A Case for 3D Modeling


I recently sat down with a farmer, a city councilman and an ag businessman. We chatted about the things that we call successful – new farm practices, city development initiatives, growing businesses, etc. One common principle stood out: a willingness to embrace change and try new things.

Change isn’t hard to come by today – just think about how your business has had to adapt during this global pandemic. Many parts of your plant team (coworkers, contractors, engineers) are working on projects remotely. Finding new ways to keep everyone pulling in the right direction can keep projects successful. One critical tool in this effort is the plant 3D model. If you aren’t already using one, it’s time to embrace a change.

When model files are shared regularly, we aren’t working in a vacuum. Each party can see the work others are doing and how it relates to their scope. Here are four reasons to embrace 3D modeling as an investment in your plant:

  1. Bring your teams together. Just like the solidarity you feel when you see coworkers on a Skype, Teams, or Zoom call, gathering for weekly model share sessions sets a rhythm for your team. Reviews and design sessions keep the discussion alive and spur progress.
  2. Speed the project along. Bygone are the days of creating three, four, or five revisions of 2D drawings to communicate details. Design changes are essentially happening live. Watch a process floor or electric room design take shape before your eyes and give the team feedback in real-time.
  3. Get started for less. 3D laser scanners like the type Interstates uses can generate point clouds in hours or days instead of months. Convert the point cloud to color-coded model elements, and you’re in business. Additionally, the learning curve has gotten flatter, and more and more team members have modeling skills. Ask us for a test drive, and we’ll show you just how easy it is to find, measure, and navigate in a 3D model.
  4. Build the project twice. Have you ever had a home project that didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to? What if you had built it virtually before you ever picked up a hammer and saw? Make your changes or compare various options in the virtual version where it is less expensive to modify the design. Build it once in the model and then again in real life. This avoids rework and saves you costly change orders.

Investing in 3D modeling on your next project will pay dividends. If you’re ready to embrace a change for your team, please reach out to us to help you get started.

Eric Oordt, Instrument Engineer

This article was originally published in Current Connections Summer 2020 issue.


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