexity of the structure. The square footage of a property certainly is something to consider, however, it doesn’t play that large of a role in modeling time.

Think about it this way. Does it take you that much longer to draw a box that is 8in x 8in rather than one that is 2in x 2in? It may take a second longer. But now if the 2in square contains 9 squares within it, then that is going to take longer to draw and take a different approach.

BIM modeling is much the same. A 4,000 square foot home may take just as long to model as a 50,000 square foot industrial space. Certainly larger spaces have the potential to take longer simply because of the sheer size, but don’t assume that square footage is all that matters.

To give proper time estimates and before you begin creating a BIM model, it is important to have a point cloud as well as photos of the property to reference. By analyzing these, you can get an understanding of just how complex the project is going to be.

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