Industrial Strength 3-D

by Gareth Williams, Sr. Structural Engr.; Bechtel Corp., P.O. Box 538, Kingsport, TN 37662,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1990, Vol. 60, Issue 2, Pg. 40-42

Document Type: Feature article


Williams assesses the benefits of using three-dimensional computer modeling in the design of industrial structures, comparing the reality in which the computer is a useful tool for engineers to its image as a panacea. He reviews the equipment and personnel elements needed for an effective system. These include a computer, terminals/design station, a trained staff of CADD designers and supervisors, a support team of hardware and software specialists, and a plan for controlling access to files. Describing the impacts computers on the design process from initial planning to finished drawings, he provides recommendations designed to avoid common problems associated with use of computers. These suggestions include backing up files frequently, not being dependent on one computer or file, being sure to update the model as drawings change, and checking all modeling input.

Subject Headings: Computer models | Computer aided design | Three-dimensional models | Industries | Decision support systems | Structural models | Structural design | Industrial facilities

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