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BIM Models, BIM and SketchUp

By Global Assocaites SketchUp Team

If you use SketchUp as BIM (Building information Modeler) you can easily make 3D model out of 2D drawings which are in PDF or Drawing formats for a better visualization. It means you are able to create each building out of component parts to scale. After completing you can automatically know how many blocks, how many fittings, how much rebar is needed. By making individual blocks in Sketchup you can model the building with it.

SketchUp can be applied for 3D construction modeling, which requires using groups and components to make SketchUp, a surface modeler, simulate the object modeling capabilities of BIM applications. SketchUp can be simply & easily used over a BIM application for construction modeling.

In your design you can apply both BIM Models-BIM and SketchUP for design study & design creation. The people using Sketch up and BIM Models need to be good communicators.

Workflow BIM Models-BIM to SketchUp

We often export to Sketch up for designers to do component studies. An example would be a façade Study. For this export generate a 3d BIM Models view. While exporting keep in mind that when you export you remove any façade from the study area, but ensure the model contains the major structural elements, columns and floors etc. The Studies require these to be some what accurate. Export it to a Drawing file. Then opened in Sketch up. Make it into a Component. Then start your façade study. In the event the BIM Models model is updated, re-export the view, edit the Component in Sketch up and re-import the Drawing model. As Sketch up does not have a linking system, using a component is the closest alternative. After the study has finished, save the file out, delete the Component, and export the remaining to a Drawing. Import the Drawing file as an in-place family in a black BIM Models project. This can then be linked into your BIM Models project file.

Workflow Sketch up to BIM Models-BIM

Getting good information from Sketch up into BIM Models is an ongoing struggle. The file comes in better by exporting from Sketch up to CAD (Drawing) and then bringing into BIM Models as a in-place family (be that a mass or generic model). If you use it in massing you will be unable to assign floors, or generate volume data from the mass. We have had some success with using the imported sketch-up as massing, then applying wall faces to it, and as a result being able to set the work plane off the wall. It’s really imported to completely re-draw all Sketch up items as true BIM Models elements. It’s really important to know to edit the sketch up import you can not do it with-in BIM Models. You can only edit it in CAD or Sketch up software, and then re-insert it. Unless you are a Sketch up guru avoid having to be dependent on an update it in Sketch up to update your BIM Models model.


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