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Friday, January 25, 2013

3D Is Stupid

Do I have your attention?  Well, let me explain.  The more I know about BIM, the less I feel I know about BIM.  So, since I got involved with BIM in 2005, which is 8 years ago, what does that mean for people starting with it today?  It means they don't know anything about what lies ahead for them.

One of the things lately that annoys me is the whole 2D, 3D, 4D, 5D and 6D nomenclature.  On Tuesday, during my daily BIM debate with Alix and Dave, I told Alix that everyone is wrong.  OK, I get that 2D is 2 dimensions and 3D is 3 dimensions.  But after that, it's meaningless.  

We fought over 4D, the time dimension.  Architects don't do anything around their CAD or BIM work that remotely involves time.  I think it's the opposite.  Without planning, really planning out a building, like making sure that no ceiling tiles have to be cut to fit, that just the planning of sizes of rooms and materials is critical to making buildings get built faster.  I'm sure that the 30 story high-rise in China erected in 15 days made sure to factor that in to the equation. The contractors use 4D for sequencing, but is that really considered a dimension.  We can continue to fight about that at another time.

Let's move on to 5D, cost.  That has nothing to do with dimensions, so the term 5D is complete BS, BIM stupidity.  Then there's 6D, whether you consider that Facility Management or something else.  I think FM is a byproduct of 2D, 3D and maybe 5X.

So, what should they be called? 'I' of course.  It should be 4I, 5I and 6I.  Why?  Because you're adding information to the model.  Adding the schedule, prices, facility asset data are all bits of information.  Perhaps even the 3D model is a level of information more that 2D.  

You've all been calling it the wrong thing for years now.  Who started the whole 3-6 D nomenclature anyhow?  

Here's  a compromise.  If you're going to insist on calling it 4, 5 and 6D, then refer to it as "Data" not "Dimensions".  Information is data.  You're adding data a/k/a information to the owner's deliverable.  Oops.  Maybe "D" is for 'Deliverable'.  Crap, now I've got myself confused.  Maybe 'Deliverable' is better because we're providing more services, information, knowledge, problem solving and quality product to the owner with the more information and data we add to the BIM product.  

To D or not to D, that is the question.  Well, we definitely know 2D is for losers....

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