For designers and contractors, working on the same documentation process, having expensive or specialized software for communication is part of the process.
But in the FM/AM world, a lot of people who will be using the information will not want to download specialist viewers to review information. So PDF format is a common viewing format. 3D PDF’s can be viewed on most computers with the Adobe PDF viewers.
This is a small file, follow the instructions on the screenshot below:
These can be scaled up to larger buildings, they just take a little longer to load.
All the information that is requested, if it is the Revit parameters, then that data can be transferred to the 3D PDF.
The nice thing with the PDF is that you have a source of truth at a certain instance in time, you can go back and extract the same data from that PDF.
you also can update the Revit BIM model and create an updated 3D PDF and disseminate the data quickly with a new issue.
It is also easy to send to outside consultants/Contractors & other people wanting to understand aspects of the building and it is both visually rich and data rich.
Sometimes the data needs to be used external of this PDF. So I have developed an Excel Macro that first opens the CSV export from the model, then filters and manipulates the data in an organize manner.
For the changing rooms above, there are 751 lines of information, and for the Opera house there are 19,124 lines.
This amount of data can be hard to search through, as it has extracted all the data from the 3D PDF, so there are filters to send the data to specific sheets, for say Room data (Floor/Ceiling/Wall type and areas), Door data, window data and even equipment & seating data.
Here is a link to a YouTube Video showing 3D PDF versatility & excel macro in operation:
So as a process:
It is easy to create (a Revit Add-In)
It is easy to extract data from (Export to CSV from 3DPDF)
It is easy to update the 3dPDF, if you update the model.*1
It is easy to send to others in or outside your organization for using
No special viewer setup required, as PDF viewers are usually on most computers
Data can be extracted and manipulated via a developed Excel Macro *2
As it is a PDF the integrity of the data is pretty robust so can be referred back to as a single source of truth, in the event of dispute over data or quantities from the export.
If you require more information please do not hesitate in contacting me.
*1. If you want specific information in the 3DPDF you have to first create it in the Revit Model, if it is not there, then you have to create that information, prior to export to 3DPDF
*2. This Excel macro has been developed specifically for the specific Revit Add in (Simlab 3DPDF Revit add in. I had initially used SofiStik 3D PDF Revit Add-in but it did not do the bigger models as well and the Macro’s were developed for that product initially)