Kengo Kuma & Associates Adopts “Design for Fabrication”

By Akio
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China Academy of Art’s Folk Art Museum, Hangzhou, China.
Photo Credit: Eiichi Kano.

We are pleased to announce Kengo Kuma & Associates (KKAA) has selected Design for Fabrication, our BIM solution on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, to improve design speed, accuracy, and collaboration.

KKAA, Japan’s leading architecture firm, is using the AEC industry solution experience from Dassault Systèmes to enhance the quality and efficiency of its architectural designs with a cloud-based collaborative design environment.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: .@KengoKuma & Associates
Adopts Design for Fabrication

KKAA’s designs introduce organic materials that are native to an architectural site’s region—a sophisticated blend of architecture and nature that infuses bamboo, wood, stone and other resources with lengths, angles, cross-sections, arches, patterns and other parameters.

Saint-Denis Pleyel Emblematic Train Station. Photo Credit: Kengo Kuma & Associates.

Notable international KKAA projects include:

  • New National Stadium, Tokyo’s 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Stadium (ongoing)
  • V&A Museum of Design, Dundee, Scotland (ongoing)
  • China Academy of Art’s Folk Art Museum, Hangzhou, China
  • Saint-Denis Pleyel Emblematic Train Station, Paris, France (ongoing)

The Design for Fabrication industry solution experience, based on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, provides KKAA with a reliable digital design and collaborative environment, for concept design through fabrication of any architecture project.

This BIM solution enhances KKAA’s parametric design operation and data accuracy capabilities in its design and downstream processes. It also helps KKAA handle organic materials, whose different shapes, lengths and other irregular factors make their use in architecture difficult.

In addition, because of the cloud, Design for Fabrication offers KKAA the scalability to support projects with colleagues in Tokyo, Paris and Beijing. It facilitates real-time access to a single source of project data, enabling KKAA to create more informed designs anytime and anywhere, reduce later rework, and more accurately predict project costs and timelines.

KKAA has the flexibility to improve and refine designs to reflect detailed customer requirements, and can share design models with all stakeholders.

Design for Fabrication provides us with design control capabilities that improve our design speed and accuracy dramatically,” said Toshiki Meijo, Chief of Design Division, KKAA. “Our team can access a single digital resource to better coordinate projects, gather feedback and make any necessary design adjustments. In the future, we plan to deepen this level of collaboration in order to manage multiple projects across offices worldwide while maintaining the high caliber of our designs.”

“Our industry solution experiences tailored for the architecture, engineering and construction industry provide digital continuity between design data and the fabrication model for the shop floor, to reduce redundant design, waste and rework,” said Marty Doscher, Vice President, AEC Industry, Dassault Systèmes.

“Architects at KKAA can more efficiently work with fabricators and builders across the globe to create breathtaking architectural experiences.”

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: How the @kengokuma team efficiently works
w/fabricators & builders worldwide on breathtaking #architecture

V&A Museum of Design, Dundee. Photo Credit: Kengo Kuma & Associates.

Related Resources

Facade Design for Fabrication Industry Process Experience

WHITEPAPER: Technological Changes Brought by BIM to Facade Design

Kengo Kuma & Associates

Using Digital Engineering to Capture Knowledge and Drive Innovation

By Akio
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clicktotweetClick to Tweet: Using #DigitalEngineering to Capture Knowledge &
Drive Innovation #AEC @CadMakersCo @3DSAEC

For Javier Glatt, CEO of CadMakers Inc., one of the chief benefits of digital modeling is the ability to capture knowledge that can be shared with collaborators and applied to future projects—whether or not those collaborators use digital tools.

In fact, he advised his audience in a presentation at the 3DEXPERIENCE Forum to find a business model that removes the burden on industry veterans of learning the latest technology, while still incorporating their invaluable knowledge.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: Remove the burden on #AEC industry veterans to learn the latest tech, but retain their knowledge @CadMakersCo @3DSAEC

For example, when working with mechanical contractor Trotter & Morton on a wastewater treatment plant, the CadMakers team was tasked with optimizing the workflow using digital modeling and improved collaboration, even though many of the individuals on the project didn’t use computers.

Glatt’s team worked closely with the project contractor to essentially capture his 30 years of insight into the digital project.

Through their combined knowledge, they were able to ultimately determine areas that could be prefabricated offsite and reduce the onsite labor from 20 people to 5.

