In the Netherlands, the BIM working method has been used for years in the AEC industry. Fortunately, more and more small and medium-sized companies are also applying the BIM work methodology in the AEC industry.
I believe that the combination of a 3D BIM model and process automation makes a process
accessible and efficient. By using 1 central information source the process. This allows the information to be communicated unambiguously, coordinated and reused.
During various studies I was trained with other CAD software, which was said to be the best fit for the BIM work method. But I saw that many companies had difficulty using this CAD software efficiently. I always thought SketchUp was very user-friendly and when I saw that SketchUp Pro had an IFC import and export functionality, I was convinced that I could apply SketchUp Pro with the BIM working method.
In 2016 I chose to use SketchUp Pro with the OpenBIM work methodology where the information is shared in an IFC file format. I have developed a SketchUp Pro BIM workflow that I constantly improve and optimize.
SketchUp Pro can be used from the design up to and including the user phase in the BIM workflow. In the Netherlands many companies use the BIM Basic IDM. It is an initiative to use a basic information delivery specification.
Unfortunately the IFC export functionality does not meet with the IFC scheme in accordance with buildingSMART. To comply with the BIM Basic IDM and to generate an IFC export that complies with the buildingSMART directive, an IFC Manager extension has been developed.
The extension can be downloaded on github:
Despite a good IFC extension has been developed, it is very important that SketchUp improves the native IFC import and export in upcoming versions.
In addition, I would like to see:
- That the generate report functionality is developed further so that more information can be extracted in quantity statements.
- Dynamic components are being developed further so that more dynamic BIM content can be developed for companies that also look realistic. Now we are faced with various problems such as textures that stretch rather than reproduce.
- The possibility to define custom property sets for IFC export in (dynamic) components.
There are still more wishes, but that is not the topic.
In short: SketchUp Pro is very good to apply with the BIM working method! Not only thanks to the powerful 3D functionalities, import and export functions, but also the possibilities that Ruby scripting offers to let SketchUp talk with other systems.