Across design-led industries, BIM is now recognized as the go-to platform and process that facilitates collaboration, raises efficiency and cuts costs. In industries such as Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) BIM enables users to benefit from a wide range of technologies such as immersive real-time visualizations and AR/VR applications. Bridging BIM design software with visualization software (like Unreal Engine) is key!

With integrated workflows that are used throughout the project life-cycle, BIM projects create a high-quality digital representation that is used to predict performance, estimate costs, and plan a construction project. Immersive visualizations give project teams, clients and other stakeholders a way to explore a design in an engaging and realistic way!

Why is BIM data crucial in projects?

Using BIM in construction projects is mandatory in various countries (including the United States and France) and widely used across Canada. BIM data holds necessary information used throughout the project life cycle, from design to construction, to long-term facility management. Unlike computer-aided-design (CAD), BIM goes beyond 3D design and geometry and includes time and cost information, as well as materials in a model (bill of quantities and materials).

BIM’s collaborative process involves a wide range of stakeholders that share a central model. Combining different disciplines and stakeholders creates a complex model with important metadata. Metadata in BIM models can range from providing information about the file (like author/designer, file name, file size) to information about elements like manufacturer, model, cost, etc. Preserving BIM and metadata is essential, without it, your 3D file becomes a mess and is no longer usable.

From BIM to immersive visualizations

Immersive visualizations offer an engaging and accurate look into a model that can’t be compared to static blueprints and 2D images. Thats why these realistic experiences are being used more and more by project teams to visualize a project before its even built. Immersive visualizations let project teams catch mistakes before construction begins. They’re also used to communicate design ideas to clients and stakeholders, and ensure their vision is aligned with the design.

Having access to metadata in the visualization is essential, visualizing a project in Unreal Engine can displace metadata, which is problematic if you’re showing a client a 3D walk-through, and information like cost and material is missing. That’s why Meshmatic works to preserve BIM and metadata so you can access it while exploring your immersive design.