AEC city image

Early examples from the Innovate UK funded ‘AEC Delta Mobility’ project show great progress towards creating a new standard that will allow designers, integrators, and fabricators to live-stream design changes to 3D models instead of sharing large files over-and-over again.

Taking the challenge head-on is Buro Happold, 3D Repo, Speckle Systems, UCL Bartlett School of Construction & Project Management and Rhomberg Sersa Rail Group, with external support from HOK, and Atkins.

Via a £1m grant from Innovate UK, the project aims firstly to help engage manufacturers in the early design stages and result in the increased pre-manufactured value of build assets across the construction sector, and secondly, to increase the productivity of construction projects by over 15%.

Currently, the sharing of information e.g. .rvt or .qgs files comes in the form of sharing entire 3D models with large payloads that can make coordination very challenging. Tracking changes can also be problematic and inefficient for design communication.

aec delta sharing

The current way of sharing information.

Proposed new Delta sharing

How Deltas will be shared.

The AEC Delta Mobility project breaks open these files to be transactional on the individual parts of the file vs. the entire file itself. So, where a small design change (a delta) is made to a single object in a 3D model, it is only the small design change that will be transmitted in a much more efficient manner.

Rail model - delta sharing

Here is an example using a rail tunnel federated in 3D Repo which experiences bending as well as elevation changes throughout its length. The desired task is to detect and visualise model changes in a 3D environment. Here, the model comparison is based solely on geometry, regardless of object ID’s and file or data format and can be compared easily. As seen below, green indicates volumetric additions to the 3D model, and red for volumetric deletions. These model revisions, or design changes are currently communicated by transmitting and comparing the entire revision. This is where the AEC Delta Mobility project steps in, transmitting only the small design change to speed up the process.

Rail example two - deltas shared

Since beginning in February 2019, the partners have made great headway into the project with some initial testing being done. The image below shows the implementation of The Buildings and Habitats object Model (BHoM) running inside Grasshopper linking across via live adapters to Speckle Systems and 3D Repo. The live adapters allow BIM objects to pass through to the reference platforms shown on the right-hand side. Changing the number of floors of a building in Grasshopper is then live-streamed to Speckle Systems and 3D Repo to reflect the changes.

Example of the process in GIF

The current testing phase of the project is due to finish in July 2020. For more information, please visit, or the GitHub page which can be found here

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