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Thread: Has anyone dealt with or used "Digital Project"

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    Default Has anyone dealt with or used "Digital Project"

    We're a Construction Contractor and have been Using AutoCAD and Navis to Detail/Design and Coordinate our jobs the last few years and it's worked great for us. But it looks like were going to get a job that is using "Digital Project" by Gehry Technologies. Has anyone around here dealt with this program? I'm trying to gauge any possible rocks in the road but haven't heard of this one until today.

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    I could stop if I wanted to Duncan Lithgow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has anyone dealt with or used "Digital Project"

    I'm not really clear what Gehry Technologies plan are for Digital Project, see this announcement from earlier in the year: http://www.gehrytechnologies.com/services/autodesk-csi

    We've had one project with Digital Project and the guy who worked on that tells me that Revit is much more approachable and easier to understand. But bear in mind that DP is built on top of Catia which was never designed for buildings.

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    Default Re: Has anyone dealt with or used "Digital Project"

    We are Digital Project and Revit reseller in Turkey. It is different kind of parametrics in DP. Actually it is totally parametric so you need to choose the right objects for definition of others. In general DP is more flexible than Revit I think.

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    Default Re: Has anyone dealt with or used "Digital Project"

    Do you know of any reviews of the product? I understand that Digital Project will now be sold by Dassault Systems directly so I hope there will be a bit more focus on it in the future. I think DP is an interesting project because of its roots in Catia V5 and would love to understand it better.

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    Default Re: Has anyone dealt with or used "Digital Project"

    Autodesk Inventor which was developed from a Dassault System kernel around 1998, and as such it has the part-assemby structure of a solid modeler software as do Catia, Solidworks and TopSoild. Digital Project uses a portion of the Catia Software as an industry partner creating a customized set of solutions. If you are designing and manufacturing components than Inventor is a great solution. If you are assembling components into a building then use Revit. If you are doing both, then build the Inventor files for the component products and then shrinkwrap them into Revit as families.

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    Default Re: Has anyone dealt with or used "Digital Project"

    One benefit of Digital project is that (if modeled properly) it can give extremely accurate steel dimensions. Additionally the parent software package of Catia, as well as Inventor, TopSolid ,and Solidworks have this potential accuracy as they are all both parametric and associative softwares. Revit & Tekla have some level of parameters but neither softwares kernel have parametric and associative functioning geometry (although both approximate within reason).
    People tend to run into trouble with DP when they created power copies and macros. One of the issues is that the individual instances of components need to be able to adapt to their parametric and associative constraints. If a macro over constrains elements the model begins to break down. For example, a shape is used to control columns or seating on a large scale, such as an amphitheater, but the actual columns and seats must deal with orthogonal spacing and detailing which in each case does not follow a predefined curved shape. It is incredible easy for an installer to assimilate and approximate a visibly consistent curve but the software needs a secondary instance parameter of rotation to allow this to occur, which is typically left out by the modeling team.

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    Default Re: Has anyone dealt with or used "Digital Project"

    I have been using DP for quite some time now and have figured out that not many software can handle as much parametric modeling and complex geometry with ease as DP does. Rhino+GH can come close to modeling a few things but is not as profound as DP. All other programs start falling apart when we want to create something outside the box.

    DP has one of the best IFC translator amongst all the programs and can generate native DP model if the source IFC is correctly written. I have had instances where Revit could not read its own exported IFC, whereas DP could. From DP, one can export DWG, IGS and few other commonly used formats for collaboration with other programs. This is very useful if non-parametric geometry needs to be exported.

    I have customized and written scripts using its exhaustive API for interoperability with structural analysis applications. I have written script for batch reading in 3D-DWG files exported from ACAD-MEP. There is also the non-API coding methodology, which works as "rule firing" scripts that could be embedded into many of the custom created elements (aka User Defined Features, and Powrer Copies).

    Tracking changes between two version is easy and differences as small as 0.1mm could be identified. It also has a clash detection tool, which is very exhaustive and generates HTML report for Internet collaboration. It has a built in construction administration workbench, which I am yet to explore.

    I have started to play with the drawing production workbench and it is works with dress up rules written as XML files.

    The other best feature of DP is link with excel and ease of manipulating the data. No other 3D parametric modeling program comes as close as DP does. With Autocad we have to buy so many third party plugins that work for only one version. Even to this day Revit has no direct connection with excel, again need to use third party programs.

    For "advanced" parametric modelig in DP, planning ahead is required, and good knowledge of basic geometry fundamental rules is prerequisite. For eg., plane requires min three points, or two lines. If one does not know these, then it is hard to grasp and make DP work for those extreme geometries. Good practice is always begin with the end in mind.

    All other programs are like Lego kits and you can only build using the native defined pre-existing elements. DP also has a architectural/ structural "workbench" with building components, but it would be an overkill to use DP just for that.

    In terms of handling complex multidisciplinary models, there is no parallel to DP, since it has what is called as Visualization mode for only navigating the model. In the Design mode, the components and elements are defined.

    It is based on products, assemblies and parts...analogous to an automobile. With this in mind, the user can selectively load or unload portions of model. I have managed opening, navigating, visualizing, rendering etc...close to 4000 part files in one go...in "design" mode. A similar exercise of XREFing in AutoCAD failed at about 60 files. With Revit, after integrating a few models, I could barely rotate the model.

    The Designer workbench of DP also comes with a basic rendering engine and does a great job. No need of another software and the hassle of conversion and or loss of geometry for rendering.

    Overall I say that DP is like a Rolls Royce, which has an umbrella holder as one among many std features. Whether the user keeps one or not, uses it or not - is up to the user. I have a regular car and sometimes when it rains, there is usually no umbrella anywhere in the car and I am forced to get wet.

    The only drawback is it is crazy expensive. Hope DS will bring the cost down, else the premium is too high for routine modeling. For DP to gain more market hold, DS need to look at the construction market and not the aircraft market, and drive the Rolls Royce on unpaved dessert terrain.
    Last edited by ubviswa; 2012-10-16 at 07:01 AM.

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    I could stop if I wanted to Duncan Lithgow's Avatar
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    Default Re: Has anyone dealt with or used "Digital Project"

    Thank you so much for your post. So Revit is a lego kit while DP is more like CATIA? I guess that makes sense.

    What type of projects have you been working on? I mean, it sounds like DP is overkill for most off the shelf projects but great for really off the wall projects.
    Duncan Lithgow
    Revit implementation in large hospital projects
    From New Zealand, in Denmark

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