Streamlining the Bottleneck: From Concept to Schematic Design

Streamlining the Bottleneck: From Concept to Schematic Design

In any architectural design project, the transition from conceptual design to schematic design typically marks the evolution from broad ideas and massing studies to more detailed and refined planning. While this transition may seem straightforward, architects often find themselves facing a bottleneck that complicates the seamless flow of the creative process- particularly due to siloed tools and workflows.

During initial feasibility studies, conceptual surface modeling tools provide fertile ground for shaping spaces and manipulating forms. They allow for quick iterations and facilitate building the essence of the design. However, these models lack the inherent data understood by BIM software like Revit and ArchiCAD. As a result, eventually transitioning to such BIM tools for further detailing leads architects to face a series of technical limitations and rework.

Current siloed workflows

Surface modeling tools do not speak the same language as BIM—the digital language that seamlessly connects design to construction. 3D models created on such software typically consist of vertices, edges, and faces. In contrast, BIM tools understand models as building components with properties, costs, and connections to other elements.

This mismatch creates a challenging transition, forcing architects to meticulously rebuild their designs in BIM software, which impacts project timelines and budgets. Instead of spending hours reconstructing models, they could be refining the design. Moreover, the creative spark ignited in the early design stages of conceptual tools could get dampened by the technical intricacies of BIM software.

To escape this rework trap, many firms choose an unorthodox path: starting their designs directly in BIM tools, even for the early, fluid stages of concept design. It’s not ideal, as the rigidity of these softwares can stifle initial creativity, forcing architects to think in terms of structure and building systems before their vision has fully formed. But compared to the journey of rework, it’s a safer bet.

How does Snaptrude solve the problem?

Snaptrude offers a solution to this problem. While being a conceptual design tool, it understands the language of BIM and construction. It allows architects to iterate at the concept design stage with intuitive freedom, and then effortlessly transition to BIM software like Revit with precision, all without starting over.

Snaptrude allows users to create conceptual design models efficiently, compressing what would traditionally take hours into a matter of minutes. These models, when exported from Snaptrude to Revit, preserve the project’s geometric data and object properties.

But what if you’re already neck-deep in a Revit project? Snaptrude allows you to import your existing Revit models at any stage for further editing while retaining all 3D elements, object families and project data. This allows for a seamless back-and-forth exchange between the tools, eliminating the need for time-consuming reconstruction when iterating during the early design stages.

What should I use Snaptrude for?

Before you get into schematic and detailed design, Snaptrude presents the fastest way to build and iterate on a conceptual design model. With its browser-based, collaborative BIM capabilities, smart design tools, and automations that help you conceptualize and share your designs with ease, it speeds up the process while encouraging informed decision-making.

1. Feasibility Studies: Architects often struggle with acquiring site data, visualizing spatial possibilities, and ensuring regulatory compliance early on. Snaptrude alleviates these burdens by offering immediate access to real-world topography, 3D building context, and sun path studies. It empowers intuitive 3D sculpting of spaces, replacing intricate wall drawing with flexible volume manipulation. Moreover, live area metrics update dynamically, allowing for real-time feedback on Floor Area Ratio and project efficiency.

2. Conceptualization and Pre-design: Snaptrude streamlines the transition from early feasibility and massing studies to BIM, empowering architects to design faster and smarter. Its “Create Building” tool swiftly converts massing models into LOD 350 BIM models with walls, slabs, and flooring. These elements can then be edited parametrically, with instant updates to project areas and cost calculations.

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3. Planning and Review: Snaptrude tackles the frustrating communication breakdowns that often hinder architectural projects. Being browser-based, its live, collaborative environment keeps everyone on the same page with shared 3D models and instant feedback- fostering transparency within the team. It allows users to leave comments in the model, tag teammates, and even request sign-offs from stakeholders. The built-in 3D Render engine allows teams to share realistic 3D models with clients, while change logs aid efficient decision-making by tracking every design iteration.

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By streamlining these foundational processes, Snaptrude saves time and effort for architects and allows them to design better buildings, together.

How Snaptrude interoperates with Revit

The Snaptrude-Revit bi-directional link allows users to easily import and export models between Snaptrude and Revit, a game changer for transitioning from concept to schematic design. Seamless import and export of building information and parametric data eliminates rework and ensures design intent is maintained throughout.

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Specifically, when it comes to importing BIM objects like walls, slabs, and floors, the Snaptrude-Revit connection ensures a high-fidelity data transfer while preserving all parametric properties. All BIM objects like doors and windows in Snaptrude’s default library get directly exported to Revit with their editable properties intact.

Custom geometry created on Snaptrude, like pitch roofs and ramps, gets exported to Revit, ensuring that the geometry is preserved. Teams can also upload material data to the library, ensuring that the objects are rendered correctly on Snaptrude and also when reconciled back to Revit.

The transition to schematic design

The Snaptrude Manager plugin is a dedicated bridge between Snaptrude and Revit, built directly into Revit itself. It lets you reconcile model changes in Revit after exporting the model as a .trude file from Snaptrude.

The plugin is easily accessible within Revit’s interface and imports the Snaptrude file with one click. This action transfers the geometry and most of the data as parametric BIM objects, or DirectShape class objects, allowing you to proceed with your design process.

This unified interface of the Snaptrude Manager makes the bi-directional workflow seamless. Moreover, only the elements that are modified in Snaptrude are updated and Revit and their Element IDs remain consistent.

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Whether you’re starting a fresh project, or already have an ongoing conceptual design in Revit, you can benefit from Snaptrude’s intuitive, efficient, and collaborative workflows. From making quick design iterations to client presentations and sign-offs, it speeds up the seamless transition to Revit for schematic and detailed design, along with instant project feedback and ease of use.

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