Greetings.....our office is looking to move towards 3d plant design. What software is the most used/popular for doing water/wastewater treatment plants? (autocad based) I'm so new at 3d, I'm not sure where to start. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
I'm surprised you've had no responses. I'm an architect, but the communication between consultants is similar.
The 3-D program we've used is actually a Building Information Management (BIM) program by AutoDESK called REVIT. The concept is great, that the different engineers, consultants, architects all work on the same 3-D model. In reality, it's difficult. Many decisions can be made in 2-D, but at the same time, many 3-D problems in the building can be missed in just 2-D. Again, it's great if you can get eveyone involved.
The test for came when we did 2 High Schools. Each had 10 acres of air conditioned floor space. That's right, these were large schools on 135 acres lots. One we & our consultants did in AutoCAD; the other we all did in REVIT. The two schools were almost identical in Floor Plans and Site limitations. Both for the same School District. So, we could compare the costs or profits using each program.
Now. we do all of our work on in AutoCAD.
Read Ya Later -KLYPH
Yes, we went back to 2-D drafing. It was too expensive in 3-D.
BUT, 3-D is the thing of the future.
Currently, much Federal Government work must be done in 3-D.
It's like when CAD came into being, we all said we can draw much quicker on the Drafting Table.
And we could, but the future was CAD and we all do CAD now.
The same will be with 3-D.
We don't do it now, but we know we will in the future.
The earlier you get into 3-D, the better, but it will cost time & money.
But if you don't do it, your competiters will.
I plan on practicing another 20 years.
What will it be then?
Read Ya Later -KLYPH
I'd say it still depends on _what_ you are doing and at what scale.
In architecture I have done small projects far more quickly by hand (ink and paper) then in CAD and large projects far more quickly in CAD then I'd ever been able to do by hand. Especially if you want a small amount of 3D "artistic" views of a building a pencil may save you a lot of time compared to 3D Studio or Maya.
In engineering greenhouses using CAD is so vastly more efficient then any pen and paper solution that I've never even attempted it (hurray for array!), but there 3D did not in the slightest improve speed compared to 2D... in floorplans that is - in designing greenhouse components 3D saved a lot of time... but those parts are standardized and highly systematic.
In aluminium extrusion the advantage of using 3D in designing profiles (even those for greenhouses) is completely opposite: because the profiles _are_ 2D we find that the 2D drawing abilities of AutoCAD vastly outmatch those of the "sketch" mode of any 3D software. But for die design we practically have to go 3D because the shapes are basically too complex for 2D.
My point? Use the tool that fits your job and scale - not the tool that "everybody else is using" or that looks "technically superior".
I had a similar problem at a previous company. We ended up getting 1 Autodesk Inventor seat, and keeping the rest as straightforward AutoCAD 2D. The Inventor suite gives you Inventor 3D, Mechanical Desktop and AutoCAD 2D - you can ten use whichever is best for the job in hand. Inventor models can be imported into Revit if required by your client.
BTW I prefer SolidWorks for 3D work but you don't get the same 2D capability.