INTELLIGENT WORK FORUMS
FOR ENGINEERING PROFESSIONALS

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Jobs

What does BIM mean for a project engineer?

What does BIM mean for a project engineer?

(OP)
The company I work at - planning/consulting, I'm in municipal wastewater and do mech. eng. - will introduce BIM over the next years. It was mentioned that sooner or later, not only the drafters but also us engineers will have to work with the tools. The idea is to eventually plan in the BIM-world and connect it to tender tools. It will be the autodesk/revvit family.

I don't mind that, I just want to understand what this will mean for the day-to-da work of project engineers.
Things that are worth the time to learn sooner rather than later? Pitfalls to be aware of? How did the division of labor between drafters and engineers work out at your place?

RE: What does BIM mean for a project engineer?

BIM can be a great tool. Unfortunately, there is a large up front expense to implement it which prevents most small firms from investing in it. No engineers at my company are able to use BIM and only the younger designers use it. Most of the older designers are near or approaching retirement age and are unwilling or slow to learn it. I think that the times of engineers doing their own cad work are nearing the end. Eventually BIM will take over and 2D cad will be a thing of the past. It seems like the advancement of technology outpaces the engineers ability to keep up with it. And lets me honest, engineers working in BIM or cad can be dangerous, probably better to keep it in the hands of designers.

RE: What does BIM mean for a project engineer?

I have the opposite opinion of MotorCity. Having worked at a handful of shops of various size and location in the US, my experience has been that everyone has moved to BIM. You can't seem to find a decent firm that works in 2D anymore. Everyone is in Revit and that is demanded by owners and architects. Many of my contracts require that I provide a 3D model after CD's. I haven't touched AutoCAD in at least 5 years.

Regarding drafting/modeling. Finding good drafters/designers is seemingly impossible. And even if I wanted a drafter/designer, I would rather do the modeling and detailing myself. I can get things done much faster without them and that seems to be the opinion of most of my colleagues. We relegate very basic work to drafters/designers and do the rest ourselves.

Efficiency has increased doing things this way. My guess is that all the markup work and fixing the drafter/designer mistakes was a huge waste of time (not necessarily "mistakes" but more like "well I would show it differently"). It's a lot faster for me to do something myself (especially when it's complex) than to tell a drafter what to (or markup a drawing), review what they did, realize it wasn't exactly right, try to have them fix it, then end up doing it myself anyway. It just doesn't make sense when I can do it so fast myself.

On top of that, with the engineer actively in the 3D model doing all the work, they can see issues more clearly and address them easily. When drafters/designers are modeling, they just blindly do the work (at least ours do...) but an engineer can see when things don't make sense long before it's too late. We have gained a lot of efficiency buy not replenishing the drafters as they retire/leave the firm.

RE: What does BIM mean for a project engineer?

(OP)
My work is not so much design of buildings, but placing pipes and machinery. 90% of the times into crowded, existing buildings. The workflow beeing drafting (and redrafting and redrafting ...) the most important parts into a paper drawing of the building and handing that to the draftsperson to do in 2D CAD. While I think our drafters know their stuff, they need us engineers to provice a clear base to build upon.

In our house, the sentiment is that BIM is great for early planning stages and once you go into detailing/execution, 2D might be superior.

I'd be interested to hear from someone who used BIM from a plant design/mech engperspective.

RE: What does BIM mean for a project engineer?

From an interior mechanical/electrical/plumbing, BIM (Revit) is here to stay. It is great to be able to look at a 3d model or to look at sections in "real time", instead of waiting for somebody to change the "circle" in 2D.

However, I do agree that it has not yet arrived with the fine detailing, which structural and architects might use. It is mainly because all the parts and pieces have to be developed and may not be part of the Revit library. It is coming, though. For the fine detailing we still use ACAD and insert them into our Revit drawings.

RE: What does BIM mean for a project engineer?

(OP)
@PEDARRIN2
I understand you as an engineer work in revit directly? Or use a viewer and have the CAD folks do the work?

I guess how much engineers will be working in CAD will be one of those arbitrary management decisions that's impossible to know beforehand ...

Personally, I'd like to try working in the 3D tools directly, wonder how steep the learning curve is before one can make a useful model of something.

RE: What does BIM mean for a project engineer?

While my work is primarily buildings, I've done a significant number of MEP heavy projects. Think hospital powerhouses, heavy process manufacturing, etc. I do structural design but the MEP engineers I work with model almost everything in 3D on those types of projects. The models are handed over to the contractor and they use them to model any bidder designed elements (like fire protection is sometimes). Then we perform clash detection exercises with all disciplines models (including arch and structural) and iron out any issues before construction.

It eliminates almost all the significant coordination headaches come construction. You still get issues with small one-off conduits, data, etc but those are non-issues relative to big ducts and pipes.

RE: What does BIM mean for a project engineer?

I broke my teeth on Revit 2008 where I was the one imputing content along with a drafter/designer. I have moved up the ladder and occasionally get into Revit 2016, when necessary. Most of my work now is technical oversight.

The people imputing information have to have a level of understanding of what they are doing, i.e. they are not line jockeys anymore just putting in mark ups and red lines.

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members!


Resources


Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close