It’s Time to Provide More Than Design Intent for Architectural Projects

By Akio
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No car manufacturer in business would create an engine bay by interpreting a representative 2D drawing—yet it is still acceptable for AEC professionals to work that way.

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a representative 2D drawing. Why should #AEC?

Today’s complex buildings should no longer rely on fragmented communication through 2D drawings or pdfs, said Robert Beson of AR-MA (Architectural Research – Material Applications Pty Ltd.), in a recent presentation at the 3DEXPERIENCE Forum Asia Pacific South 2016.

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Beson suggested that architects today have a responsibility to provide more than just design intent. When relying on 2D drawings, too much is left up to interpretation.

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to provide more than just design intent

“It’s necessary to fully engage with the methods of construction, of manufacturing, assembly, logistics and installation,” Beson says. “We need to understand and engage our supply chain from concept through design.”

Adapting to New Processes

Moving to a collaborative platform based on parts and assemblies makes sense, but requires new skillsets from designers.

Today, every project AR-MA designs is comprehensively modeled in 3D.

Every project uses 3D laser point cloud scanning to verify work as it’s built onsite.

Every project uses 3D laser point cloud scanning to verify work as it’s built onsite.

The shift requires architects to interact in new ways with fabrication and construction professionals.

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ways with fabrication & construction pros 

Take connection brackets, for example. By combining 3D scanning and a just-in-time fabrication pipeline, it’s no longer necessary to design complicated 3-way adjustable brackets. The team can design simple laser cut plates, each of which are slightly different and ultimately improve the tolerances onsite.

The need for 2D drawings can be fully removed by laser cutting or engraving directions for assembly into the materials themselves.

To provide these fabrication-ready solutions, every member of the team at AR-MA writes code.

Every AR-MA team member writes code in order to directly send information to fabrication machinery.

Every AR-MA team member writes code in order to directly send information to fabrication machinery.

“It’s not enough just to model, and put together assemblies and parts, and think through the building process,” Beson says. “It’s crucial to engage with the means of production and be able to communicate with them. Often that means writing code and sending G-codes directly to the CNC machines.”

Comprehensive Modeling for Wynyard Walk’s Unique Components

For Wynyard Walk, a pedestrian walkway recently completed in Sydney, AR-MA was contracted to manage and execute detail design of the stainless cladding. The team had to deliver a fabrication-ready package of over 3,000 perforated stainless panels and lights, more than 50% of which were entirely unique.

Beson notes that it would not have been possible to work from 2D drawings of the mostly unique 3,000 perforated stainless steel panels at the Wynyard Walk pedestrian walkway.

Beson notes that it would not have been possible to work from 2D drawings of the mostly unique 3,000 perforated stainless steel panels at the Wynyard Walk pedestrian walkway.

The designers wanted a parametric model that was flexible enough to respond to ongoing design challenges.

The model had to accommodate an as-built primary structure, a glass reinforced concrete wall cladding, interfaces with the ceiling, and ongoing changes in the panel layout and perforations due to modifications in the façade mullions and setouts.

The contractor found the Façade Design for Fabrication powered by 3DEXPERIENCE platform best fit its needs.

Its integration of design and engineering, part and assembly paradigm, and scalability, among other features, allowed the team to produce a highly detailed and accurate 3D model of the entire project scope.

The integration of design, engineering and fabrication information made the 3DExperience a strong solution for this project.

The integration of design, engineering and fabrication information made the 3DEXPERIENCE a strong solution for this project.

Not only did the comprehensive model prevent problems before they arose, but it allowed designers to minimize the number of part drawings by providing fabrication-ready geometry that was sent directly to the fabricator.

This saved time in the office and factory, and removed any error from misinterpretation of the 2D drawings.

For example, the tremendous time crunch made it necessary to release all fabrication information in batches. Façade Design for Fabrication helped the team to coordinate and track those batch releases, as well as any revisions.

Technical Support of Creativity

Beson pointed out that architecture has long been considered a creative endeavor, but what unifies the team at AR-MA is a belief that architects must unite creativity with technical ability.

“Both are necessary to produce the types of innovative and formative buildings our cities require today,” he says.

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3DEXPERIENCE at Hsin Chong

By Alyssa
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Facing strong competition in the automotive parts manufacturing industry, Taiwan’s Hsin Chong group wanted to differentiate themselves by providing customers with a complete solution that is reliable, effective and cost-efficient.  The underpinning of this goal was to effectively integrate the information and resources from its 20 manufacturing sites and offices worldwide, and find a solution to manage the massive amounts of data involved in their business, especially in its bidding processes.

Hsin Chong wants its customers to perceive them as a strong, trusted partner who leverages cutting-edge technology in order to offer reliable, effective and cost-efficient projects.  To help fulfill this vision, they evaluated a range of tools, ultimately selecting the 3DEXPERIENCE platform from Dassault Systèmes.


The company also selected the applications CATIA, ENOVIA and SIMULIA for design, R&D, verification, analysis and simulation, as well as the Bid to Win industry solution experience.  Bid to Win helps Hsin Chong further improve their data collection, cost estimation and bidding processes – all areas valued by customers to give them a better experience with the company.

