Desktop Engineering Blog

Intelligent 3D Facade Templated Design

Posted by Geoff Haines on 29-Sep-2016 17:00:00

If you think back to your first days in a design office, in a new industry fresh from college,3D_Facade_.jpg you’ll remember that there was always a designer who’d been there many years. That was the person you sought for help, as they had all the experience of what works and what doesn’t.

It was Oscar Wilde who said “Experience is simply the name we give to our mistakes”, and so why shouldn’t you capture that experience to then avoid making the same mistakes.

Knowledge Based Engineering

There is a way this can be achieved which is by using a templated approach to design or to use another term “Knowledge Based Engineering“(KBE).  

Knowledge Based Engineering sounds like a complicated process but our simple application and approach allows an organisation to capture best practises and methodology which become an automatic benefit for all concerned.

It is a way to create fully detailed designs and manufacturing information automatically. Further, designers can then “optimise” or put another way “optioneer” many different ideas or solutions quickly to enhance the design process.


Intelligent Rainscreen Panel for façade designers and fabricators

At Desktop Engineering we have taken this idea and developed what we term an Intelligent Rainscreen Panel for façade designers and fabricators. Using Dassault’s 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, we have captured the rules and formulae that drive the shape, strength, weight and cost of a panel. Factors such as blank sheet utilisation is accounted for; different materials and thicknesses, together with knowledge on manufacturing costs (laser cutting, folding) are all accounted for in the rules. Further, the secondary structure or rails, that hold the panels have also been created as intelligent parts with similar information.

Combing these intelligent templates together, with an automated process for replicating them on a 3D building model, in minutes’ users are able to create a full design, together with manufacturing drawings, material schedules and costs. Alternate designs can be recreated by simply varying one or several parameters and then seeing the resultant recalculated cost and design.BIM Whitepaper.png

Of course there is no one single set of “knowledge” or “experience” as then there would be no differentiation between competing façade fabricators. However, with the basis of one set of Knowledge within our Intelligent Rainscreen Panel, we are able to customise this to suit particular fabricators.

For more information, call 01993 883555 or email 

Learn more in the Dassault Systemes whitepaper:   

END-TO-END COLLABORATION ENABLED BY BIM LEVEL 3: An Industry Approach Based on Best Practices from Manufacturing 

Topics: Architecture, Engineering & Construction, Building Information Modelling (BIM)