When working with clients, architects are bound to change, update and reiterate projects. Revisions are deeply ingrained into the design process, and as projects become more complex and updates become more frequent, keeping the most up-to-date versions of your designs can be a challenge.
As a part of Building Information Modeling (BIM), computational design is a burgeoning trend, based upon the idea that any design problem can be described as an abstract model with clear and logical guidelines, which can then be solved through computation. This design process is especially gaining popularity among architects and engineers who want to explore a multitude of designs and iterations to quickly discover the best solutions for their needs.
In the past, creating and updating responsive, dynamic models proved much more time-consuming and difficult than it should be. Luckily though, an industry-proven visual programming environment powered by Dynamo helps combat this problem.
The Dynamo engine can be accessed in two ways: for free as a plug-in in Autodesk® Revit®, and as a desktop subscription for the standalone environment of Dynamo Studio. Dynamo Studio differs from the few computational design tools on the market in its unique structuring: relying on an open-source core, it is a standalone computation platform that allows users to visualize geometry in a separate environment and work untethered from Revit. Powered by one of the world’s strongest geometry engines. It not only allows for extensive integration into a variety of host applications, but it also can have useful applications for BIM workflows and processes.
With Dynamo, changes and updates to projects become exponentially easier and more time-efficient: you can rapidly take an idea and create multiple iterations or design alternatives, rather than expending unnecessary time and effort manually making and saving the changes.
One real-life example of this type of productivity booster is Sean Burke, digital practice BIM leader and senior associate at NBBJ. Using Dynamo to extract intelligence from a client’s legacy DWG files and bring them into Revit as native linework, NBBJ was able to process non-intelligent 2D files, extract data, and report against their client’s database export form.
Working with 75 buildings for the project, using Dynamo saved NBBJ about 1,650 hours of work, and, according to Burke, was the “single most impactful workflow on the project.”
Aside from the obvious time-saving capabilities, one of the best features of Dynamo is its high degree of interoperability—while you may have to use different applications for design, visualization, simulation, and fabrication, Dynamo’s ability to support multiple file formats and design tools can bring all these tasks together. Instead of recreating your designs to accommodate the application you’re working with, make your life easier by using only your original design through Dynamo.
Not only does this support of different file formats benefit you, but coworkers, engineers, and members of your design team who need access to your design data in the applications that they typically use.
For example, Dynamo can export Autodesk Revit design information and make it available for an extended team member, who typically uses MS Excel to review, quantify and analyze data. If any of the design information is revised natively in MS Excel, it can then be reloaded into Dynamo, which will automatically update the Revit model to reflect the approved changes. This type of straightforward access to design information contributes to a more collaborative and more comprehensive design process.
With all of these benefits in mind, it becomes clear that Dynamo is the next step toward propelling innovation in the architectural design process. By allowing designers to explore parametric conceptual designs and efficiently automate tasks, Dynamo can undoubtedly help you to work smarter. And with smarter work comes the freedom and flexibility that every designer wishes for: an efficient way to get things done.
This article was sponsored by Autodesk.