Grow and evolve
Think of a DT as a work in progress for which possibilities can grow in line with clients’ needs. As technology and techniques improve, more complete and connected twins will emerge. And by more complete, we do not imply more
complicated nor necessarily photorealistic, although the promise of building the Metaverse which blends the virtual with the real is certainly very compelling23.
Most companies already have the tools at their disposal to build their own digital twins using existing software, it is simply just a matter of taking ownership and investigating the time needed to integrate them.
Most popular packages include Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that define interactions between multiple software or mixed software-hardware platforms.
We consider APIs24 as crucial to helping the industry truly collaborate and seamlessly access data in the digital realm, instead of managing data through closed ‘containers’ and proprietary systems.
3D Repo’s open APIs give users access to a wealth of data stored on its servers which led to a growing list of integrations25 with the likes of Opentext, Asite, Procore, Luminova, Dynamo, and most recently Power BI.
The Power BI26 integration exploits 3D Repo’s free-to-download embeddable viewer, where users can pull models from software like Autodesk Revit, Navis, Civils 3D, or Bentley Microstation into interactive dashboards on the web.
From such dashboards, meta-data such as issues, risks, and groups can be cross-referenced with external data sources like production status, IoT sensory readings, real-time site deliveries, weather forecast, CCTV cameras, etc. This form of data aggregation is a digital twin in all but name, bringing together disparate data sets in a way that is not possible elsewhere.
Fortunately, not everyone needs to be a computer wizard to be able to benefit from this technology. 3D Repo also fully supports and integrates with No Code platforms such as Microsoft Power Apps and Power Automate so that anyone can within minutes create and data integration their specific project requires.
Most present-day innovations are built on the successes of the past and while digital twins might seem like a separate beast altogether, they are in fact a logical extension to BIM and the data produced within.