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Application Examples

Takashi Mizuno (Software Cradle, Development Department)
The Story Behind the Development of scSTREAM Launcher (Autodesk® Revit®) and Launcher (ARCHICAD)

 

Building Information Modeling (BIM) CAD is spreading throughout the architecture and construction fields. BIM centrally controls and manages facility data from conceptual design through construction and even including post-construction projects and activities. Cradle scSTREAM Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software has implemented an optional interface function which can directly load BIM data from two well-known CAD software products: Autodesk® Revit® Architecture and ARCHICAD. We interviewed Mr. Mizuno, the developer of Launcher (Autodesk® Revit®) and Launcher (ARCHICAD). Why is loading the original data so important? What benefits does this offer?

Takashi Mizuno
Software Cradle
Development Department

Figure 4. List of parts

User feedback

 Pilot users, such as Nikken Sekkei et al., provided Cradle with valuable comments and suggestions about the function. One example where user opinions made a significant contribution was in the development of the customization function for the part names that is output from the architectural CAD software (ARCHICAD only). Part names used by architectural CAD users are user dependent. They can use cut fill names, layer names, or part ID category names. Whatever names are used, they work for the user, but we did not understand their logic.

Figure 5. Customization of part names (For ARCHICAD only).
​Click to enlarge.

 The pilot users helped Cradle develop the customization function. Using their input, the Launcher (ARCHICAD) is prepared such that the user can use all the information types in ARCHICAD (layer, category, cut fill, ID and layer). The user can specify which pieces of information are used and how the information is sorted (see Figure 5). By selecting the proper information associated with the part name, scSTREAM can easily sort parts. This improves and enhances the user's efficiency.

 This is just one example where user input helped improve the Launcher. To assess the performance of the function, we ran tests at various customer sites. The positive outcomes that resulted from working with our software users and customers enabled us to develop a practical function with very high performance.

Figure 6. Project setting dialog

What are Some of the Other Features of the Launcher?

 Other valuable functions in the Launcher include a project setting function, where the user can input geological information about the building, and a data simplification function.

 A good example of how the data simplification function works is a building window. Windows in a thermal-fluid analysis are a common problem. If the thickness of the window (a few centimeters) as specified in the CAD model is modeled in the thermal-fluid analysis, the result is an excessive number of elements and a large calculation time penalty for including unnecessary details. The simplification function can automatically convert the thickness of the windows to that of the walls. If there are only a few windows in the model, the value of the simplification function may not be fully realized. But when the model includes many windows, the automatic conversion available with the simplification function is indispensable. The function eliminates many manual model modifications and reduces the calculation time and cost. This also helps improve efficiency.

Figure 7. Simplification function
Walls and floors are converted to sketch parts.
Doors and windows are converted to cutout parts.
​Other parts are converted to polygons.

Do You Have any Special Advice of Launcher Users?

 It is really important to eliminate unnecessary CAD data before it is passed to scSTREAM. This is a well known protocol but it can be difficult to do practically. This is no longer the case with the availability of the Launcher. It is also valuable to set analysis conditions based on the CAD part management functions such as search and extract. The enables work to proceed more smoothly and efficiently.
 

Closing Remarks

 ​With the increasingly widespread use of BIM in the architectural and construction simulation fields, the use of architectural CAD data in 3D is also becoming more and more popular. The Launcher can effectively maximize the advantages of using 3D CAD data and streamline what has traditionally been a major bottleneck in the design/ simulation process.

*All product and service names mentioned are registered trademarks or trademarks of their respective companies.
*Contents and specifications of products are as of November 28, 2013 and subject to change without notice. We shall not be held liable for any errors in figures and pictures, or any typographical errors.

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