Glatt points out that despite the focus on 3D, it’s important to use tools that can still deliver information in traditional ways. Being able to deliver a cut sheet and an automated bill of materials to fabricators reduces the barrier of entry for those shops.

“If we can provide information that’s really easy to understand, just about anyone can cut that pipe,” Glatt says.

More Reliable Innovation

Glatt also explored how digital design can help contractors innovate more easily than ever before.

When working with property developer UBC Properties Trust, CadMakers helped explore the use of mass timber in an 18-story building.

Because codes only regulate the material in the first six floors, the project team turned to a digital environment to demonstrate to code officials that mass timber could safely be used in this application.

The first step was a digital mockup that tested 16 different connection points. While Glatt says it proved helpful to later build a live mockup, the digital mockup helped the builder to immediately select a preferred connection. Once the mockup was complete, the project overall was 60% faster than a traditional build of a concrete building of a same size, Glatt says.

From there, the digital model would ultimately include details as specific as every nut and bolt and screw. That level of detail was absolutely necessary in this unique project. For example, in the design phase the team was considering using highly specific mass timber screws coming from Germany, at $2 per screw, posed a risk from a cost perspective.

Every floor was detailed down to every stud in order to provide fabrication data directly from the model. And given the fire risk for a timber building, the encapsulation layer was thoroughly detailed to communicate compliance with all fire regulations.

The mechanical room was another area that proved ripe for prefabrication—it holds a lot of complexity in a small area, and relatively few trades are involved in its production. The team used DELMIA to break down the room’s master assembly into each subassembly by system and then to the part level to integrate a manufacturing-like bill of materials.

According to Glatt, this process reduced work from roughly 1,000 labor hours to approximately 320.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: How @CadMakersCo reduced work from 1,000 labor hours to 320 on an 18-story timber project @3DSAEC

The ultimate benefit was speed to market. The under construction project, originally planned to build in 20 months, is projected to be complete 4 months ahead of schedule.

The model was followed exactly by the contractors onsite. Because the project was built virtually numerous times before ever being constructed, each part and process was finely tuned.

Data-Driven Certainty

CadMakers also helped developer Westbank (ICON Construction is their in-house General Contractor) to use data-driven decision-making to create a complicated glass facade.

The project called for a dual radius curve of glass for the windows, with dual radius curve extrusions for the top and bottom sills, and pre-cast concrete to match. Each component was produced in a different country, so precision was key.

Using numerical analysis to precisely determine the geometry essentially changed the way the project was bid, Glatt says.

“You used to go out to the market with a façade, do a few drawings, throw it out to multiple fabricators and ask, ‘How much does this façade cost?’” Glatt says. With that strategy, there are typically surprises, and change orders are the norm.

Instead, the team used CATIA to write a script that created 2,020 unique total panels and slab edge panels automatically.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: With @3DSCATIA, the @CadMakersCo team scripted >2000 unique panels automatically @3DSAEC

The geometry was exported so that instead of offering rough drawings out to multiple fabricators to bids, the builder or architect is able to tell the market with precision what was needed, and get more precise costs in return.

By precisely detailing the amounts of parts needed and the geometry of those parts in the conceptual stage, the designer can determine feasibility early on and get more precise bids from fabricators.

Paying Knowledge Forward

Glatt emphasized that every project presents an opportunity to learn and build new value through digital engineering. “We learn at scale, build use cases and automation tools to solve those problems, and incrementally get better each time,” Glatt says.

By capturing, digitizing and scaling knowledge through rules and catalog components, lessons learned on each project can be shared among the entire team and applied to future projects.

“As a business owner, I don’t want to lose the value of learning when I have someone work on a really interesting project,” Glatt says. “If we can capture that [knowledge] in a rule, as a reusable tool, then it helps me. I can have 10 people who didn’t work on that project get all the benefit of that learning from one individual, and then we can apply that to the next incremental project.”

Related Resources

Watch Javier Glatt’s full presentation

Learn more about CadMakers

Design for Fabrication Industry Solution Experience

Optimized Construction Industry Solution Experience

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.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: No car manufacturer would build from
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.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: Architects have a responsibility
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.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: Architects must interact in new
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.

clicktotweetClick to Tweet: “It’s Time to Provide More Than
Design Intent for Architectural Projects”

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