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AI and BIM modelling: a shop renovations project

Need to deal with a shop design project? Discover how easy it is to create the 3D model of a building survey using artificial intelligence (AI)

Are you dealing with a shop design project and need to create a 3D model of the current building survey? You have different operating procedures to follow.

If the traditional methods are certainly the most popular, the most innovative ones (such as the use of AI for BIM modeling) can save you a lot of time.

Let’s see what is the simplest, fastest and most accurate way to create the 3D BIM model of the survey status starting from 2D drawings: here a real case in which the digitization of an existing building is preparatory for a renovation project of a shop and its retail design.

AI-powered 3D modeling workflow from a 2D floor plan

Artificial Intelligence 3D Modeling Workflow from a 2D drawing

Renovation project of a shop: how to get the 3D model of the survey situation

Retail design is a bustling, ever-changing industry evolving to meet the new challenges launched by consumers in the digital age.

Let’s proceed with order and see all the steps to follow: from the survey with AI and BIM modeling of the survey situation to the design choices.

If you have to design a store in an existing building, you definitely need to find at least the plans of the survey status to create the 3D model of the project and start thinking about your design choices.

You may have:

  • paper drawings or 2D raster images (plants, sections, etc.);
  • 2D drawings in digital format (DWG/DXF).

Let’s see how to operate in each of these cases to obtain the best result in the shortest possible time.

AI and BIM modeling: the 3D model from 2D paper drawings

Before starting the design stage, it is essential to proceed with the search of the survey drawings of the building.

It is usually easier to find paper drawings or scans from cadastral plans or the original project. Less common is the case in which you have already available drawings in DWG/DXF format, especially if the building is not recent or not being renovated or under maintenance in recent years.


3D BIM model from a papar based survey

Even if you only have a plan on paper, I show you a quick way to automatically convert 2D drawings or images into 3D BIM models.

Directly from the 2D raster image the artificial intelligence recognizes walls, doors, windows, floors, etc. and converts them into 3D BIM objects automatically.

This new technology is a simple approach and does not require special efforts for its implementation. You are often frightened by the use of new tools and advanced methodologies because you fear that they are difficult to acquire or too expensive. In this case there is nothing to fear. You can try the application for free that allows you to take advantage of the potential of AI and manage BIM modeling. You can also find out how the operations are carried out quickly and completely automatically, without too much effort on the part of the operator.

Let’s see how to proceed.

Log in to usBIM with your credentials and select the usBIM.planAI application. If you start from a plan in paper format, take a photo of the drawing and import it into the application (PNG, JPG, PDF format can be imported):

  • click on Create project and enter a name and description of the project.
  • from the tree menu on the left-hand side of the workspace,create the levels corresponding to each floor of the building;
  • click on Import plan to import the image to be digitized and repeat the operation on each level you have created, for the corresponding plan;
  • scale the plan according to a known measurement;
  • set the reference parameters (height of the walls, thickness of the floors, thickness of the window, etc.) to have an accurate modeling;
  • Click on Run auto-detection and wait a few seconds to get the final result.
  • displays the model obtained in 2D or 3D.

If you prefer, you can also proceed step by step, performing the 2D to 3D conversion per element groups (i.e. only the walls, then the openings, etc.).

You can also decide to modify the generated model, for example, by moving a wall, adding a partition or any other object that the software has not converted correctly or that you plan to modify anyway. Finally, you can decide to assemble the individual plans to form a single, complete 3D model.

After verifying the model, you can export it to IFC format and decide to view it with a simple online BIM viewer or open it with BIM authoring software (Edificius, Revit, Archicad, etc.) and continue working on it.

You can share the IFC file with other professionals by working in a full openBIM methodology.

In just a few steps, you can create the 3D BIM model of the surveyed situation and start working on your project.

With a traditional method, instead, you should have reconstructed the 3D model from scratch manually reporting the measurements shown in the plan.

3D model from DWG/DXF CAD drawings

If you start from survey situation plan in DWG or DXF, thanks to AI and BIM modeling you can obtain the 3D model in a few steps using a BIM architectural design software:

  • start Edificius and create a new file;
  • from the 2D graphical section, import your DWG or DXF CAD file;
  • with the magic wand, you can automatically recognize walls, doors, windows, etc.;
  • now add any architectural details according to your specific needs.
Model from a DWG-DXF 2D CAD based drawing

Model from a DWG-DXF 2D CAD based drawing

Also in this way you use the software automation to speed up repetitive operations that would normally take away time to other activities.

Shop renovation project: useful tips

Once we have quickly obtained the model of the survey situation, we can move on to the design stage.

Image of a store design project created entirely with Edificius

Here’s a store design created entirely with Edificius

Here are some useful tips for designing a store:

  • check national and local legislation to define the minimum heights and surfaces of the spaces, the type of flooring and cladding, the need for services rooms, the type of lighting, etc.
  • choose the design based on a precise marketing analysis and the target audience;
  • check that the location are suitable for the target customer, the type of product proposed and the competitors;
  • choose the display model of the store (flagship, temporary shop, shop in shop or corner shop, etc.);
  • choose the right set-up to enhance product sales;
  • organize spaces following a commercial sequence, i.e. an organic, coherent and rational arrangement of the goods on display, capable of guiding the customer in the purchase;
  • dedicate the right importance to the design and set-up of the shop window, in order to attract attention and intrigue the customer. The configuration of the showcase (with open, closed, semi-open, etc.) must take into account the size of the store and the number of departments that are inside it;
  • choose exhibitors to display an adequate number of products in a clear and attractive way;
  • customize the spaces so that they are unique and reflect the tastes of the target customer;
  • make choices that facilitate versatility and maintenance;
  • design lighting systems in order to create immersive atmospheres highlighting products and particular characteristics.

To learn more about this topic, jump to this interesting article: “How to Design a clothing store“.

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