News

New software saves time in converting BIMs into virtual models

2 January 2019 | By BIM+ staff

Developers of new software are claiming that it can deliver a dramatic increase in efficiency for AEC designers, architects and engineers, by enabling them to create virtual models much faster with fewer errors.

Tridify, a software technology specialist delivering automation products for the AEC industry, has teamed up with Unity Technologies to deliver Tridify Convert.

Tridify Convert is an automatically scalable BIM cloud service, enabling the conversion of 3D BIM CAD data into the Unity platform in real-time. It delivers UV-mapped and optimised models regardless of the project size.

The software includes a simple Industry Foundation Class (IFC) file export from all BIM and CAD software platforms, with automated features such as material mapping, colliders, and lighting generation.

The software allows developers to import BIM and 3D CAD files (Autodesk Revit, ArchiCAD, etc) into the Unity platform with all BIM data intact, in minutes not hours, saving architects, designers and engineers significant time. For complex visualisations on the Unity platform, the development time shrinks from three to four weeks to several days.

Tridify was established in Finland in 2012 and has been focused on developing a solution to automate the delivery of 3D architectural models to XR (cross reality) ready 3D files.

The software includes a simple IFC file export from all BIM and CAD software platforms

“We have a deep understanding of BIM and the AEC industry having used Unity to develop our own AEC visualisation application over five years ago,” said Juha Alanen, EVP of sales at Tridify. “Our R&D team recognised that by working with Unity, we could deliver a solution that would automatically streamline the process of delivering UV-mapped and optimised architectural models to XR-ready 3D files.

“Together, with Unity, we are solving the problem of repetitive, slow, and error-prone remodelling.”

Early users of Tridify Convert are reporting significant time savings. For example, Adrian Esdaile, Senior Project Architect/BIM Manager at architecture and urban planning practice Billard Leece Partnership, in Sydney, said: “We worked with Tridify Convert on a 125,000 sq m hospital project, taking the BIM model into Unity with all the data attached. Instead of taking weeks, the automated conversion took a matter of minutes and because the data was now available in Unity, the advanced search function meant that we could collate all objects in a couple of clicks.

“Working with Tridify Convert, not only can we speed-up our workflow so we can spend more time on the creative elements, we can turn around multiple projects in the same timeframe." 

Bjørn Hegle, solution architect SmartX at ATEA (Oslo, Norway), Northern Europe’s market leader in IT infrastructure, said: “When our company ATEA moved into one of the world’s smartest buildings, Sola Airport Arena in Norway, I wanted to create a digital twin of the new premises in Unity using the Building Information Model (BIM). 

“The process took about a week and became incredibly complex, lost a lot of information along the way and the final model was too large for a web version. Tridify Convert solved all my problems – importing and converting architectural files became much easier, the new model runs smoothly in a browser but most importantly, all the BIM data was kept intact and it only took a few hours instead.

“I was able to link technical data to objects automatically using tags, instead of manually, which saved a lot of time. The digital twin now works perfectly, divided into layers and streaming live data from sensors around the building, with technical BIM information visible when looking at objects.

“Tridify Convert also makes updating the model with new modified BIM files an easy task. I’m already looking forward to utilising and improving our automated workflow for our new building at Hasle Linje in Oslo.”