Tools for Design through Construction

The latest term for the function of using 3D digital modeling in the design and construction process is now called Building Information Modeling or BIM.

Once BIM was established as the latest term, many in the industry have wrestled with attempting to craft a definition that would best fit the acronym. While most were espousing theories on the subject, we were the first to apply the concept of using three dimensional digital models with associated information on large scale, complicated architectural projects. Although we called it Master Modeling in the early 1990s. With all our experience and knowledge in proving the technology on numerous projects we have defined the BIM concept as:

”BIM is the methodology of using a single master source of digital data that integrates all CAD descriptions and related information, into processes necessary for all aspects of a project’s design.”

Because an architectural design and construction project requires more than just Building Models with Information, we introduced the concept that includes and encompasses BIM. It’s called the Virtual Build Process:

”The Virtual Build Process is the methodology of using BIM data, integrated with all procedures, from design through construction that are necessary for a thorough process .”

We promote the concept of Virtual Build Process (VBP) because it goes beyond what the industry is focusing on now as BIM. There is much more to managing a project than integrating information within a digital model.

The first key word in the VBP definition is INTEGRATED. Taking the tools and integrating them into the process is vital and necessary for the quality of a project. Without fully integrating the BIM tools a project will experience dead ends to the use of the data, with unnecessary procedures or compromised translated information in the process.

The second key word in the VBP definition is THROUGH. The process needs to be consistently managed from design through construction. Using the master digital data through the entire process will bring the greatest return and the highest quality.

The third key word is THOROUGH. Integrating the BIM tools into steps and procedures of the process needs to be thorough. Any procedure left out of the process will compromise the overall quality of the project’s data.

The final key word is PROCESS. The effort of building a project is about procedures and the over-all process along the project’s time line, from first conception to its completion. It's all about the process.

Total Quality Control (TQC) began as theories in the 1950s to optimize the overall processes within an organization. The aerospace and automobile industries, innovators of the use of digital processes in the 1960s were reluctant to focus on quality of the overall process. With the pressures from the oil crisis of the 1970s these industries took quality control seriously for the sake of survival. Through the 1980s and 90s it became a concerted effort to improve the quality of the process to stay competitive. The building industry has now recognized the benefits of using digital modeling processes. But digital modeling with associated information is just a tool and to achieve quality control of a project you must manage the tools properly in the overall process. Something we believe the AEC industry will begin to recognize as the next phase of development beyond BIM.


In all of our services work, we have watched the software development companies evolve and we feel few developers really listen to the user's requirements and understand the entire process to produce fully integrated software solutions. Even the software program we used for nearly three decades, called CATIA evolved to become exclusive for the aerospace and automobile industries. CATIA V5 applied to the architectural industry called Digital Project, as well as Revit became more complicated, cumbersome to learn and to use, requiring large data sets that built models which were unproductive for architecture.

We discovered the program called Rhinoceros and found that it was very similar in functionality and design approach to version 4 of CATIA that we used successfully for so many years. We approached Robert McNeel & Associates, the developers of Rhino and have become involved in a focused effort to develop a number of planned modules that will enhance the functionality of Rhino for the AEC industries. This effort is called RhinoBIM and is a joint venture between Virtual Build Technologies and Robert McNeel & Associates. This is also an effort to more clearly define tools, procedures and techniques that will integrate Rhino into the Virtual Build Process.

Our mission is to produce RhinoBIM software tools that follow the Virtual Build Process and are:

Easy to Learn, Easy to Use, Integrated into a light data base, Highly Productive and Cost Effective

Views: 310


You need to be a member of RhinoBIM to add comments!

Join RhinoBIM

Comment by fernando palma on June 21, 2011 at 9:54am
I need plugin piping, to calculate slope in%, that the tubes
"T" and "elbows"
Comment by Rick Smith on June 21, 2011 at 9:46am



We built RhinoBIM on Rhino V5 becuase we worked with McNeel & Associates to develop a new entity for Rhino. Its called a Light Extrusion Entity. It allows us to extrude a profile and have it be as much as 20 times lighter in model size. Its only in Rhino V5. Why do you want it to be in Rhino 4 when Rhino 5 is coming soon and will be that much better?

Comment by Venkatesh Raj on June 20, 2011 at 7:12pm
Rick, Why doesnt your Beta version not work with Rhino 4??
Comment by Rick Smith on June 17, 2010 at 1:30pm
George, We have developed this structural package so that a structural engineer can design the major members within the architectural surface model, check for Clashes and Clearance and then perform the analysis on the design right within Rhino. A person could detail within this model and produce drawings within Rhino as it does support dwg and dxf. But we would think that a user might want to detail and fabricate from a more robust detailing and fabrication program such as Tekla, for this reason we are developing the CIS/2 translator.
Comment by George Georgiou on June 17, 2010 at 1:13pm
dstv file conversion (or similar) should be at the top the list along with fabrication drawings.
Also dwg/dxf file formats.
What are the available file formats?
Comment by Rick Smith on June 15, 2010 at 6:25am
There are already some plugins that have focused on fabrication modeling. We recognize there is more to do and to integrate all this into a cohesive package. So yes we see the need to incorporate fabrication as part of the process.

Do you have some specific requirements in this area you want us to address?
Comment by George Georgiou on June 14, 2010 at 11:23pm
will you be incorporating fabrication information modelling?

Comment by E. Dean Neuenswander on June 9, 2010 at 11:34am

I would love to know more about the light data base. Any insights?



© 2018   Created by Rick Smith.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service