I can not agree more with the value of the 3D model and how that allows me to communicate projects with customers, and the fact that they don’t understand CD’s. However, I then have the inverse problem that other trade professionals don’t understand 3D models (Let alone the ability to share the large files, or their ability to open them even if I got them the file) A model of a residential space does not tell my electrician where the outlets are going to be, the amp requirements for a stove, how many recessed lights, where the breaker box is located, that an extra line is required for floor heat. This example only relates to one trade. Often I have 8- 15 trades, all requiring different information that the model will not communicate.
My position requires two very different types of communication. On one side I need to present a picture to my client, that being the 3D model. They do not care about the size of the waste line for the toilet. However, where my plumber is concerned they care a lot about the required size of a waste line for a toilet, as well as the supply line and the vent stack.
As I have two requirements for communication one visual for the client and two specific for the trades, we have a system of two programs to help us with these different lines of communication; Sketchup and Layout. It seems like different users have different needs for the software we use, and as a good developer, it seems ideal to me that they offer the ability to the user to use the software as they find fit.