BIM is increasingly becoming a focal point in the future of the construction industry and one of the main topics of interest for me is automation. Scripts are nothing new in the world of computing, used in a vast range of industries to complete tasks more efficiently and with greater ease.
In my current line of work I have been looking at a tool called Dynamo by AutoDesk, Dynamo is a node-based script creation tool, based on the language Python, it allows a bridge between creating useful scripts to speed up your workflow without having as in-depth knowledge required as you would to create a standalone Python script. Dynamo offers quite a few useful tools that integrate into AutoDesk’s Revit, and there are thousands of external packages created that are simply a must-have when delving into making use of Dynamo.
Dynamo is just scratching the surface of what can be achieved with automation in BIM, with the future looking towards the use of Artificial Intelligence to generate practical designs for buildings. This idea is being put forward by Stanislas Chaillou, who’s concept revolves around the use for GAN’s (Generative Adversarial Nets). More of Stanislas’ work and articles can be found on his website: http://stanislaschaillou.com/
What are the potential risks?
However the question must be asked, what is the implications of getting closer to complete automation? The easier it becomes to perform previously difficult tasks the less need there is for human input within the process. This could mean a vast number of people being put out of work by a computer programme that doesn’t care for a salary or a pension scheme.. yet! Personally I believe that although it will inevitably be the case that AI will make certain jobs redundant, we will find a way of working alongside AI instead of using it too completely replace the need for human input. There are already companies doing exactly this, such as the case of a Hong Kong venture capital fund that was on the brink of bankruptcy, when it was saved by the precise decision making of just one of their executives.. an algorithm by the name of ‘Vital’! Watch out, Directors!
My Current Goals
Currently, within Dynamo I am looking at developing a library of useful scripts for us within my company, in speeding up tedious processes and reducing error across our projects, I’ve been doing research into some of the user-created packages to try to create a bridge between DWG AutoCad drawings and the more modern 3D Design that Revit provides, and the possibility of generating 3D models in a location directly from the DWG. I am finding that Dynamo can be a bit limited at times but for what it set out to achieve it’s a very handy tool that I would highly recommend learning, you can push the limit of Dynamo with the use of custom Python Nodes but the next step up would be to hook directly into the Revit API using the SDK and start developing custom add-ins.
What’s next for Construction?
With the future leaning towards a very technologically driven basis and AI being a forerunner for catapulting us into better times, things are looking bright for construction, a sector that has a lot of room for improvement to be made, it’s time for a change and the tools are out there waiting to be utilised within BIM.