It can often be difficult to visualize all of the components of a design in a way that is both detailed and comprehensive. This study model provides a snapshot of the RF (radio frequency) shielding design for an MRI Suite. I tend to think in 3D, so I model studies such as this in parallel with drafting conventional drawing details for Construction Documents. This allows my team to study design details with a high degree of resolution and document construction details with greater efficacy. It also serves as a great foundation for supplemental communication of the design as it relates to construction procedures.
Scope owned by Fabricator
Scope installed by Fabricator, provided by General Contractor
Scope to be confirmed
The process is simple. Revit is the conduit between the Construction Documents and the 3D studies. I export 3D geometry from Revit and import it into SketchUp. Based on that geometry I model detail components and explore options, detect clashes and take into account scope and phasing. As this exploration evolves it informs the details in the Revit model and I update them accordingly. With a little bit more work, the 3D study model can serve double-duty as a powerful communication tool.
In this instance, the scope and phasing were particularly complex. Therefore, to communicate the design thinking as it related to construction procedures I took an extra step. I delineate scope by separating items into corresponding colors. To delineate phasing, I create separate layers for the purpose of animating them in a sequence. To implement the animation, I export the SketchUp model and import it into Blender – an open-source 3D modeling and animation software. I set up camera paths and lights, set up layers and render an animation sequence as individual frames. If a video file is desired, I import these frames in Adobe Premiere to compile the sequence and render a video file. Alternatively, if a .gif file is desired I import the frames into Adobe Photoshop, sequence the frames and “Save for Web” to export as a .gif.
As we explore and refine the design on our approach to completing construction documents, this diagram will change. More unknowns that require coordination may be discovered (blue) and resolved (white), more fabricators may collaborate with the design team (magenta), more scope may be coordinated between fabricators, the General Contractor and Architect (purple).
This kind of diagrammatic model is a helpful study for keeping track of the macro while delving into the micro – allowing the project to stay on track by facilitating the refinement of the design and providing supplemental communication for coordination.