As anticipated a month ago, London, UK-based SaaS construction collaboration technology vendor Asite has added clash detection (the recognition and inspection of an interference at the intersection of multiple objects within a 3D project model) to the tools in its Adoddle cBIM (collaborative Building Information Modelling) suite.
According to the company’s news release, this function will enable designers to discover conflicts at an early stage of the project lifecycle, allowing for significant time and cost savings. Conflicts that would have been discovered in person, can now be seen in the office before anyone sets foot on site:
With the intricacies of several models (Structural, Architectural, Mechanical, MEP, etc.) being integrated into one main BIM model, Clash Detection is a crucial component in increasing efficiency. Adoddle’s cBIM solution also allows Clash Detection to be possible for objects within objects. For example, a steel rod that has been completely immersed within a concrete wall can be recognized with the Clash Detection tool.
Asite says it supports two main types of clashes:
- Hard Clash – when two components occupy the same space or two objects pass through each other. Example being a column running through a wall or pipework through a steel beam.
- Soft Clash – when objects encroach into geometric tolerances for other objects
The Adoddle cBIM clash detection tool lets users merge BIM models of various work sets for clash detection, discover and identify clashes between different non-proprietary software applications, examine the clash from multiple angles including adding mark-up and redlining, and initiate workflows to help collaboration and resolution within project teams.
The tool includes a clash browser enabling list summary of clash objects. Views of clashes can be captured in a 3D pane and used to initiate workflows, and attributes of clash objects can be displayed to help rectification.
In other news, earlier this month Asite also announced that the University of Cambridge has chosen the Adoddle platform to be its standard Project Information Management tool for their BIM Level 2 project portfolio.
Cloud BIM battleground growing
BIM is a key functionality battleground among the collaboration vendors, particularly in the UK, where the use of open standards-based ‘common data environments’ (CDEs) is increasingly required by major clients, especially in the public sector. Along with fellow UK-based vendors 4Projects (now Viewpoint – post) and GroupBC (post), Asite invested heavily in BIM-related research and development during the early days of the UK BIM push, while others – notably Conject (now part of Aconex) – seemingly dithered before finally entering the BIM race in 2015.
Established international SaaS players such as Aconex and Think Project! have also been developing their BIM capabilities, while design authoring giants such as Autodesk, Bentley and the Nemetschek group, have added and expanded cloud collaboration in their product portfolios. And there are also more recent startups targeting the sector – UK-based 3D Repo (post) and Clearbox (post) are just two examples.
As adoption of BIM-based processes and technologies grows (the recent EU BIM group handbook showed this is now a Europe-wide movement), CDE platform support will become a basic requirement, while the options to support design tasks such as clash detection and model validation and verification, will see SaaS vendors encroaching into territory that was once largely the preserve of the authoring software providers. In June 2008, I wondered if BIMaaS might become a reality – maybe it’s getting closer?