5D animation for Sketchup

For the last couple of months, I have been building a Sketchup plugin, that in conjecture with a scheduling software (in this case connected to the schedule maker made in Flex – OnTime) that allows users to create 5D animation of the building process, according to the schedule and the financial data that was inputted in the program. (You can check out 2 videos below that are posted on YouTube)

Let’s just for a second talk about 4D animation in construction. 3D Building Information Model (referred to as BIM) is a rather new paradigm, that is seeing rapid growth in the construction industry. Building Information Modeling is the process of generating and managing building data during its life cycle and Building Information Model encompasses building geometry, spatial relationships, geographic information, and quantities and properties of building components. What that really means is that we are attaching a lot of data or information directly to the 3D model itself. For example, for a given wall in a project we would attach the following information: composition of the wall, how the wall will be built (recipes), all the quantities (area, depth…) as well as connection of the wall to the construction schedule, so we can see when the wall will be build (its start and finish date, duration and so on).

A 4D model incorporates time as added 4th dimension and hence improves quality and accuracy of the entire building life cycle management. Below are listed some of the benefits of using 4D model during construction planning: (as written in this article: Benefits of 4D modeling during construction planning)

  • improved reliability and scheduling efficiency: 4D model enables a project team to easily visualize time constraints and opportunities of improvement in the project schedule
  • 4D model allows the team member to more easily understand the scope of work and access to various resources over a period of time, this allows the member to visually review and evaluate whole construction plan and optimize the resources and labor accordingly
  • Improved communication: During construction phase potential spatial conflict may arise between building components, these can be hard to indentify when coordination is performed using 2D or 3D layouts

4D model provides graphically rich and animated illustration of construction sequence against time.

To get to 5D animation all we do is add money or cost as our 5th variable, so we can track how much money is being spent as the project progresses through its construction process.


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