Through the 3DEXPERIENCE platform and other Dassault Systèmes solutions, Hsin Chong has thus far been able to cut post production engineering changes by 30%.

Discover more about Hsin Chong’s implementation in a new case study.


Fashionably Connected

By Catherine
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By Catherine Bolgar


What if you could have a different dress to wear every day, without having a closet full of clothes? It’s already possible, thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT).

“Everything around us is digital. Why shouldn’t our clothes be digital as well?” asks Francesca Rosella, creative director and co-founder of CuteCircuit, a London-based digital fashion house. “In the near future, we predict that many devices will disappear and their functionality will be integrated in our clothes. Everything will be on the body.”

CuteCircuit started in 2004 with the “Hug Shirt.” A person wearing a Hug Shirt gives herself a squeeze. Sensors in the fabric detect the position, strength and duration of the touch. The data goes to the person’s phone to be sent to a friend. When the friend accepts the message, actuators in her own Hug Shirt will warm up and create the sensation that the sender’s arms are wrapped around the recipient.

Over the years, CuteCircuit has designed many collections: specialty products, haute couture and ready-to-wear. Several celebrities have worn the haute couture on the red carpet and onstage, including a skirt that displays a video of a tiger roaring.

The clothes use “Magic Fabric, developed by CuteCircuit, that can change color,” Ms. Rosella says.

The fabric can display anything as if it were your TV screen, but a soft fabric TV screen.”

cutecircuit_handbag_2Fabric—mostly silk because of its durability, but also cotton and cotton elastane—is fused with a layer of sensors or micro LEDs, and textile-conductive connectors that eliminate the need for wires. “They’re little nylon ribbons woven with gold and silver fibers,” she explains. “We don’t want anything dangerous in contact with the skin, so we coat it all with gold.”

Another layer of fabric is fused on top of the electronics layer, so the wearer feels only the soft fabric like a normal piece of clothing. The garments can be dry-cleaned or machine-washed at 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) and hung to dry. All the garments can be recharged via USB, and the small batteries snap directly into the garment with buttons.

cutecircuit_the_nieves_dress_2Ms. Rosella hopes CuteCircuit can lead a revolution against fast fashion. “Fashion shouldn’t be overconsumption of resources,” she says. “We only manufacture a certain amount, but with beautiful fabrics that last a long time. So you have one garment but can download many animations. You can have the same garment for a long time, but it feels like new.”

For example, a T-shirt allows the wearer to change the message on its front as often as desired, via an application. “You can display messages from friends,” Ms. Rosella says. “Everybody loved the idea of tweeting to your clothes. Digital fashion is a new form of self-expresslon.”

Apparel brands are also using the Internet of Things in order to communicate with their customers as traditional lines of communication are being disrupted by subscription services, online marketplaces and new retail outfits. And many of these are not owned by the brand, says Julie Vargas, director, global market development, technology solutions, of the Retail Branding and Information Solutions (RBIS) business of Avery Dennison Corp., a Glendale, California, maker of labeling and packaging solutions. The RBIS business is a global leader in apparel and footwear branding, packaging, labeling and RFID solutions.

“In the future, the one component that stays at the center of attention is the product,” Ms. Vargas says.

A special tag on clothes gives each item a unique digital fingerprint. The consumer can connect to the cloud-based Janela Smart Products Platform to upload the clothes. “Today, the mobile device is how people are interacting, but we expect it to evolve,” Ms. Vargas says. “The core is the platform that can integrate with sensors today and those of tomorrow.”

The platform, launched in April, gives apparel brands the ability to connect directly with consumers, regardless of where the item was purchased. It can provide information about the product; the story behind it, such as which celebrities have worn it; or information from other consumers, such as product reviews or suggestions for styling the garment with other items. The brand also can send out messages if the consumer wants (the consumer maintains the ability to refuse). “When you’re in or near the store, you can connect to find out what content is unlocked, like digital artwork or videos,” Ms. Vargas says.

At the same time, the Janela platform gives consumers an opportunity to talk to the brand.

A consumer can provide a product review for other users, but could also offer one-to-one communication with the designers,” Ms. Vargas says. “You could say, ‘I love this garment, but it wish it had pockets,’ or something like that.”

Sensors with near-field communication technology often aren’t washable, so sensors need to be removed before washing. However, QR codes, fabric labels and heat-transfer labels launder well. “There are a lot of different places to put the connector and ways the connector can look,” she says.

Avery Dennison and CuteCircuit both have incorporated ways to encourage consumers to recycle garments, to offer more transparency about where materials are sourced from and to expand the story of each item as consumers seek meaning in their purchases.


Catherine Bolgar is a former managing editor of The Wall Street Journal Europe, now working as a freelance writer and editor with WSJ. Custom Studios in EMEA. For more from Catherine Bolgar, along with other industry experts, join the Future Realities discussion on LinkedIn.

Photos courtesy of CuteCircuit



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