Every new technology goes through a honeymoon phase, where new technology X can now do Y and obsoletes all previous technology that used to do Y. Additive manufacturing (a.k.a., 3D printing) was no different, with predictions that soon practically everything from shoes to houses would be printed rather than made using traditional manufacturing techniques.
Modern port design is a complex, multi-disciplinary exercise that deals with all aspects of a project, from the geological assessment to wharf construction. A general contractor has to facilitate the work of a wide number of engineering and construction teams. A wide range of disciplines must be covered: geology, geotechnical analysis, hydraulic design along with construction design.
It may be surprising to some that given the different target markets, there is an overlap between 3D visualization for engineering and interactive gaming. But whether it is to visualize a new actuator for a next-generation passenger jet, or build a post-apocalyptic cityscape populated with zombies, the goal is the same — enable human interaction.
Building information modeling refers to a digital knowledge base describing physical and functional aspects of buildings. Often referred to simply as BIM, not to be confused with bam, pow, zowie from the 60’s Batman TV series, this knowledge base serves to manage a building throughout its lifecycle, from initial design right through to renovation or demolition, enabling huge savings in construction costs to be achieved.
Much has been written about the promise of additive manufacturing, and how soon everything will be 3D printed on demand, ushering in a bright shiny future. 3D printing now exists for such diverse items as shoes, cars and even houses. While traditional subtractive manufacturing doesn’t have the sex appeal of 3D printing, it is still the backbone of manufacturing, delivering lower costs and higher precision.