Atoms N Bits Studio Pte Ltd.

A Guide to Types of Drafting Services: The Role of CAD, 3D, 2D and BIM in Singapore’s Development

  • 17 Oct 2023
  • Office Renovation
  • CAD Drafting

Image from Freepik

Walk into any souvenir store in Singapore and see the shelves stocked with keychains and magnets of our iconic skyline. Our bustling metropolis is known for its remarkable architectural marvels, with more still in construction. One fundamental factor propelling this progress— is the precision and accuracy of drafting services. For small-scale renovations or whole-building construction, CAD drafting services have become indispensable. This article will explore the types of drafting services available and their common applications. 

Importance of Accurate Drafting in Architectural Projects

Accurate drafting, often referred to as the initial blueprint of a project, serves as a fundamental and critical element in ensuring the quality and precision of the final product. The importance of accurate drafting cannot be overstated, from building compliance to ease of communication with stakeholders, it underpins the entire project lifecycle.

Ensuring Clarity and Detail

Accurate drafting provides a clear, detailed representation of the proposed design, incorporating intricate measurements, proportions, and specifications. This clarity aids in conceptualisation and visualisation, allowing architects and engineers to refine and perfect the design before moving forward.

Enhancing Functional Efficiency

Accurate drafting allows architects and engineers to optimise spatial layout and functionality. They can identify the most efficient use of space through precise drawings, ensuring that every square meter is utilised effectively and aligns with the structure’s intended purpose.

Types of Drafting Services in Singapore

Depending on the budget, manpower, and complexity of the project, there are different levels of sophistication in drafting tools available. An experienced design firm will use a mixture of 2D Drafting, 3D CAD Drafting and BIM according to the phase and requirements of the project.

Traditional 2D Drafting Services

What is 2D Drafting?

Traditional 2D drafting involves creating two-dimensional representations of structures and designs, typically on paper or digital platforms. It focuses on accurately showcasing length, width, and height but lacks depth perception.

Advantages of 2D Drafting Services

One of the primary advantages of 2D drafting services is their cost-effectiveness. Creating 2D drawings is generally more affordable compared to developing complex 3D models. This makes it a practical choice for smaller projects with limited budgets.

2D drafting is simpler and quicker to produce, especially for straightforward projects or when dealing with less complex structures. Drafters can create accurate and detailed drawings efficiently, which is beneficial for projects with tight timelines.

Limitations of 2D Drafting

One of the most significant limitations of 2D drafting is the lack of depth perception. 2D drawings can only represent length and width, making it challenging to visualise the third dimension (depth) accurately. 

Also, 2D drawings may not effectively convey the realistic appearance and spatial relationships of the final structure. Stakeholders, including clients and builders, might struggle to fully understand the design from 2D drawings alone, leading to misinterpretations and misconceptions.

3D CAD Drafting Services

For more complex projects and more realistic visualisation, 3D CAD Drafting may be a more suitable option.

What is 3D CAD Drafting?

3D CAD drafting involves creating three-dimensional digital models of structures and designs. It provides a more realistic and detailed representation, allowing a deeper understanding of the design.

Advantages of 3D CAD Drafting 

3D CAD enables the creation of highly detailed and realistic models. Architects and clients can visualize structures from various angles and perspectives, providing a clear and immersive understanding of the design. This realistic visualization aids in better decision-making and design refinement.

3D CAD can integrate with various software and systems, enabling seamless collaboration across different disciplines. It can connect with structural analysis software, energy analysis tools, and more, providing a comprehensive understanding of the project’s implications.

Limitations of 3D CAD Drafting

As the complexity of the 3D model increases, the processing time for rendering and generating visualisations also escalates. Extremely intricate designs may require extensive computing power and result in slower performance. The high cost of licensing and software also makes it a more costly option.

Building Information Modeling (BIM)

3D drafting is more commonly used in the early design phase for accurate visual representations On the other hand, BIM is a holistic, data-centric approach that covers the entire lifecycle of a construction project. It emphasises collaboration, data integration, and rich information.

What is BIM?

Building Information Modeling (BIM) is a digital representation of the physical and functional characteristics of a building or infrastructure. It is a collaborative process that enables stakeholders to visualise, design, and manage the entire project lifecycle. 

How is BIM used throughout the construction process?

BIM drafting is an integral part of the broader BIM process, which is used in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry. Here’s a more detailed explanation of what BIM drafting services entail:

1. Conceptualisation and Design

BIM starts in the early conceptualisation phase where architects and designers create 3D models to visualise the project. These models help in exploring design alternatives, understanding spatial relationships, and simulating how the building will interact with its environment.

2. Collaborative Design and Coordination

BIM facilitates collaboration among multidisciplinary teams. Architects, engineers, contractors, and stakeholders can work on a shared platform, contributing their expertise to the model. This collaboration minimises conflicts and ensures design coordination.

3. Detailed Design and Documentation

As the project progresses, BIM models are enriched with more data. This includes specifications, quantities, material properties, costs, and other relevant details. The model becomes a comprehensive information hub, aiding in detailed design development and generating accurate construction documentation.

4. Cost Estimation and Analysis

BIM incorporates cost-related information, enabling precise cost estimations and budget analysis. Project stakeholders can track costs, identify potential cost overruns, and optimise the budget by making informed decisions based on the data within the BIM model.

5. Construction and Project Management

During the construction phase, BIM supports project management and coordination. It aids in scheduling, sequencing, and resource allocation. Contractors can visualise the construction process, optimise logistics, and identify potential clashes or issues that could arise on-site.

6. Facility Operations and Maintenance

Post-construction, BIM continues to be valuable for facility management. The model contains a wealth of information, including maintenance schedules, equipment details, and as-built documentation. This aids in efficient facility operations, maintenance planning, and renovations.

7. Energy Analysis and Sustainability

BIM can be used to perform energy simulations and sustainability assessments. It helps in designing energy-efficient buildings by analyzing factors such as energy consumption, thermal performance, and sustainability criteria.

8. Client Presentations and Marketing

BIM-generated visualisations and virtual walkthroughs assist in client presentations and marketing. Clients can virtually experience the project, aiding in better understanding and decision-making.

Get The Best Use of Drafting Tools For Your Next Project

The convergence of 2D drafting, 3D CAD, and Building Information Modeling (BIM) stands as a cornerstone for successful spatial design projects. The harmonious interplay of these technologies brings forth a comprehensive approach, seamlessly integrating visualisation, accuracy, collaboration, and data-driven decision-making. 

Atoms n Bits Studio is well-equipped to leverage the strengths of 2D drafting, 3D CAD, and BIM. With a holistic design experience, we are adept at navigating the intricacies of design projects, ensuring optimal outcomes that align with client visions and industry standards.