One BIM conference per year is my normal limit, so I have to choose carefully.  This year I will be heading for RTC Europe in Porto and was delighted to learn it will include a Building Content Summit (BCS)  I participated in the inaugural event in Washington last year, which was great.  I think the role of manufacturers and suppliers is perhaps the most important “missing piece” in the BIM jigsaw puzzle at present.  BCS is a great place to get together and do some serious work on that particular problem.

When it comes to Revit content, toilets suck (as I’ve been saying for the longest time).  It’s not just that many of the major manufacturers don’t do BIM.   There are a number of fundamental issues that remain unresolved.  What do we really want?  Do we need them to render?  How faithful should the geometry be?  What is the point of 3d geometry if it’s full of unsightly seams and sharp edges?  Are 3D CAD imports acceptable?  and so on …  So I was quite excited when Roca, (a major European brand) released a bunch of stuff via Bim Object some time ago.

I downloaded a couple of dozen families and took a quick look.  Mixed reaction.  Perhaps the best sanitary ware I’ve seen from a manufacturer to date, but far from perfect.  This weekend I decided to take another look and share my thoughts with a wider audience.

Firstly let me say that BIM Object have had a really positive impact on the world of content.  They have succeeded in bringing a lot of major brands on board the BIM bus and significantly raised standards and expectations.  So whatever I say below should not be taken as criticism.  It’s feedback: my contribution towards moving things forward.

Secondly, I am commenting on Revit families because that’s the stuff I know about, but I am a firm supporter of “open BIM”, which is especially important when we are talking about Manufacturer content.

Most of these families are just boxes at coarse scale.  Now some people will agree with that, but I’m not so sure.  Keep it simple by all means, but boxes are so anonymous…

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