Building information modeling (BIM) has been widely used by architects on land. Nowadays, ysa design company in Norway also applies it to ship building effectively.
BIM as an architectural design and construction method first appeared in the 1970s, but this design and construction method really became the mainstream of the construction industry at the turn of the millennium, because major software companies began to use it as part of the collaborative process behind the general 3D model. So in a very short time, it has been widely used, so that BIM becomes a mandatory requirement when bidding for government contracts in Scandinavia and most countries in Central Europe.
At the end of 2019, ysa design company announced that it is about to complete the first mail ship project built in accordance with BIM process. The project is to collect all contents from the initial sketch to the sign off task for an unnamed owner. BIM represents the "metadata" behind the physical appearance of the construction project.
Ysa design company's experience in land-based BIM projects makes it an ideal partner, which can not only generate 3D and 2D drawings of the entire cruise ship (using Autodesk Revit modeling software), but also supervise the whole shipbuilding process on behalf of customers.
Georg piantino, senior architect of ysa design company, said that the project was commissioned under the recommendation of customers, "to present the whole cruise ship in 3D from top to bottom". He pointed out that shipyards may over protect drawings, but added, "if shipyards provide drawings at an early stage, it's much easier to communicate among all parties, because we have to start with the basic framework and build around it."
Piantino said that projects involving BIM need a "BIM coordinator", whose part of responsibility is to coordinate the models of all parties, and create a BIM manual, which is confirmed by all parties before the project starts and abides by the standards established in the manual throughout the design process. In the case discussed, project participants use Autodesk based shipbuilding and marine engineering software solutions to ensure that all parties have the same up-to-date information of the whole hull design during the whole project promotion process, so as to ensure that the design coordination can be carried out accurately and smoothly.
Although many assemblers and hydropower designers have begun to use 3D technology, many people are still reluctant to share the design model in the design process. However, according to piantino, it is only a matter of time for 3D design to show its advantages in speed and accuracy, especially in the collision test coordinated by various disciplines, the advantages of 3D model in design problem inspection are more prominent.
"With 3D graphics, we can generate collision reports with fine and accurate models. Therefore, the system can help us to find out the small collisions that may not be seen in the two-dimensional graphics. "
Piantino added that since BIM is a lightweight model (i.e. the data is not heavy), it is easy for different users to generate their own sections and elevations. Scaling inside the model to check the location of components such as ventilation ducts is very helpful to understand the design intent.
For example, the height of a stair run's connection to different floors can be found and resolved at an early stage. "You don't need to draw a new stair from scratch, you just need to go into the BIM model and design the appearance of the stair based on the model provided by the shipyard, including finish materials, carpets, sound insulation and so on," piantino said
For shipowners, they usually lack enough time and experience to understand the design space through traditional drawings. Another additional advantage of using BIM is that it can complement virtual reality (VR) software and enable people to experience space in a more understandable form.
"With virtual reality glasses on, you can go through the project and get a sense of how the room feels and the problems that may arise," piantino said
As the project is ongoing, it is still difficult to clearly understand the impact of the BIM process on the time and cost-effectiveness of the entire project. However, piantino believes that the most significant difference can be felt at an early stage, because the entire space design is presented in virtual 3D before the start of steel plate cutting. In addition, the experience of managing the entire shipbuilding project (both internal and external) in 3D is expected to bring new opportunities to ysa.
Piantino finally added that before the steel plate cutting, the entire space design was effectively "created" in the form of virtual 3D, and virtual browsing became a live project discussion, "and then you can share the design you see in real time with people all over the world in a video conference."