Historically, one of the key skills of engineers and architects has been their spatial awareness, their ability to visualise 2D plans into 3D space. Of course, nowadays software is helping us with that… now we can model entire 3D models and let the computer tell us where there are problems. There is no doubt that there is a growing need to use 3D CAD models, and even Building Information Modelling (BIM), on larger and more complex projects where the benefits are demonstrable. Indeed, many governments are mandating, or planning to mandate, the use of BIM on major projects.
Checking service station access using AutoTrack in 3D
However, not all projects need the 3D treatment, not everyone needs to be working with 3D models all the time. In many cases, in everyday engineering, 2D is perfectly adequate and has the benefit of being convenient and simple. That’s actually an important aspect of good engineering, knowing when and how to use the most appropriate and cost-effective methods on any given project. And that’s really the point of this post, we want to hear YOUR views on the value of 2D vs 3D on YOUR projects.
Using AutoTrack in 2D to check refuse vehicle access
The thing is, often the reason engineers opt not to work in 3D is because the technology gets in the way, i.e. there is an extra learning curve to climb and the time and cost required often outweigh the benefits. That’s not the case, by the way, with AutoTrack, which is designed to work equally well in 2D or 3D, right out of the box. That’s right, you can work in 2D when it makes sense but switch to 3D when necessary, and then switch back and forth at will. That’s because we recognised the time and cost pressures that engineers are under and made it really easy to generate 3D models from your existing 2D data with virtually no effort. There are no extra modules to install, no extra costs and no complex configuration required.
But there may be another reason why engineers sometimes find themselves stuck using out of date software… managed software deployments! This was highlighted back in February, at the Savoy hosted BIM Symposium, when the lively Q&A session spent some time sharing common experiences of IT departments who are required to QA software before it is deployed. Often, even minor fixes have to undergo time-consuming testing before being implemented. This cautious (some might say, over-cautious) approach can lead to a significant lag between the technologies that are generally available and those that are actually available within individual companies. We’re certainly aware of numerous cases of customers who are using copies of AutoTrack that several versions out of date, and very frustrated to learn that the functionality they require is already available in a more recent version!
So, back to our dilema, just how many of you are working in 2D, and how many in 3D? This was the survey question in our recent newsletter and one that we’d like to repeat here. And, to encourage you to vote, every respondent’s name will be entered in a free draw for a complimentary session of AutoTrack Accelerated Training at your convenience. This free training will be given by one of our highly qualified trainers and you’ll have the opportunity to get answers to all your AutoTrack related questions so, please follow the link below and respond now!
Please click here to respond and good luck with the training
Thanks for contributing and, if you’re interested, stay tuned and we’ll blog the results in a week or so.