Creation of a Design Pool - Wood and Grieve

ClientWood and GrieveLocationAustralia, WA
ConsultantWood and GrieveWebsitewge.com.au/

Creation of a Design Pool

Project Summary

Wood and Grieve sought to enhance the efficiency of the design and drafting team by simplification of data management.
This was achieved by development of macros to consolidate 12d Model information into a unified file format, accessible by other software packages.

The Challenge

Prior to this innovation, the designer was required to export a large number of single use files for the drafting staff to document, as well as reports for engineers. Such single use files included horizontal curves, sewer/drainage pipe information, clashes, chainages and so on. These exports varied in file type and included CSV, TXT, DGN, and DWG.
Whenever the project design changed, the designer needed to export each individual file again. This was a cumbersome task, prone to errors and/or omissions. It had the potential to lead to confusion between exported files, resulting in wrong information being put onto drawings. This meant a lot of scope for human error.

The Solution

The proposed solution was to export data to a limited number of consistent unified files, adopting a database file type.
The main catalyst for this innovation occurred during development of a new macro for Clash Detection. It was realised that the data being captured would be applicable across several existing macros, and customising the 12d files would allow the team to incorporate additional attributes.
The intent was to export several consistent files containing all the information required by draftees and engineers to produce drawings and technical documents. The files had to be accessible by standard drafting packages, and also by the Microsoft Office packages.
A database file type was chosen to maximise the flexibility of the data to be contained.

XML was chosen as it is more robust than CSV and easier to read and navigate than SQL and similar structures. XML also has the advantage of being easily read and manipulated by most programming languages. In addition, the XML file type can contain as many variables as desired, in contrast to CAD file types such as DGN, DWG and DXF.
Several macros were developed within 12d Model to export common data to the relevant single files. Macros within the CAD programs were developed and customised to reference these single files.
To capture significant milestones within the project, these exported files were saved as a “snapshot” of the design at that time. These files contain all the data necessary to recreate the design information as it stood at that particular milestone, enabling quantification of variation between milestones.

Result

Implementing this process improvement achieved clear demarcation of the elements of work conducted by the designer using 12d Model, and the draftee, allowing all staff to work at their highest level. As a consequence, drawings are produced with increased efficiency and a higher level of accuracy.
Proposed Future Development:
Data is currently exported for sewer, drainage and roads. The next step for this innovation is to incorporate LandXML for earthwork information.

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