By Sam Marttinen – CAD Technician (Duluth Office)   

When I started my position at Gausman & Moore (G&M) as a professional drafter, I immediately submerged into the deep storm of BIM (Building Information Modeling). Some Architects and owners still use 2D AutoCad, while most are adopting 3D software such as Revit, Microstation or Plant 3D. Some befuddlement exists on the product we deliver as an MEP firm. At the end of the day all we deliver is signed construction documents right? Wrong!


Transitioning to Spool

As a recent participant in an industrial design team where all of the consultants used Revit we have enjoyed extraordinary success avoiding construction coordination headaches. The Project Manager (PM) used Navisworks Manage throughout the duration of the design bid build process. This allowed the PM to incorporate everyone's work into one model and run clash detection weekly, preventing expensive change orders and saving thousands of dollars from the hundreds of clashes flushed out. This project was the first time I routed systems using these powerful tools.


Transitioning to BIM

Point clouds were also used on the project. Point clouds are derived from 3D scans which are composed of millions of colored points. I helped scan portions of the site and these scans were stitched to previous scans to fill holes in the existing facility point cloud. I then used these point clouds to model existing systems, route/place new systems, and model smart Revit families.


The images included in this article are an example of a family which I modeled based on scans. Point clouds were used in both Revit and Navisworks models.


During and after the design process the PM exported the whole project to a Navisworks Freedom file to be available to the design team and contractors at bid time. These can be opened for free just like a PDF. Contractors can do detailed quantity takeoffs, view virtual construction timelines, and isolate systems in 3D.


By using BIM to its fullest, this project demonstrates how design teams can transition smoothly and enjoy all the advantages 3D models offer.


For more information Sam can be reached at 218-302-6573 or